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Confusing The Salesman With The Product

Published by Janus on June 11, 2009

It happens all too often…

Walk on down to your local liqueur superstore on a Saturday morning and you’ll see it happening: cute girls – probably early teens, maybe early twenties – wearing low cut shirts and short skirts printed with their company logo all over it. They’ll flash you a coy smile and press a shot into your hand. A little eye candy and some free booze? Who could say no? Sure, it tastes like nail polish remover, and you only came in for a case of beer, but there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun while you’re there. Two or three shots and a little harmless flirting later, picking up a bottle or two sounds like a pretty good idea.

Head over to your local appliance superstore and ask for help buying something big. The salesman’s barely a kid, but he’ obviously into this stuff. He can tell you how many pixels the compressor gets to the ohm and how you can save money in the winter by changing a couple settings. It the one he would buy, and he knows what he’s talking about. Get the extended warranty, the extra coverage option, and the in-store service plan while you’re at it. He would.

It’s a classic sales technique. It’s not as underhanded as bait and switch and they’re not exactly lying to you, but it’s dishonest all the same. “I know what I’m doing,” says the salesperson. “You can trust me.”

If you don’t know much about cars, you know what I’m talking about. You have to do your homework. If you don’t, words like “reliability” and “low-maintenance” and “resale value” are used in ways you’ve never seen before. You have to place your trust in a salesman. Can you trust him? If you can, how much trust do you give him? Ever walked into a dealership not knowing what you really want? He’s got plenty of advice for you, like that chicks dig spinning rims and if you might have a kid in a year or two, you should really get the bigger SUV.

To you and me, it seems ridiculous. We’d never fall for that kind of stunt. So why do we constantly fall for politicians we know have no interest in serving the people? Republicans aren’t conservative, but they sell themselves as the conservative party. Democrats could care less about the little people, but the unions would sure like you to think that.

I roll my eyes every time I see the poll numbers about which candidate I’d rather have a beer with. So what if the president looks good without his shirt on? If Hillary is doing shots on the campaign trail, shouldn’t that tell us something? … something profoundly wrong? Does the fact that McCain’s teeth look a creepy change his stance on cap and trade? Does Sotomayor’s (I’m pronouncing it So-toe-my-err on general bloody principle) skin color make her a better judge? Is my blog any more rational since I changed the banner image?

Why do we do it? Why do we feel the need to base our judgments on trivial things? It’s easier. It doesn’t require as much effort. We don’t have to think about it. Why bother doing the research and taking the time to learn something about what you’re considering when you can just ask someone else?

It’s lazy. It’s willful ignorance (stupidity?).

I would say that we, as Americans, deserve more from our leaders but we, as Americans, have made our choice in leadership and this is what we’ve chosen. Next time, vote for the old, mumbling man who tells you the ugly truth. The guy with the slick hair and the nice smile just wants to sell you a bigger government.

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The problem is, nobody who I would really want in charge ever runs for office. I can’t remember the last time there was a single candidate in any race who I could wholeheartedly support and vote for without reservation, it just doesn’t happen. Politicians are self-serving egotistical jerks who are out for personal glory, they might spin a good yarn about caring for the people and wanting to serve their constituents, but they just want to make political contacts and get re-elected so they can make a ton of money and power for themselves.

It’s hard to pick the best candidate when there’s nothing worthwhile to pick from.

 Comment by Cephus on June 12, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

Cephus has it correct. Anyone who is insane enough to actually pursue a political position at the national level is probably someone without enough character to actually lead. It’s all about amassing power, not doing the correct thing.

That’s why they all resemble used-car salesmen, Janus. They need the citizens to buy their snake oil in order to remain in power.

 Comment by Bad Scooter on June 12, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

Seriously, what we ought to do is make national political positions have little power, virtually no pay and a short term. We need to get rid of career politicians, require that politicians can spend no more than two terms in *ANY* office, then they have to spend at least a term in the private sector before they can run for *ANY* office again. It’ll weed out the people who are just there to garner fame, fortune and influence and we’ll only have people who want to serve the public interest running for office.

 Comment by Cephus on June 13, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

“Next time, vote for the old, mumbling man who tells you the ugly truth.”

Oh come on, Ron Paul doesn’t mumble that much.

 Comment by paper on June 16, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

The problem is, Ron Paul wouldn’t know truth if it bit him. He’s just as screwy, perhaps more so, than the other crazies we have running for office. There’s nothing to be proud of in being a rabid Ron Paul supporter.

 Comment by Cephus on June 17, 2009 @ 12:16 pm