The world’s second oldest profession

Clearly, democracy is ridiculous and politics is senseless, but there are many people who truly believe that they can make a difference — that there ought to be a better way of doing things, and that they can be of service. In Guam and the CNMI, that’s probably over 99 percent of the candidates in each election year.

Saipan — When someone says something “smart” about government, society or community, etc., we usually tell that someone to run for office. As if running a government is a quiz show. You just have to be “intelligent” with a ready answer to the “burning” questions of the day.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas graduated from Princeton and Harvard and served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist while Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez graduated cum laude from Boston University with a degree in international relations and economics.

But I don’t think people who disagree with these lawmakers’ politics would consider them brainy.

In politics when someone says you’re intelligent it usually means, “I agree with you.” And those who dare disagree with us can only be morons.

If you look at the history of many democracies around the world, you would find a lot of bright if not brilliant politicians who were in charge of government, and were surrounded by equally bright and brilliant advisers as they tried to solve economic, societal and other problems. And yet today such problems still persist. Even in countries whose grass looks so much greener compared to ours.

A problem without a solution, says Jonah Goldberg, isn’t a problem, it’s simply a fact. But you can’t say that to a voter if you’re a candidate for office. And so in each election year, there are always young, educated and highly promising candidates who will get elected to “solve problems.” After a term or two, many of them will be considered part of the problem.

Says James Q. Wilson: The chief cause of problems is solutions.

In the CNMI’s case, will electing “reformists” into office boost tourist arrivals, attract more investors and revive the economy? Achieving those things will generate more revenue for the government which can then meet its most pressing obligations.