What’s happened to the idea of the public servant politician?

In Politics and issues on August 21, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I’m always amazed at how far we’ve gotten away from the notion that our elected officials are servants of the people who elected them. I’ve often thought that the race for the most corrupt politicians in a state was a toss-up between Massachusetts and Illinois. After all, in Massachusetts the last three speakers of the house have left in disgrace (Bulger, Finneran, and Dimasi). We’ve had pols caught with in the act of taking bribes, some who have come out and said that they vote the way they do because their constituents are not smart enough to know what’s right.

Illinois, of course, has had a long history from Mayor Daley in the ’60s who had almost as many dead people vote for him as living to the recent fiasco with Gov. Rod Blagojevich. I guess I was living in a fantasy world because it’s become clear to me that these two states don’t have a lock on the political morons—enter New Jersey.

I just spent ten days on the Jersey shore getting Mom set up with health care at home as she came home from recovering from a broken hip (at 95 years old!). Looking at the newspaper there—the Asbury Park Press which is as good as any up here and much more affordable—it struck me that they’re just as bad in NJ as in MA or IL. The ads for the governor’s race is as negative as I’ve ever seen. More than one local mayor or councilman are up for recall votes.

Maybe I’ve been naive, but it seems to me that we should expect more from our leaders. I guess that most people are like I have always been—apathetic. I can’t say that I’ve gotten religion about politics, but I have started sending messages to my representatives. The replies are often quite funny. Like most politicians they can’t answer a question directly. But at least I’m making my voice heard. I’d like to get more examples of really bad politicians, just to verify that I’m not biased. What I’d really like is to start a movement to “Vote them all out!” Send a message to the professional politicians that we’re not happy. Just vote all the incumbents out of office. Replace them with someone from the same party if that’s what you want, but just vote all of these leeches on the public out of office. Their replacements will be more aware of paying attention to the people they serve!

OK, I’ve ranted enough for today. I’ve got more interesting things to write about. My next post will be more upbeat.


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