Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Reward politicians for good behaviour but don't trust them.

Barton Swain was speechwriter to disgraced governor, Mark Sanford, and has written a sobering but delightful account of it.  The take-away:
Author of "The Speechwriter"
"Why do we trust men who have sought and attained high office by innumerable acts of vanity and self will? .. Why do we trust the men who make careers of persuading us of their goodness and greatness, and who compete for our votes?  .. They serve because they glory in receiving glory... We should reward such people with the fame they so desire - if and when they perform real public services. Much of the hand-wringing commentary about the loss of trust in government resulting from Vietnam and Watergate is simply..a failure to appreciate the simple truth that politicians should never have been trusted in the first place.  They may be lauded when they're right and venerated when they're dead, but they should never be trusted.
Self-regard isn't a foible to which some politicians are vulnerable.  It is the peculiar and deadly flaw of modern democratic politics. .. Successful politicians are people who know how to make (voters) think well of them without our realizing that's what they're doing. .. I don't say this to demean politicians.  It takes an able and industrious person to do what they do, and many of them are capable of courage and honorable conduct.  But the same can be said of traveling salesmen;  it does not follow that we should trust them."   

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