Dave Killion — October 29, 2010

Over at BC Iconoclast, Bernard von Schulmann takes exception to the reflexive hatred many people feel for politicians. Although the post is worth reading in its entirety, I think he credits politicians with more nobility than they deserve.  From the post:

“I start from the assumption that people get into politics because they want to make their community, province, country and world a better place.”

In my experience, certain jobs attract the type of person who is entirely inappropriate for that profession.  Psychiatry draws many people who are emotionally troubled, as does the priesthood, and law enforcement certainly has its share of men and women who are clearly driven by a desire to exert authority over others.  Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that several politicians are drawn to the field precisely because of an unhealthy desire for wealth, power, and celebrity?  Especially those who haven’t the talent to attain those goals in the private sector?

As for the remainder, it may well be that they are driven by the saintly desires attributed to them by Schulmann.  These are still people who seek the power to use government-sponsored threats of violence to mold society into their view of what constitutes ‘a better place’.  Worse yet, no matter their intentions, the number one goal must always be the acquisition, maintenance, and expansion of power.  If that means compromise, so be it.

I’m not going to hate someone just because they are vain, insecure, greedy, and arrogant.  For all I know, that could be a description of Steve Jobs, and he has done me no end of good.  But when someone enters the political arena to indulge those qualities through state coercion, he can expect to reap what he sows.

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