Ron Norick, the mayor of Oklahoma City, a few klicks to the west of me, is not going to seek another term, and, judging by the radio spots I'm hearing these days, a lot of people are hankering for his job. And a lot of those people are making the same pitch in their ads: "I'm not a politician. I'm a businessman."

Admittedly, politicians have been in bad odor in these parts since before Whitewater or Watergate or Teapot Dome. Still, there's something a trifle disquieting about a person trying to wangle a government position while maintaining "This is not what I do." Not to say disingenuous. I certainly wouldn't choose a dentist on the basis of his/her claims to be something other than a dentist. And while the mayor of Oklahoma City is more likely to be worried about filling potholes than cavities, here in the post-Perot era it should no longer surprise anyone that the ability to meet a payroll does not necessarily equate to the ability to fill a government post — the two skills have very little to do with one another, as Ross Perot would have found out within thirty seconds of entering the White House.

I don't live in Oklahoma City proper, so I won't be casting a ballot for anyone in this particular election. But it occurs to me that it's time to add "not a politician" to the list of Automatic Disqualifying Phrases, alongside "traditional values" and "Trilateral Commission" and anything in the last six issues of Psychology Today. Who says being a citizen is difficult?

The Vent

#91
1 March 1998

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