| Home >> Politics

Aren't All Politicians Rotten?

Lucien Pissarro. The Deaf Woman's House.
(Lucien Pissarro. The Deaf Woman's House. Source)

1) Introduction

"The bloody politicians are all rotten and brainless!"

Who hasn't heard such comments? But when a person accuses all politicians of being stupid and rotten, is this person behaving in a rational and moral way?

An upright person is supposed to respect Rule #1 of the Judicial System: "Let the other version of the story also be heard". So let's try for a brief moment to put ourselves in the shoes of politicians, to see things from their point of view.

2) What are the inherent difficulties of the politician's job?

Here are some of the difficulties facing politicians:

2.1) Higher visibility of blunders. Let's not forget that hordes of journalists follow the politicians around all day. When an ordinary citizen makes a big mistake and, for example, cheats on his wife, he betrays a loved one in a disgusting way. Except he won't be bothered by television cameras and microphones.

 2.2) Difficulty of the job at hand. We mustn't compare apples and oranges, and the politician's job with other trades. We often hear: "Well, my job is well done, so why can't politicians do their job properly?", but we forget that the politician probably has the most difficult job of all! Some people have a tendency to forget that politicians are often saddled with problems that are practically impossible to solve, that they have to deal with people who each "pull the blanket" toward themselves, and that on top of these issues they have to passively accept the nasty comments, insults and contempt of part of the population.

2.3) Level of temptations. It's true that some politicians commit objectionable and even criminal acts, but let's not forget that these people must deal with a far higher level of temptation than the average citizen. The opportunities for blunders are more frequent, and harder to avoid. It's a good idea not to rashly compare one's own virtues with the vices of some politicians, since we don't know how we'd react in the same circumstances.

2.4) Intellectual and moral environment of the nation. Politicians are not extra-terrestrials. They were born, raised, and educated among us. If the general intellectual and moral environment is bad, chances are that politicians drawn from that pool of individuals will be less than perfect. To convince yourself of this, perform simple experiments. Ask questions to the people around you: "Can you define Good and Evil? What is Morality or Ethics? If I wanted to become a good boy or a good girl, what good morality book should I read? Why do we have rights? Etc." Most people won't be able to give clear answers. Not only that, but most people in the Province of Quebec will show by their answers that they are probably infected with one of the worst moral diseases imaginable: Ethical Relativism.

2.5) Human nature. Politicians are often accused of being "rotten to the core", but can a single one of us brag that we've never sinned? Can one of us sincerely claim that: "I've perfectly respected all laws since I was a child"? The best way to learn humility is to study our own shortcomings.

3) Conclusion

If we were politicians, how would we react to the negative comments and the badmouthing concerning us? How would we feel when looking at all these people who complain so much about politicians, and yet contribute so little to the democratic life of their nation? Would we feel like working even harder for the Common Good, or would we be tempted on the contrary to abandon politics? And if we chase away all the honest and hard-working politicians, won't they be replaced by power-hungry weasels?

Let's respect the people who dedicate themselves to public life, let's help them as much as we can, and if we are Christians, let's pray for them [1Tm 2:1-2]. Sometimes, we'll have to kick out inept or dishonest elected officials, but most of the time our duty will be to help our politicians.

| Home >> Politics