The Los Angeles of Politics: Become an Intern and You Might Get Discovered by a Politician

Unlike Los Angeles, Washington DC is a city of angels. As cynical as the public is of people who enter politics, a lot of the people who go into the profession are in it for the right reasons and a lot of them remain for the right reasons. Undoubtedly, they’ll compromise because they have to, they’ll lie because they have to, and more unseemly things. Yet, a large portion of politicos are trying to save people and save the environment. When struggling actors go to Hollywood, they want to, obviously, become rich and famous but when struggling politicos go to DC, they want to save the world. When their dreams are inevitably crushed, the people who went to DC feel a lot more wronged. Even if your Washington is just the state capitol, it’s a miserable and lonely fight.

Honestly, I probably would have been much less miserable losing in the entertainment industry than losing in politics. The public has a lot more empathy for people who lose in the entertainment industry because most of the public’s quixotic fantasies involve being a celebrity while my biggest dreams were like negotiating a peace settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians. I must say, the photo on the homepage is related to my romantic fantasies which would often involve intensely making-out in the no-man’s-land of some hate-filed conflict defying the madness of the war and inhumanity with our beauty and love and winning by exposing the horror of the conflict. Of course, that’s a Rorschach Test for me since that song was not written as an anti-war song. Only somebody whose brain is so drenched in politics and whose heart is that of a deluded hippie would see it as one.

While a lot of people are like that in having my fantasies, not enough to have a group of people to relate to. Whatever you do and however you fight, it’s going to be lonely. My Asperger’s is a part of the reason making friends has been difficult but choosing the vocation of politics is another. It is a lot of trying sell yourself as a very moral person who fights for the right causes and then finding out how little people care. They spend their lives content with trying to advance themselves in whatever field they’re in without regard to the human or environmental cost. They are solipsistic and callous toward the sufferings and joys of their siblings in the human family. As a politico, I spend my life trying to convince average folks that they need to love their human siblings and be good people and discovering how difficult that is destroys one’s faith in humanity.

The pop culture stereotype is that idealist folks go into politics and lose their faith in the system. I, an idealistic folk, went into politics and lost my faith in humanity. I went into politics believing humans are mostly good and now I believe humans are mostly evil. Even the people who personally win in politics ultimately lose most of what they fight for. People who go to Los Angeles, if they make it, then they go to studios and finish their products. When people make it in politics, they want to end poverty and reduce carbon emissions and abolish the death penalty and the rest and they never finish and when everything is over they look at the statistics and cry because they feel their life’s work feels in vain.

The two public figures whom my personality is most like; Christopher McCandless and Abbie Hoffman, did not have happy endings. They spent their lives having fun because they were innocent and free and were also intensely miserable and both died in some form of hiding from the society that rejected them and punished them. Going into politics is not for people who want to enjoy life, it is for people who will undertake the burden of chronic pain out of a sense of duty. We do it because we have a strong belief in love and cannot resist the forcing ourselves into the torturous machine that is administered by, less than the system, the public. Whether or not you make it, being a young politico, if you’ve devoted your life to it and it isn’t just occasional volunteering, is crushing but I hope that if God is watching that all of the young politicos who feel their lives’ works are in vain and who have lost in the game of trying to save the world are redeemed.

Politics is a lot of personal and public tragedy happening to a lot of people with characters of steel. It’s a sad story to watch but the triumph and the true beauty of it is that despite the pain and the darkest storm that looms over the political profession than the braver, bolder, people are willing to give up the best parts of their lives to the service of their human siblings. The happy ending is not in material happiness but in the spiritual redemption that the spirit of love and grace has not yet been extinguished by the forces of darkness. That is the final line on political life, that in all of death and despair this course of life involves, there is the single glimmer of light that the spirit resisting those is not yet dead.

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