If there’s one lesson we can draw from Paula Dockery’s ill-fated campaign for governor, which ended yesterday after never really gaining traction, it’s this: When you challenge big economic interests in ways that hurt them, they tend not to give you their money.
The truth is there’s not much reward for doing the hard thing in politics. That’s why it’s hard. It carries consequences for your ambitions. Advertising costs money. Travel costs money. Staff costs money. That money has to come from somewhere, and the people generally do not provide it, especially in primaries. CSX provides it. Or drug companies. Or developers. The interests that have money provide it, which is why they so often get their way. It was ever thus.
So here’s to Paula for taking action – in accordance with her principles – and facing the consequences that came with it. We need more of that. It helps show that we voters are full of it when we say we want politicians who do hard things. We certainly don’t behave as if we do.
Contrast Paula’s willingness to face consequences of what she believes with a couple of other recent displays of public behavior.
Start with local businessman and education philanthropist Hunt Berryman’s insistence that elected officials shouldn’t publicly ask would-be superintendents of schools why they have haven’t told the truth about their employment history. That should be handled in private, where no one gets embarrassed — or something. After all, these are important people, leaders even. And their gentle sensibilities shouldn’t be riled by the plebes.
“It’s obvious that Dr. Schiller dropped out because of the way he was treated. The whole thing is a sham and a shame,” Berryman said.
Whatever. Really, why is that the “important” people must always be shielded from confrontation? Is this what Leadership Lakeland teaches?
And just for fun, check out everybody’s favorite civil rights enforcement skeptic Rand Paul from Kentucky. I’m citing him because a number of you out there have supposedly “libertarian” leanings, and Paul is something Teapartarian hero. I’ll bet Randy Wilkinson loves him.
I just want to flag this little doozy about how Rand Paul — hater of the federal government — makes his living.
But on Thursday evening, the ophthalmologist from Bowling Green said there was one thing he would not cut: Medicare physician payments.
In fact, Paul — who says 50% of his patients are on Medicare — wants to end cuts to physician payments under a program now in place called the sustained growth rate, or SGR. “Physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living,” he told a gathering of neighbors in the back yard of Chris and Linda Wakild, just behind the 10th hole of a golf course.
Note the passive voice: Physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living. What happened to living by the sweat of your brow, applying your superior talent and productivity, going all Ayn Rand on people? As I’ve said 1000 times, Medicare IS the federal government, and none of your libertarian heroes are going to cut it. That’s why it’s very hard to take libertarians seriously.
The consequences of their rugged self-reliance are always for other people.