Have you ever thought of running for political office?
Neither have I.
Perhaps it’s similar to my own reason. I find the very thought of running for a political office tiresome, for to be a politician means that you have to lie and smile at times when you would rather not.
And I just have zero interest in doing that.
And yet there are people who are temperamentally not averse to either lying or smiling on cue, as the occasion demands. Barack Obama, for instance, does this when he goes to the Midwest and touts ethanol fuels. And Mitt Romney pretends about, well, everything.
Does anybody, for example, seriously have a clue about what Mitt Romney really thinks?
Or John Edwards?
I didn’t think so.
And we know that human temperamental characteristics are, to a large degree, heritable qualities. In other words, when you have a political system that rewards lying and facade, you are attracting people to politics—rewarding them with power and money—for being good at two things:
- saying whatever the situation demands; and
- narcissistic splitting (putting on a mask that effectively hides what you’re really thinking)
In short, politicians are temperamentally born—not made—for their contingent political climates, and so, what we witness in politics is not just a form of cultural selection, but Darwinian natural selection.
Do you buy my argument?