There really isn’t any reason to say anything against Chuck Cramer after watching his performance in the following video debate with George Lang, the sitting president of the West Chester Trustees. Chuck sounded like a good man. But he was certainly out of his league as the clear winner of the debate was my friend George. George Lang graciously helped Chuck through the ordeal without embarrassing the challenger, which was respectful even if it was unnecessary. In politics you can’t take anything for granted, but after watching this video–George will easily win re-election as Chuck–as well-intentioned as he was–doesn’t pose a challenge at the level it would take to remove Lang from his current position. Lang did reveal during the debate that he plans to run for Governor of Ohio sometime soon, and has higher political ambitions so West Chester better enjoy him while it can. He won’t remain as accessible as he is now for long. He’s just too politically talented.
I don’t like politicians, but I do like George. Because of politics I don’t have many close acquaintances. I know a lot of people, but I avoid close attachments because you have to reserve the right to act on your own accord when needed. In politics there are often hundreds if not thousands of people who expect something from whoever is in a public office, and it becomes clear really quick that you can’t please them all. So you have to stay very true to your own inner compass and navigate the mine field accordingly. I don’t trust career politicians who have been in the business very long because after a period of time, it becomes nearly impossible to listen to that inner compass while at the same time satisfying all the social requirements of the people who donate money to your campaign. I know George to the point that I know his core function isn’t very far from mine and that he wants ultimately a small government that does not want additional tax money, because as he says, government will spend it. As a trustee he has done extremely well in West Chester and I have no doubt he will have success wherever he ends up. Independently, he’s quite successful, so politics is not his primary endeavor. But he enjoys “the game” and believes he can do well there and I see him as the best option to penetrate those depths in a search for treasure that has thus far been hidden.
Daily I live a rather complicated life myself, which I share with George to some extent. The reason I trust him more than the average politician is due to parts of George that I have seen under duress. I’m a pretty controversial person and if George really wanted to “play the game” in the typical way that politicians do, without merit—then he would not have come to some of my private Overmanwarrior meetings (located in the back room of the Liberty Township LaRosa’s) that we’ve had for people who have most supported this site over the years. I have never asked for any special favors from George, but he has supported what I’m doing under his own free will even through it may not have been politically expedient to do so for him. Not everyone gets to see that side of him, and it may have been a huge political gamble for him at the time, but when gambles pay off, they usually do big. And working with me is always a safe bet, which many people have come to learn over the years. So I benefit from knowing George under pressure and under duress and therefore knowing more about his true character than many people have the opportunity to see.
Politics however, especially for people in leadership is a tricky field. When you are in charge of something, there are thousands of nipping parasites called second-handers who loom in your wake waiting for a mistake by you to exploit for their own advantage. They are second-handers because they often do not have the courage to live out in front, so they exclusively make their livings in the wake of people in a leadership role. The trick in politics, whether it’s in a public setting like what George is doing, or whether its being the head of a company, is to not get caught up in what the second-handers want or need from you. When politicians get corrupt it is at this point, when second-handers begin to take over the decision-making of the leadership of those out in front. A leader has to accept that they will be hated often by somebody in their wake at some point, if not constantly. That hatred is not necessarily against a leader, it’s really against themselves for lacking the courage to live their own life authentically, depending on someone else to give them something. Politicians go bad when they start giving in to this relationship which then degrades them into a second-hander themselves. Often, donors are these second-handers because they want something from government, so politicians who may start off as valiant leaders who need money to run campaigns have to step out of that leadership role to solicit funds. The business is tricky on a philosophical level, and without good philosophy a leader loses their authenticity, and potency.
It is lonely at the top, not because there are always people who want your attention. When people pass you in the parking lot there is never a stranger, because most people are second-handers who are nice to your face hoping for a favor down the road, whether it’s in a job, or a political mechanism in their favor. It’s important to know that they aren’t being nice to you out of a human need for kindness. To best articulate this phenomena the Clint Eastwood western High Plains Drifter best illustrates this issue in the most defined way possible. For the person in the leadership position, the best way to maintain their sanity is in accepting that deep down inside, most people do resent you and would cut off your head to suck out all your blood in a second if it were legal and they could get away with it. As cynical as that may sound, it’s correct, and resembles best what is in most people’s hearts—truly. It’s a bad reflection for most to gaze at in the mirror, so they avoid the characterization, but if a politician or leader of any kind is to remain uncorrupted, then they must accept this reality. And to a large extent, I see that George has.
I see in George potential, but I like him not for what he does or what he may do, but because of who he is. I see in him a little boy who wanted to grow up and do something really good, and that same enthusiasm is present even in polished campaign speeches. There are of course those who want something from him that they may not get, and they will be upset with him. If I had a dime for every person who is upset with me on a daily basis, I’d have more money than Donald Trump, so you can’t get caught measuring the worth of somebody based on their popularity within second-hander social groups. That is not an accurate way to measure worth—only merit can determine the value of a leader. The masses will always want what falls off the wagon of true productivity and will like or hate a leader based on what they can get from them. So it does no good to pay them any mind, but to stay on target with the objectives often only the leader can see. If people lose faith in that direction, they can vote the politician out of office. If they sense that they’ll gain an advantage by keeping a politician in office, then they’ll continue to vote for them hoping for success through someone else’s leadership.
Regarding West Chester, there is little not to like. Sure, George has enemies, he gets sued constantly and there are hoards of people in his wake who would love to knock him off his pedestal in a fraction of a second because they fantasize that they might do better. But George knows how good he is and when the chips are on the table through all the smoke of wheeling and dealing, I know what’s in his heart. And what is there is gold, which is the reason why West Chester is currently flourishing. One person does make a difference, and West Chester is the direct recipient of the gold that flows out of George Lang in ways that some resent, others overlook, and many others want to consume for their own advantage. But without George, nobody would have it, and deep down inside, I know that he knows it. That’s why I trust him.
By no fault of his own, Chuck Cramer didn’t have a chance.