With mid-term elections kicking off this week, tales about the lengths politicians are willing to go to secure a seat are cropping up everywhere.
This story, of a New York candidate, steals the show:
Set aside any distaste and concern about morality and respectability and pay attention to the infinitely-more fascinating sub-plot:
“How far are you willing to go to get what you want?”
This is a real-life case study of an underdog willing to do anything to win.
Itkis is employing exactly the kind of asymmetrical warfare I’d advise any long-shot to adopt. I don’t know anything about him, but it appears he has very slim odds of winning his district. If he plays by conventional vote-getting strategy, he preserves his reputation, but likely forfeits any real chance of winning.
If becoming a congressman is truly important to him, he should do almost anything to generate support. This is the kind of throw-caution-to-the-wind spectacle that could do just that.
At the very least, this guy is now known by hundreds of thousands of people who would have never heard his name otherwise. Even if he doesn’t win the seat, maybe he parlays the notoriety into something worthwhile.
Even bad publicity can be useful.
No matter what you think of his conduct, you have to respect his dedication to the mission. A willingness to endure ridicule; public shaming and potential loss of future work: How often do we actually see a contestant—in any arena—committed to baring all (pun intended) to beat the odds?
So many of us talk a good game, but opt not to use every means at our disposal to get the job done. Pride, fear, insecurity—these little devils can upset the apple cart and prevent you from getting into gear.
Unabashed boldness would serve anyone well, especially in matters much more important than any election. We complain about what’s wrong with the world around us, yet we have no problem pawning off the responsibility for doing the dirty work to someone else.
Whether Itkis’ gambit proves successful or determining whether this should be a referendum on his character is not particularly important; understanding that true commitment to winning may require stepping far outside of convention is the lesson here.
I want to hear from you:
What do you think of Mr. Itkis? Did he go too far?
Do you have any examples of how you went to great lengths to achieve a goal?