Garrison Wynn
Speaker, Consultant, Author

Garrison Wynn

Founder of Wynn Solutions, this keynote speaker is a former stand-up comedian and author of "The Real Truth About Success

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Pick your outsiders carefully

Q: What's a politician to do? Voters rejected the incumbents in this week's primaries in Pennsylvania and Kentucky (and Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln faces a runoff), shirking experience for new faces. What is so attractive about upstarts? In your experience, are you more likely to achieve success as a wise insider or a brash outsider?

There comes a time in politics and in life where rolling the dice seems less risky than going with what you have.

Let's face it: Politicians are not getting any better these days. You can trade fake for stupid or uninformed for unattractive, but in the end you mostly wind up with someone who did whatever it took to get elected.

Then the tough part comes -- actually trying to make good on promises that they might not have had a clue about how to achieve to begin with. Ask anyone who has ever been an insider on a political campaign and they will tell you: "Get elected first; then you have time to figure out what to do."

I know this sounds a bit cynical, but it makes the most sense as well. You can't do anything if you lose, so winning at all costs (especially if you're rich) is where you should put 100 percent of your focus.

Right now, brash outsiders have a chance because opposing groups are becoming more polarized. Lately it seems that people think that being on the extreme end of things means you're being truer to yourself. This is not only untrue; it's also how assassination attempts and acts of terrorism start rattling around in the brains of the politically retarded.

The facts of political history show that both sides have some good points and in the long term it is ideas from each side that eventually make change work. Most politicians, whether good or bad, are people who have the distinct combination of a big ego and a desire to actually do some good (or what they mistakenly think is good).

We like to think that there are people out there who have evil-doing as their purpose and who hope to rule the world so they can enslave the masses, but that idea comes to us from Ian Fleming, Shakespeare, and Gilgamesh, not from historical data. (My apologies to the nonreaders who did not get that last sentence and to those offended by my use of James Bond and Hamlet in the same example.)

Even the worst people in history believed they were trying to help. Hitler believed himself to be a true patriot of Germany, and Ted Bundy in the end claimed with outstanding courtroom skill that his murders were just a series of dates that all went terribly wrong!

Let me make it clear that these people committed horrible crimes and were mentally ill liars with no excuse for their behavior. My point is that people who have extreme ideas have a bad track record in general, regardless of their intentions or charisma. So let's pick our brash outsiders carefully and remember that not being crazy is better than being 110 percent committed to an extreme cause.

By Garrison Wynn  |  May 24, 2010; 11:43 AM ET  | Category:  Experience vs. hunger Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Good lord.

Perhaps, just perhaps, someone like Paul is popular because the people who actually pay taxes and support this country are sick of being asked to tighten their belts so that an out of control federal government can siphon off more dough with no end in sight.

Perhaps, just perhaps, those who want to extol the virtues of alternative lifestyles and denigrate those who actually work should do it on their own freakin' dime and stop demanding handouts.

Perhaps, just perhaps, progressives are going to get buried this fall because most peoples' BS detectors have been activated by the nonstop stream of garbage coming out of Congress and the White House over the past 16 months.

Posted by: tacheronb | May 26, 2010 8:45 PM
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Garrison Wynn is right. "Not crazy" is better than "110 committed." Goldwater was wrong: "extremism in the defense of liberty" IS a vice because it accepts "vicious" behavior as a legitimate part of that defense of liberty. "We had to rob them of their rights in order to preserve our rights" is as stupid as "We had to destroy that village in order to save it" (remember that from the Vietnam war??).

Ideological purity in politics is HORRIBLE, not because standing up for beliefs is bad, but because in the complicated business of politics, fraught with human error, no political theory is wholly workable. Relentless defense of those kinds of ideas gets in the way of getting things done. Governing is much harder than theorizing or pontificating.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | May 26, 2010 6:46 PM
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Your article was the best and made the most sense out of the other 5 or 6, or whatever.

Spoken like a true man with convictions and awareness.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | May 26, 2010 2:23 PM
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This country is "extremed" out as it is. Since the extreme attacks of 9-11 we have taken extreme acts to protect against further attacks. The patriot act is extreme. we have been in two extreme wars.we all have to deal with extreme security measures at the airports and they still haven't completely eliminated the problem. we suffered eight years under an extreme idiot of a president whose administration took us directly into an extreme economic meltdown that has caused extreme economic problems across the globe.

The right wing in this country is upset because they see their, "shove Jesus down our throats" and " let's keep America white and corporate" way of life disappearing after the last presidential vote.

As it is Obama had to go to extreme measures just to get health care for the people in his country. If these new upstarts, as they are being called, get their way, we will all be forced back into the hellish reign of the likes of the previous administration. I for one, don't want another president who has to ask Jesus what to do when faced with tough decisions that face the entire world.

Posted by: Rabbitsmoker | May 24, 2010 11:06 PM
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