Thursday, September 6, 2012

On the Proper Care and Treatment of Politicians

No person of sufficient intellect, morality, wisdom and humility to be suitable to represent the people, and possessed of a commitment to the founders' vision of the proper role of government, and adequately apprised regarding the nature and demands of modern politics, should ever want to be a politician.  Accordingly, any time someone announces an intention to run for office it is incumbent on the voters to adopt as their natural inclination a jaundiced view toward their candidacy.

However, it is the sad reality of the matter that government requires that its positions be filled by somebody and preferably humans.  Elections will be held.  Thus, the electorate should apprise itself of the character of candidates, and support those candidates who represent the least worst of the available options.

Following election, those serving in office should be viewed with appropriate suspicion, their activities monitored, their opportunities for self-dealing examined closely, and their motivations for holding the position scrutinized intensely.  It is our sad reality that all officeholders are susceptible to the siren songs of power, wealth and prominence and that the allure of these sirens increases with time in office.  Their forms and shapes are many.  They entice and beguile relentlessy.

Recognizing the power of the sirens, the electorate should adopt as a standard presumption an inclination toward the defeat of incumbents.  This presumption should increase along with the politician's tenure.  And, after any lengthy time in office, all politicians benefit from a return to reality and an opportunity to live and work amongst the victims of their policies.  The voters should be generous in providing such benefits.

Lastly, miscreant officeholders should be dealt with harshly and publicly.  Removal from office should be swift and certain.

I am under no pretension that the adoption of such measures by the public will ensure good government or increase the welfare of society.  They should, however, help to reduce the damage.

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