We get angry with politicians a lot.
They seem to behave erratically and often work against our interests. At times, it’s like they don’t even hear us. It’s frustrating. They just seem like bad politicians, running around trying to pass laws they haven’t even read. We get angry and want to yell at them, but that only makes things worse.
I think we need a new model for approaching politicians. My suggestion: Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer.
Cesar’s philosophy is that he rehabilitates dogs and trains people, because a dog’s behavior is really a reflection of its owner’s energy. In the same way, maybe there aren’t bad politicians, but instead, a politician’s behavior is a reflection of his voters. If voters learn to give off the right energy, then we can have calm, submissive, balanced politicians who do what they’re supposed to do.
See, with a dog, a person needs to be the pack leader so the dog knows whom it should follow. If no one acts like the leader, the dog will think it’s in charge and not listen to commands. Similarly, politicians need to be constantly reminded that the people are in charge. Otherwise, they’ll begin to think they’re in charge and not listen to people — and maybe even try to boss them around. So we all just need to learn how to show politicians that we are the pack leaders.
For example, a lot of people are trying to get different behaviors out of dogs and politicians by going to town hall meetings and yelling at them. Now, as Cesar would tell you, that is not a good strategy. While that might intimidate some of the more timid dogs and politicians, many of them will feed off that angry energy and only get more frantic, barking and calling everyone who disagrees with them racists and Klansmen.
Instead, we need to use calm, assertive energy to tell dogs and politicians what is expected of them. We need to say in a firm — but not angry — voice: “No.” Or: “Sir, you need to at least read the bill that would take over large sectors of the economy.”
The dogs and politicians will probably resist, so you’ll have to repeat this numerous times and remain calm yet forceful the whole time. It’s a challenge, but if you stick to calm, assertive behavior, eventually the dog or politician will realize who is in charge and relent.
As Cesar will tell you, dogs and politicians often act out because they don’t know what’s expected of them. To help with that, they need rules, boundaries, and limitations. For instance, our dog isn’t allowed in the kitchen. We make that clear to her by calmly making her leave any time she tries to enter. She constantly tests this since we just moved into a new house, but as long as we’re consistent, she will understand what her boundaries are.
Politicians are the same way. Their rules, boundaries, and limitations are clearly defined in the Constitution, but the key is to be consistent in enforcing them so politicians will know what we expect of them.
For example, socialism is clearly not allowed, but politicians are constantly testing this boundary and often ignoring it entirely.
Why? We’re not always consistent about it. When the economy got so bad, we got tired of telling the politicians no and let them take over the auto industry. You can see why they’re now confused as to why we’re angry at them for trying to take over health care; it’s because we weren’t consistent. These mixed messages confuse and frustrate dogs and politicians and maybe even cause them to lash out.
Consistency is important, but that’s not all there is to handling your dog or politician. Cesar recommends that you give dogs and politicians exercise, discipline, and affection, in that order. He often thinks it’s good for a dog or a politician to have a job so that it can feel fulfilled and earn affection. So we can’t be yelling at our dogs or politicians until we’ve first given them some exercise by giving them something to do.
Right now, we expect little of our legislators and just let them run around in circles trying to pass earmarks for special interests. Instead, we need to give them a real task, like hunting down terrorists, that they have to complete before moving on to anything else. If they have to spend time on that each day, they’ll have less energy to meddle with other things and pass bills full of pork. Dogs and politicians love pork.
One of the big problems with Obama is that the press has often skipped right over exercise and discipline and gone straight to giving him affection. Without the exercise and the discipline, that just gives Obama energy to do bad things, like give us massive new debt. Once again, we need to give him clear tasks and only give him affection when he’s earned it.
If he hits some of the Taliban with a drone missile strike, then we can tell him, “That’s a very good president.” When affection comes after the exercise and the discipline, he’ll better understand what is expected of him and be a much more balanced president. Then we won’t have to worry so much about how he acts when we have company over (like foreign dignitaries).
Finally, Cesar constantly reminds everyone that dogs and politicians are not people, and you have to treat them like what they are: dogs and politicians. It can be frustrating when you’ve told the dog to stop barking for the fortieth time and told the politician to keep his hands off your wallet for the sixtieth time, but if you’re consistent, calm and assertive, give clear rules, boundaries, and limitations, and only give affection after exercise and discipline, you can have well-behaved canines and legislators.
Now go to a town hall and be a pack leader!