I posted this in response to a July 4th blog piece by journalist, Lauren Ashburn, on the Huffington Post. Lauren was wishing for grown-up politicians as an Independence Day birthday present.
Here's what I had to say to that:
At this point in our collective history, Lauren, "grown-up politician" has become an oxymoron. There are two ways that power can be used: power over or power for. A politician in our era seeks to exert power over others for personal gain; a true leader wields power for the benefit of the many. A politician manipulates by deception; a leader demonstrates by example. A modern politician's moral compass is rooted in his or her narcissism; a leader's guiding principle is found in the Declaration of Independence, which we celebrated yesterday, in that now quaint notion that leaders are bestowed their "just powers from the consent of the governed."
Grown-up politicians? A nice thought, but...