HR Administration

A Brief Political Perspective

By Rick Bell

Jan. 15, 2015

A good friend and former colleague sent me his recent column post.

He was taking on – OK, he was ripping – Texas Rep. Randy Weber’s idiotic comparison of President Obama to Hitler in the wake of the ambassador to France representing the United States rather than Obama during the anti-terrorism solidarity march in Paris. Here’s a portion of his column:

“This week, a Republican congressman from Texas compared President Obama to Hitler, for sending the U.S. Ambassador to France to a solidarity march in Paris instead of going there himself.

“Oh, really?


“For missing a march?

“I called Congressman Randy Weber, R-Galveston, to ask if he’d ever done one thing in his miserable life to help the Jewish people — or the people of France — or anyone but himself, but — surprise! — the congressman wouldn’t talk to me.”

I replied to my friend – one of my favorite writers, by the way – telling him his that column was spot-on (he also torched Muslim terrorists responsible for the 17 deaths in France as well as some 2,000 people killed in their own lands), and how much I liked it.

I also told him that I rarely read news stories anymore of politicians who label other politicians as evil, despotic rulers.

“You know, I’ve gotten to the point where I usually don’t even read this stuff anymore,” I responded. “It’s pointless. It’s just incendiary, worthless crap. And only the people who follow him care. Like the people who watch Fox News or MSNBC. I just don’t.

“I spent my share of time in the gutter with mudslinging politicians. I used to care. A lot. And now, I’ve just grown tired of it. I am … ambivalent. For whatever reason I did read that story when I saw it yesterday. And it made me more … ambivalent. Or apathetic. Or alcoholic.

“Your choice.”

Sure, there are days when I miss covering politics. There’s a thrill, an adrenaline rush unlike any other for a journalist when you get ahold of a great political story or are caught up in a political race that plays out at a fever pitch. There’s nothing like working an election night as a writer or editor.

Call it burnout. And I think in most people’s careers, whether it be in tech, finance or even sports, employees at some point grow weary of the nonsense we inevitably must put up with: from a client, a customer, a co-worker, or pigheaded politicians. Like Randy Weber’s ridiculous grandstanding.

I can honestly say that I am glad to be covering business – the HR arena in particular. We still have plenty of intriguing, vital stories to tell. And there’s the ugly side of people management too if we feel inclined to get down in the muck and mire (hello, rampant discrimination, pay inequality and bullies in the workplace).

But I also can watch political skirmishes from a distance now, shake my head and think, “How on God’s green earth did I put up with that kind of crap for so long?”

Rick Bell is Workforce’s editorial director. For comments or questions email

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