OPINION: Countdown to the 3rd: A hair-raising scandal

Nancy Pelosi goes to the salon, but you can’t; your politicians actively hate you; stop idolizing geriatric multi-millionaires

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COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Nancy Pelosi’s holier-than-thou act was undermined when she was caught at a San Francisco hair salon in the middle of a national lockdown.

JACOB HERSH, Evergreen opinion editor

“George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.”
-Kanye West

In the subconscious of every fairly self-aware voter, there’s the implicit knowledge that elected officials don’t care for them very much. Think about it – what does a multi-millionaire like Mitch McConnell or Barbara Boxer have in common with the average voter? Very little, it would seem.

In fact, I’ll go a step further. It’s entirely reasonable to assume that the people you’ve elected to represent you and your interests have an intense, visceral hatred for you – look at how they behave when they come into contact with the people who put them in office.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) yelled at a group of schoolchildren when they deigned to question her authority about climate policy and was caught insider trading based on advanced COVID-19 knowledge in early February. Ronald Reagan, the supposed bastion of conservative equality, mercilessly mocked his African-American constituents in private phone calls.

These are a few examples of the kind of behavior politicians in power exhibit when they think no one’s looking. If it’s true that power corrupts, it’s unnerving to think of what else they’re saying about their voters, and worse, what they’re doing to further make the situation worse.

Take last week’s example, if you would – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) got her hair done up real nice. Ordinarily, no one would care about this, but we happen to be in the middle of a global pandemic and San Francisco is essentially shut down. Pelosi didn’t seem to acknowledge this and was caught on camera, maskless and in the middle of a salon session.

Regardless of how much lip service Pelosi’s paid to COVID-19 mitigation, her actions say otherwise. It’s also fairly ironic, considering she had just criticized Trump’s in-person Republican National Convention acceptance speech on the White House lawn.

No one really saw “Elysium,” Neill Blomkamp’s 2013 sci-fi movie, and for good reason – it warrants about a C+ on the grading scale – but it accomplishes a remarkably cogent piece of imagery. In the film, Earth’s rich live on a ritzed-out, ultra-technological satellite in orbit, and leave the poor to fight it out for resources back on the planet.

It’s not particularly new or original, but the notion of the rich and powerful completely selling out the people that made them rich is always a powerful metaphor in media, because it’s never more blatantly obvious than real life.

Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell – these people don’t care about you or I. The American voter is a means to an end for them, not any kind of political body worth respecting. We see it every day, in their words, actions and votes. Pelosi simply happened to do something particularly “out there,” as it were, but it’s far more egregious than that in the hidden political world.

If you wanted to dig deeper into how the movers and shakers of American politics don’t care about their constituents at all, it wouldn’t be hard to find an example within five minutes of a cursory scroll through the news.

The Epstein scandal, in which hundreds of notable figures were implicated, was swept under the rug, showing that the rich and connected can get away with literal murder. The Iraq War, based on a tenuous connection to weapons of mass destruction, lined the pockets of Dick Cheney and other oil execs, at the expense of thousands of Iraqi and American lives. Even the 2000 election, based on an underhanded Supreme Court decision, swinging the vote to Bush by an incredibly small margin, calls into question the integrity of our elections.

The point being – if you’ve deluded yourself into thinking your politicians care about you outside of your capacity as a vote generator, you’re wrong. Vote for someone as a means to an end, sure, but don’t develop some parasocial relationship based on their status as a “political girlboss.” You’ll never work your way into Nancy Pelosi’s good graces – unless you can cut her hair and not snitch.