Public service vs. politician

by Captain Bradley

A lot has happened over the last few days, months, and years that has really shaken my faith in any level of governing bodies and the ilk that creates them. From our hometowns to state houses to Washington D.C., we all have stories of shaken trust to utter disbelief in our career politicians’ behavior.

Can career politicians ever be consistent, reliable, and productive public servants? I really don’t think so. True public servants are temporary. They have enough time to learn, lead, and serve…but too little time to entrench, align, and be bought by those who guarantee perpetual election to higher and higher office. When getting elected is your business career and “promotions” are the next elected office, there grows one helluva sense of entitlement. Think about it. Nixon. Clinton. DeLay. Wiener. Too numerous GOP and Dem perverts to name. As for those in Nashville and here in Knoxville, especially those recently in the news, well…you’re making my big point.

Disdain for a sense of entitlement typically surges straight for the nation’s poor, those on the public tax dole, or anyone getting anything that he or she did not “earn”. I think it’s time to do the same with those who seem to feel entitled to all of the taxpayer cash, taxpayer funded trips, and taxpayer votes imaginable.

Absolute power does corrupt absolutely…and we need to recognize that. Electing anyone, let alone re-electing them, based on blather, catch-phrases, and talking points is just stupid. We elected a country Mayor not too long ago, which was better than the Don Corleone of local politics. No real vision nor any clear mission makes him quite the place-holder for anyone short of Mafia credentials, but with some degree of leadership someday. We elected another Mayor recently too, but she cannot answer a simple question about the most critical location of the first family destination of it’s kind for downtown and just scurries away from this taxpayer and fellow Leadership Knoxville alumni. Perpetually running for office, for the next appointment, for the next “promotion”…these really do change people. It’s like a disease that erodes independent, creative, and greater-good thinking. The kind of thinking most people use everyday. Hence, the disproportionate abuse of power, money, and influence that hits the fan about everyday on cable news and in those things we used to call newspapers.

Life is complicated. Politics is ruthless and even more complicated. People who make politics their life-long career have an incurable disease, in my opinion. No cure. Just a long life of mediocrity, fighting for pet projects, and fighting even harder for donors and just enough votes. It’s really sad.

Think about our world’s greatest leaders. Most were educated or raised to do great things and really lead. Most were soldiers of some rank who learned about real priorities. Some were in other professions that taught clear lessons of right vs. wrong. Only a few were in the lifelong pursuit of elected upgrades. Perpetual politicians differ from everyday folks and true public servants by over thinking the electorate impact of every decision, sans the private, carnal moments that avoid the brain altogether.

We just need effective, temporary leaders to make us proud and move on. Leaders who serve well, protect, and build upon a solid foundation for the next servant-leader in 4-8 years. Oh, and real check-and-balances to avoid secret grand juries and the indictments they almost guarantee.

Servant leaders should be just that. No lifelong careers. Just a limited time that voters and taxpayer can judge results and outcomes per elected leader. Is that too much to ask?