On Politicians

“She does seem to have real integrity,” I remarked. “Not like those corrupt ward bosses we usually elect.”

“I’m not quite as ready as you are to condemn the corrupt ones,” said Mr. Magundi. “Even the most well-meaning politician, if she actually intends to win, must flatter the rich to finance her campaign. Indeed, the truly well-meaning politician may be the more dangerous kind. A corrupt politician can offer his patron a few contracts or a few tax writeoffs, and the debt is repaid. But the politician of real integrity has only flattery to offer. She must tell her patron that he is rich because he is wise and virtuous, and that his ideas alone will save the commonwealth. And she must convince herself as well as she convinces him, or she loses her integrity. Then, if she is elected, she will naturally wish that the government should be run according to the wisdom of its most virtuous citizens. And so the patron of the corrupt politician gets a little money from the taxpayers out of the deal, but the patron of the honest politician gets unlimited influence.”

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One thought on “On Politicians

  1. ” She must tell her patron that he is rich because he is wise and virtuous ”
    Why exactly ? She could let the record of the business activities of her ” patron ” speak for itself. Alas, there might be a considerable difference between a well-meaning politician and one of real integrity as politicians of real ie observable integrity seem to have a short half-life !

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