The other day someone said to me, “Wow Joe, you’re going to make a lot of money if you get elected.”  And then I thought – oh yeah, I forgot . . . politicians make a lot of money!  What was I thinking?  Here I’m trying to run for U.S. Congress because I think it’s the right thing to do. Silly me.

But power corrupts.  I can feel it, even in my little league campaign.

As a candidate, my job is to sell a product: me.  I have to pretend that I am the most perfect person in the world. Maybe I have all the solutions, or I’ve done some great things in the community. I’ve got to be superman!

On the other hand, that’s what’s wrong with the system.  Politicians are so mesmerized with themselves that they forget about what really matters – defending liberty for individuals!

I’ve actually felt it in myself.  A pull.  A change happening.  It’s as if I’m holding the ring of power – a ring of ultimate evil and destruction.  My job is to carry the ring and destroy it.  But the ring wants to destroy me.  It wants to hypnotize me into imagining how great and powerful I could be, if only I were elected.

In the Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins had to carry the ring of power to the volcano to destroy it.  He was the only one who could do this task, because he was not as affected by the ring’s hypnotic power.  But even Frodo was swayed by the ring’s magic.  His best friend Sam would try to snap him out of it.

Sam said to Frodo, “It’s the ring!  You can’t take your eyes off it; I’ve seen you.  You’re not eating.  You barely sleep.  It’s taken ahold of you, Mr. Frodo.  You have to fight it.”

Frodo snapped back, “I know what I have to do, Sam. The ring was entrusted to ME.  It’s MY task.  MINE!  My own!”

Sam said, “Can’t you hear yourself?  Don’t you know what you sound like?”

Indeed, I can feel a pull towards being obsessed with winning the election.  In fact, if I didn’t seem obsessed about winning, everyone would think I was a poor candidate.  But for me, winning isn’t the only goal.  There’s a much higher goal for me, which is to stay true to my principles, to educate, and to have fun.

Winning elections is easy.  If I sold my soul, and told everybody what they wanted to hear, I have no doubt that I could win an election.  I could take some money from a slippery source, and promise to give government favors to them if I were elected.  Candidates like that are almost ALWAYS elected.

But I have another goal in mind.  I want to educate.  I want to educate myself to understand the process of running.  I want to educate others about all the solutions in liberty.  And I want to have fun doing it!

Power corrupts, no doubt about it.  But what is the best way to combat an idea?  With another, even better idea.  And the idea on my side is the best idea of all: liberty.  I want to take all that government power, and give it back to the individuals from whence it was taken.  Let’s give people their freedom back.  And perhaps one day, we will succeed in destroying the Ring of Power.


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