Government would work great if we could just elect “the right people.” Right?
If we had honest, intelligent, principled people who believed “fill in the blank here” — whatever you happen to believe — the politicians would work for The People. Government would work for all of us. We would restore the Constitution and the meaning of the Republic. And on and on. All we need is to elect “the right people.”
Have you heard this song before?
As someone who makes the case that the existing system is broken by design — and is immoral by design — this is the response I hear most frequently from well-meaning patriotic people. Whether they’re on the progressive left or the social conservative right or some other position, they honestly believe the majoritarian system will produce what they want — if we can just elect “the right people.”
In the Republican primary here in Alabama’s sixth congressional district, voters have a chance this year to elect someone who is exactly what they always claim to want. Paul DeMarco is a two-term state representative with a spotless conservative record, and he’s a candidate for Congress following the retirement of the man who’s held onto the spot for years.
I know Paul well. Nine years ago, I worked as a consultant for his first campaign for the Legislature, and he became one of my favorite clients ever. (I dug up an old piece of his literature to show you the logo I designed way back then, although the colors are off in this snapshot. It was really PMS 200 and reflex blue, just in case anyone cares. The typeface is Folio, which was my trademark typeface at the time.) Paul is very intelligent, honest, principled and level-headed. He’s willing to listen to people who disagree with him, and he wants to understand other positions and come up with solutions that make everyone happy. He’s a problem-solver. He’s exactly what a civics textbook would dream of as the ideal politician.