Friday, November 16, 2018

A World Without Honor
Since being involves in politics, I've learned that this is a world without honor, though I find myself still hopeful to find a glimmer now and again. 

I've always had the subject of personal honor and courage on the brain. Maybe it's because I'm such a fan of The D'Artagnan Romances - the adventurous stories of Alexandre Dumas' Musketeers, who always act appropriately in the service of a calling higher than themselves, and drew a clear line in the sand:
A rogue does not laugh in the same way that an honest man does; a hypocrite does not shed the tears of a man of good faith. All falsehood is a mask; and however well made the mask may be, with a little attention we may always succeed in distinguishing it from the true face.
Nowhere is this contrast more clearly drawn than in the absurd theater of local politics. Here, the honorable are the cannon fodder for those I'll call "The Honor-Less" - politicos, whether elected or not, who think that simply having the title "honorable" appear before their names bestows a virtue that they don't possess. 

Doing good has become an externality of political expediency - no one does good things for the sake of just doing good things. Words are broken - or were they even really given at all? Maybe I'm even more naive than most because I believe their words were even given. I'd probably be more accurate in saying that these "Honor-Less" out-and-out lie to your face as if it was an art form. 

The "Honor-Less" maneuver, they cajole, and they screw good, honorable people over - all to be the head of their little fiefdom where all that is done revolves around maintaining a illusory power that's just as temporary and fleeting as life itself.

Everyone wants to be king of their own little anthill and they are willing to compromise themselves to do so.

I've been very lucky in politics - I have searched out and found people I believe to be honorable. More often than not, they are those who are involved in politics as an activity outside of earning their livelihood. More often than not, they want to accomplish something bigger than themselves - and something other than feathering their own nest.

I've largely stayed away from The "Honor-Less." I've never been beholden to their whims for my livelihood, so I can come and go as I please. But I'm no Musketeer, either - though even they had their faults. I can't say that I myself haven't been compromised at times - of course I've have. Everyone in politics does something they would prefer not to do. For me, those instances have often involved putting the needs of the organization ahead of my opinion, or where decisions were made "above my pay grade." An unfortunate, but necessary, evil.

My friend and co-host on the former Brooklyn GOP Radio (now Behind Enemy Lines), Russell Gallo, has often asked rhetorically "what would happen if good people who see something wrong idly stand by and do nothing?" We've seen that it's a cycle, really. Good, well-intended people get involved, then either buy-in or get disenchanted, and then leave as the next crop of the willing emerges. I guess that's why they call it "machine" politics - there's always a need to feed the machine. 

When it comes down to it, politics is much like every other aspect of life - the result of personal choices. I can look at myself in the mirror and honestly say that I have never and will never allow myself to sell anyone out for personal or political gain. 

That also means I'm unlikely to "get far" in the political arena, but at least I'll get my full eight hours of sleep nightly. 

Gene Berardelli is known as a street-smart attorney with significant experience in civil and commercial litigation, a New York Election Law expert, a host of an award winning conservative talk radio show broadcast on terrestrial and internet radio stations, and the uncle to the greatest nephew in the history of the world.

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