Initially politics was an activity. “Was” and not “were” because it was something in which every concerned citizen played an part, a collective effort. Oh, I forgot to tell you that this happened in Ancient Greece during what we now call the ‘first stage of democracy’.
Then, after a little less than two millennia, it became an occupation. People who had successful careers behind them were deemed trustworthy by the rest of the community and elected into government positions. The countries which used this ‘democratic mechanism’ thrived: the US, Britain, France, …to name just a few of them.
Lately politics have become a profession. People study it in Universities and engage in it without any prior experience outside the field. I believe you all know what ‘community organizer‘ means, right?
No, I’m not going to discuss this notion right now. The results can be both good or bad, exactly as it happens with almost all human professions: both Mengele and Albert Schweitzer were MDs…
For now I’ll refrain myself to observing that people have less and less tolerance for digression on the part of the politicians.
Silvio Berlusconi is serving time, disguised as ‘community service’, for tax evasion.
Need I go on?
In fact we have indeed progressed, as a species. The last time the French got really pissed off by their leaders quite a few people lost their heads…
The most disturbing thing in all this is that the politicians were supposed to be the ones capable/willing of doing ‘the good thing’ AND professional enough as not to exaggerate in anything they do….
Is there anything to be done about all this?
How about upping the ante?
I keep hearing ‘we need a strong leader’ or ‘we need more true leaders’. Are we really sure about that? Leaders would do almost anything to take us where THEY see fit.
How about politicians acting as ‘administrators’?
Right now politics is played, in a lot of places, as a beauty pageant. Would be rulers (leaders) come up-stage to make promises and we choose the ‘best-looking’ charmer. After a while he unfailingly fails so we ‘boo’ him out of office.
Switzerland, for instance, has another way of doing things. They talk a lot more among themselves, many ideas are put forward and then some of them get to become policies and other get dumped.
When have you last heard about a Swiss political leader or about a Swiss political scandal?