Tuesday, August 4, 2009

When a politician becomes a statesman

Chris and I were listening to an interview with Gavin Newsom on NPR. That interview is unimportant to this post. What is important is the discussion that followed.
What we both would like to see is a politician who wanted to win, but not at all costs. Where an election wasn't life or death. I bet that politician, if he or she did the job right, would get reelected.
Following opinion polls isn't a bad thing for a politician since they are elected to represent the interests of their constituents. But a politician who can balance following what their constituents want with what their conscience says is in the best interest of that constituency is probably a rare thing at the higher levels of government.
There are few statesmen left these days, and most of those are retired from politics. Once the need to win elections is gone, it seems our leaders can actually find the greatness within. And that's why I'd like to find more politicians who weren't driven by the need to win and could embrace that inner statesman while in a position to really enact change.
Will politics change? We'll see. It doesn't appear so. Some of that is the nature of the beast and the unwieldy system that has developed over the last 200+ years. Some is pragmatism at its worst. But if I ever run for office, you can be sure I will look at both sides of an issue and try to balance what is right and what is necessary, just as I hope my elected representatives do.

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