"It's easier to throw rocks at a house than build one"
Congressman Matthew Santos
I just heard this quote just now on an episode of the West Wing and it sums up to me the difference between commentating on politics and getting your hands dirty and taking part. Richard Nixon wrote a superb book called IN THE ARENA in which he wrote about what it takes for someone to make a difference in politics. Politics is hard. Devising political strategies is difficult. Building a political coalition is a nightmare. Writing, or commentating about anything is a cakewalk by comparison.
There is only one way of effecting change, and that is to be IN THE ARENA. So if you're an aspirant political candidate who gets frustrated at not getting selected, or thinks about throwing in the towel, just remember why you're in it in the first place. You're IN THE ARENA because you want to change things, get things done, make life better - for others, not yourself. You don't just talk about what SHOULD be done and complain about what's NOT being done. You're a CAN DO person. You ACHIEVE. The word CAN'T isn't one you like using. As Matthew Santos might put it, you prefer BUILDING a house, to throwing rocks at it.
If you read only one book this year, read IN THE ARENA. Click HERE to buy a secondhand copy through Abebooks.