One of our grandsons (he’s 8) is very, very good at those kinds of games where cards picturing this or that must be turned over to form a matched pair.
I wonder how he – or you – would do with these. Which of the following match? (A) a slave who becomes a king; (B) an overbearing fool who prospers; (C) a bitter woman who finally gets a husband; (D) a servant girl when she ousts her queen.
Any matches? Any of those go together? No?
How about this one:
The most trusted profession as measured by honesty and ethics is: (A) Clergy; (B) Car salesmen; (C) Congress; (D) Cops; (E) Casino card-dealers.
Casinos? I mean, really? What are they doing even being listed? Good question. They weren’t. Casinos and credibility are incongruous.
But so are members of Congress who, “according to Gallup’s 25th annual survey in which Americans rate the honesty and ethics of various professions,” scored lowest of all, even below car salesmen.
Oh, the shame of it all that an elected official ranks – and reeks – on the scale of ethics and honesty below that of the shyster skulking below the gaudy neon sign ready to stick it to you with inflated sticker shock only so that you think you got a sweet deal by haggling the price down for what you are later soured to discover, to your chagrin, was a lemon to begin.
And why is it that car salesmen are so perceived?
Because, says Michael Royce who used to be one, “Once you understand what the car salesman is really up to, you’re on your way to getting the good car-buying deal that you want.”
“Really” is in italics. For emphasis. I.E. car salesmen have a game they play, a matching game if you will, in which they match your non-thinking, non-analytical, nonsensical approach to buying that car – evidenced perhaps by the amount of drool – with the price and the pitch he – the car salesman – is prepared to offer.
Ditto the politician. Who scores below – as in below, the basement, the subterranean recesses of respectability – the car dealer.
And the reason?
Because there is a game politicians play: separating you from your money. And, if you don’t do your homework; if bells and whistles – campaign promises, glib responses, sweet talk, and the like – put you behind their wheel rather than drive off behind your own; if research is not rescued from rhetoric; if cynicism is not your cruise control, then we – you and I and everybody – will be forever enthralled by the power-steering of those in power.
To be fair, as Royce admits, there are “honest car salesmen, just as there are honest politicians.”
But, though specifically addressing car salesmen and ironically mentioning the two in the same breath, Royce warns: “Knowledge is key. The more you know, the better consumer you become.”
“It is not possible,” wrote Seumas Milne in his “superb exposé of secret government” as related by John Pilger, editor of “Tell Me No Lies,” to “make proper sense of what is actually going on without probing or questioning the hidden agendas and unaccountable, secret power structures at the heart of government.”
Any more than it is possible – without such due diligence – to distinguish between, or determine the amount of, the ethics and honesty of members of Congress and car salesmen.