This morning I cleaned my bathroom drains under the sinks. They were getting really sluggish. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned them out… Maybe three or four years ago. They’re gross. All that hair, soap scum, shaving cream, greasy turned gooey makeup remover. Yuck!
Anyway, while taking them apart and cleaning, I realized my drains are very much like politicians. Everything runs great when they are all brand new and shiny, but let them go too long and everything starts going to shit. People start whining. Nobody wants to clean it up though. It gets ignored. People start complaining and it might get put on the ‘someday to do’ list. But essentially, it is still ignored. It’s a dirty job. Things start to get sluggish. Not many people want to do it. Plans start to be made. Discussions happen.
There is more talk of the tools needed to complete such a job. What if something breaks? Instead of just a routine cleaning, there would now be a major problem to address. More discussions happen. There is debate about who will be given the task, how much will be allocated from the budget to fix any unforeseen repairs, when does it need to be done. Does it need to be done? Nothing happens.
Then one day, somebody comes along, sees the problem and says, “I am capable. I can do this. I can help correct this problem. Yes, it is nasty and dirty but it needs to be done. If I don’t do it, then who will?” and so they set to work. It takes very little effort. It takes a small amount of time. The problem is corrected. A note is made on the calendar to this again next year instead of waiting two, three, four years, too long.
Maybe we should treat our politicians like bathroom drains, they need to be cleaned and often.
Shorten their terms, give them a list of maintenance only items that must be completed. Cut their pay to that of a janitor or maintenance man. And yes, I do believe there would be people willing to do the job for peanuts because they know they CAN make a difference in the lives of everyone they touch and they are willing to do it for almost nothing because they have love in their hearts.
Then bring in a new person next year to minimize the amount of laziness, corruption and damage they can do while in office.