“A politician thinks of the next election – a statesman of the next generation.” – James Freeman Clarke
Dr. Susan Berry’s piece on Gov. Scott Walker is a must read. It is a narrative of a governor running against the grain of his election promises.
Time and time again, we put our trust in candidates whom we hope are statesmen. We pray that they will follow in the footsteps of George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Abraham Lincoln. That’s not to say that any one of those historical figures was perfect. But what separates them from today’s vapid politician is the will to fight. They relished the fight for what is right much more than winning an election.
Today, we are afflicted with politicians pining for their next election or their next appointment. To them, issues exist as a means of getting elected. A mere checklist. Do a little something on this issue, say a little something on that issue, and soon you have enough votes to win the election.
It can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Most candidates, particularly those running for president, garnered a reputation for having done something, for having driven an issue or cause. But many reveal their true character after they reach celebrity status. They worry about that status and avoid the good fight. They morph from statesman to politician.
Or, perhaps, they simply reveal their true character.