07.24.10 Type-Be Politicians

“There are politicians who want do do something and there are those who want to be something.” So says Obama advisor David Axelrod, speaking of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich as falling clearly in the second camp.

It is sad and depressing to realize how many politicians want to be rather than do.  Many of them actually do start out as doers, but end up as be-ers.  Think of all those former freedom fighters in Africa who end up fighting only to maintain their own wealth and power (cf Robert Mugabe).

Every level in politics has its own share of “Type-Be” politicians.  Think of the person who moves into your district one month and registers her candidacy the next.  Carpetbaggers like this don’t know a thing about the policy and politics of their new community.  They only know they want to be elected.  Think of the ones who leave their seats early because they see a good chance to jump up a tier.  Service to community takes second place to being in higher office.

Some of these folks vote the way I’d like them to, so I probably even vote for them myself.  But I’ll never trust them: I know — when push comes to shove — their interests will trump the common good.

When I ponder which politicians have the greatest integrity, I always end up with the Type-Doers: the folks who go to work every day to accomplish something.  I only wish there were more of them.

©2010 Keith Berner

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