We Should Train Our Politicians Like We Train Our Dogs

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.