Tony: Time to Make Friends with a Local Politico & the Rules of the Road

Election season is upon us and it’s time to make friends with one of the many goofballs running for office.

But beware.

Befriending a serious person who really wants to accomplish something will only entail hours upon hours of thankless political activism. The trick here is to find an ambitious but slightly naive political neophyte and strike a casual allegiance.

To wit, I have provided some quick tips, advice and befits to a political alliance. I’m doing this now because we’re just entering the season of political hope. Right now there really aren’t any front runners in a Kansas City election that looks to be a house cleaning and could be more contentious than anyone realizes. Before the campaign really kicks into high gear it’s important to strike up a friendship so that any criticism can be played off as part of a human connection and not any ideological bent.

Now, here’s some things to think about when throwing tacit support behind some poor unsuspecting do-gooder looking to change the world with the help of strangers.

1. Don’t pick somebody too rich or too broke. We all know that rich people are basically stingy (how do you think they became rich?) and po’folk will be begging for money. The trick here is to find an ambitious person who is friends with rich people. This is vital because the most important aspect of a political friendship is access to parties.

2. Never forget that the parties are the most important thing. Sure, there are nice folks at canvassing sessions and phone banks but that entails real work. The benefit of a political friendship is access to parties and hot chicks who are obviously, easily misled.

3. Forget about food. With a BBQ town like Kansas City it would stand to logic that local politics would be filled with gourmet and savory fare. That’s not the case. I’ve spent enough time around local politicos to know that anything beyond a veggie tray from Price Chopper is a pipe dream.

4. It’s only about the schmooze. Again, the local political scene is the best place to meet women who enjoy being persuaded and men who talk for a living. Take advantage or stay away. There really is no middle ground. There are folks who make their living from these activities and they’ll find a place and purpose from everybody. The benefit is that Kansas City political operatives are so busy finding someone to screw over that they may not notice a single, lone dude garnering information, hitting on chicks and stealing the veggie trays from Price Chopper. I feel like I’m giving away my trade secrets here but it’s also important to me to feel like I’m leaving behind a legacy.

5. Don’t forget to lie. Nobody is telling the truth and Kansas City political events. If you’re a bank teller than you should tell folks you work in finance. A janitor? You’re now a waste management executive. People don’t expect to hear facts among Kansas City’s politicos. They’re only (justifiably) working things to their advantage. So, play the game or stay home. But don’t be one of those horrible people who expects to see real change simply because your newfound friend is elected. This town is now filled with former Funkhouser supporters who feel betrayed rather than admit they didn’t know what they were doing and only flocked to support the tall white guy.

And remember, at the end of the day all of this politicking and schmoozing my leave a lingering sense of doubt.

What real progress can be made when more people are interested in personal gain, gossip mongering and just getting laid? Ask Obama about the answer to that dilemma because I just don’t know. What I am sure about is that early in this political season it’s time to show some tacit support in order to garner future favors and access to some good parties. There’s no doubt that this is what motivates most Kansas City political denizens and not the desire to really make a difference in a self-perpetuating system that’s mostly determined by macro-economic factors over which few people have any real control.

Tony Botello

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