The Character of the Politician

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk




A politician is someone who knows how to collect for himself the rewards earned by others. The best example of this process is tax collection. Politicians feed on the public trough and force working people, by means of the brutal tax collectors, to give our earnings to them.

We call political office holders incumbents. That word is derived from the Latin incumbere, meaning to lean on something. In the ancient world politicians were those who were leaning on one arm while lying on a chaise and eating with the other hand. This is still the case. Our politicians lean on us who work for a living while they eat, drink, travel, party, parade, and rant on and on.  Politicians also claim that they "serve" in their various offices and emoluments.  This is true.  They serve themselves.

Politicians of all parties are evidently convinced that the whole world revolves only around them. They do not want to meet the voters, i.e. the ordinary taxpayers, for fear that they may be asked what they do all day and what happed to our money. They call themselves “the honorable” this and that. Now, I don’t doubt that politicians are generally honorable. So is the fellow who works in the garage, the bus driver and the elementary school teacher. All work is honorable. Therefore we should at least call the garbage collector the “honorable” garbage man. His job is of great consequence since we would all die of the cholera if garbage were not collected. Is there any occupation more important?

There is one class of politicians who even call themselves “Your honor” and demand that other American citizens stand up when they walk into a room. These are our judges. Is this country a democracy or a monarchy? In the old monarchies of Europe, subjects (not citizens) had to stand up whenever a noble person entered a room. In the Europe of earlier centuries children arose when their parents entered. But why should one American stand because another American enters a room? Who won the War for Independence? Evidently, our judges believe the British did.

Our politicians are aided by the groveling media in believing that they and only they exist in this world. Our politicians have no knowledge of the American people. They don’t know what a day’s work is. They don’t know what it means to live on a minimum wage. They don’t know what a dozen eggs cost or how much the rent is. They know nothing about us except that they want our vote. So they advertise themselves every two or four or six years, depending on the length of their “incumbency”, only to once more draw a curtain around themselves as soon as they are reelected.

Only a few days ago, Condoleeza Rice was interviewed by a Senate committee as she sought and received confirmation for the job of Secretary of State. During these confirmation hearings she showed utter contempt for our young soldiers dying in Iraq. The maiming and killing of young boys and girls in Iraq evidently means nothing to her as long as she can fulfill her ambitions. In this she doesn’t differ very much from Bill Clinton, who ordered the bombing of Belgrade, Yugoslavia on behalf of the Albanian Muslim Nazis in 1999. The death of others is of no concern to politicians of either party.

Not all politicians are  public officials. There are many politicians in private life who know how to collect the rewards due to others for themselves. We see this every day in the economic sphere, but also in the academy and even among Nobel Prize winners such as Yasser Arafat.

Politicians love to aggrandize themselves. Bill Clinton spent $42 million on his second inauguration and George W. Bush spent $40 million more. These expensive theatrics are obscene and have no place in our democracy. Read the life of George Washington. He was sworn in for a second time as President of the United States on March 4, 1793. His speech was only 134 words and he then walked home alone. No parade. No speeches. No dances. No gross exhibition of ego.

What do we learn from this? That that arch politician Thomas Jefferson was quite right when he said: “That government is best which governs least.”

If all this makes sense to you, send this essay to the politicians you know and tell them that this must be a great country to have survived so many incumberes so long.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Man's Ascent to Reason (2003) & the forthcoming Football & American Identity.

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