This is not a post about specific politicians or asking you to look into the lives, backgrounds, or policies of your own politicians. This is a post about politicians in general (in the U.S. at least, but many other countries as well). I think it was triggered by this video of astrophysicist Dr. Neil Degrasse and the comments a few people left on that post.
When I think of a potential career as a politician and what I think would drive that, I think the motivating force and career focus should be helping the world, and your particular jurisdiction, in specific.
I imagine this is what many people think this career is (or should be) about.
I do think there are some politicians who got into the career for this purpose. I know of some members of Congress I would put into that category — Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative Ed Markey, and Senator John Kerry, for example.
However, it hit me recently that some (or maybe even most) in the profession never really got motivated by that at all. Instead, they probably got motivated by the perks the position offered, the money, the “honor” and prestige.
Why is this so critical?
Well, with so much money pouring into Congress and other political bodies from corporations, anyone in the second group is quite clearly just going to respond to the highest bidder.
Even those in group one with initial good intentions could be mesmerized in such environment and could lose sense of reality.
Also, as I think is all too clear, politicians don’t have to respond to the desires or needs of the general public on most topics to stay in office. They have to respond to those who fund their TV commercials and radio ads. Of course, this is no problem for the people in group two.
What is the point of all this?
The point is: we need people with the highest scruples, highest ideals, and most concern for humanity or the world as a whole to enter into politics. The U.S. public is not going to keep politicians in check (you’ve probably noticed that by now) – we aren’t informed or engaged enough.
So, our best option might just be trying to get as deep into the field as we can. Trying to be the politicians of our ideals.