Why most of us can never understand politicians
By and large, politicians are a different breed of person from the average voter. This is especially true for those who are dishonest. The most avaricious of politicians are worlds apart from the rest of us. Their avarice is not merely for personal wealth, but for power. They literally lust for it, and not just a little of it. Many of them are control freaks. The worst of them are sociopaths, which may seem like an extreme accusation, but their sociopathy is not that of the serial killer; it is more like that of the lion on the hunt, having no sympathy for the lamb.
Oddly enough, the case can be made that a certain degree of sociopathy is a useful trait in leaders, even necessary. Consider the military general officer, who must order his soldiers to attack an enemy. As he does so, he is aware that he is sending good men to their deaths. Yet it must be done. Ask yourself, how easily could you do it? How much effort would it take for you to visit the troops (as General Eisenhower did on the eve of D-Day), look them in the eye, speak with them, ask about their families, knowing all the while that, in a few hours, many of them will have died, following your orders?
Our natural abhorrence of doing so is one that must, at least temporarily, be overcome when the occasion requires it.
For some, however, sociopathy is anything but temporary. Politically, its most horrific manifestations are evident in the Josef Stalins and Adolf Hitlers of history — but in slightly less reprehensible forms, they are apparent in many leaders of today. Why is this so?
Witness Hillary Clinton, who brushed off the avoidable deaths of American heroes with such words as "What difference does it make?" Consider Andrew Cuomo, whose policies killed many hundreds of nursing home residents.
On a lower level, consider the impudence of governors such as Whitmer, Newsom, and others, who violated their own orders for masking and distancing, only to be caught (as was Speaker Pelosi) on camera, and then made lame apologies for expediency.
Those politicians who possess the will to power are not like the rest of us. They use other people in the pursuit of that power and cold-heartedly discard them the moment they no longer have utility.
President Trump found the right balance. He did not have the political predisposition that many professional politicians have. He would have been content to remain in his life as a private citizen, but duty called, and he answered, not for personal profit, but at great and painful cost to himself and his loved ones.
There are others who we hope, and expect, will emulate him, such as governors Abbott and DeSantis.
Why would they? Why would any honorable person undertake the perilous journey, neck-deep through a swamp inhabited by sociopathic politicians?
I can never understand, but I am glad we have such people.
Image: Matt Reinbold.
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