The secret to brilliance must be election

Aug. 7, 2013  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

 

Opinion

 

By: Susan Willett, Publisher

 

The older I get, the more things amaze me.

Stuff I used to simply take for granted all of a sudden seems somehow magical and inexplicable, like that 8-ball thingie that knows all the answers to the most pressing questions in life.

What has amazed me most recently is the sure fire path to intellectual genius that many local folks seem to have found. Really, I should have thought of this sooner and I wouldn’t have had to waste all my time reading stupid books and attending those boring classes. These folks can even outsmart the 8-ball.

The key to intellectual superiority, I am now convinced, is getting elected to office. Really, it is. Otherwise, how did all these chosen officials become Mensa material almost overnight?

Seriously, it seems all these folks have to do is get enough votes to sit on the city council, township board or drain commission, and they automatically become much, much smarter than the very people who put them there. That has to be it, right? There must be some magical, IQ growth hormone that kicks in during the oath of office. How can we possibly account for their conduct otherwise?

Before my snarkiness gets me in too much trouble, let me say that this phenomenon isn’t infallible. There are some local communities where it hasn’t worked and the elected officials remain the same folks they were prior to their anointments, but I figure maybe its just a matter of time. They are sure to get the full dose of “spidey sense” soon and become as all- knowing and powerful as so many of their fellow officials.

I don’t fully understand what it can be other than election that morphs these people into thinking they are Ken Jennings.

It usually takes about six months or so, and the guy who wanted to change the community for the better, who wanted to work for the voters, who had new ideas to help move the community forward while he was out trying to get votes, sits at the meetings with an arrogance unknown to any but Genghis Khan or Idi Amin, agreeing with the very people he opposed during his campaign.

Yeah, OK, so that can happen, I guess. There is an ingrained environment in most municipal administrations that these “civilians” simply don’t understand, don’t have the brains to understand and really aren’t worth the valuable time of those in office to try and help understand the real background on issues, actions or decisions. After all, if these administrators weren’t smarter than the average bear, they wouldn’t have attained these lofty offices, right?

That’s an example of the kind of analytical thinking I’m talking about.

That political environment is pretty toxic and very contagious and it usually doesn’t take long for the roots of such arrogance to sink themselves deep into the consciousness of elected officials, liberally fertilized by the apathy of most residents and their inclusion into the club of “cool kids” who have all the inside knowledge about everything.

So, all of a sudden, these guys are Carl Sagan and Einstein level thinkers in their own minds. They now share the hive mind prevalent in the city or township headquarters. It’s sorta funny, really. Anybody who doesn’t share their attitudes or opinions is automatically misinformed, uneducated or maybe even just out to get them. Whichever it is these dissidents are considered pests and have no business bothering the brilliant people who actually run the municipality and know what they are doing. Citizens’ remarks and questions at public meetings are dismissed with barely disguised scorn. Any question suggesting a different course of action than the one taken by the administration is cause for eye-rolling and even public insults.

What isn’t funny is the level of entitlement that seems to ferment in these expanding egos.

Their arrogance leads that attitude of entitlement and that entitlement is the first step down the primrose path to acts of malfeasance or wrongdoing. Hey, they are elected, they are in charge and if they choose to bend the rules a little bit, no big deal, right?

Wrong.

The ease with which the arrogance of public office can slip over the edge of moral boundaries into corruption is frightening.

Fortunately, these people are way too smart to let that happen.

Just ask them.

|News Plymouth Michigan

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