In the immortal words of G. K. Chesterton: “For the devil is a gentleman and never keeps his word.” – a reminder to all that politics today is a very nasty world. Harry Truman described it thusly: “My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth there’s hardly any difference.” Both quotes of which, describe our current leadership well.
Take me back to the wonderful myths, yes, but also aspired visions of Gen. George Washington saying, “I cannot tell a lie”; of “Honest” Abe Lincoln walking a mile to return a penny to a customer; or JFK declaring, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” These were the stories of virtues, like Aesop’s fables. Examples of character, integrity, and what it takes to make a good society; good men/women with character.
They also established standards of conduct which leaders should possess – in other words, how can a nation be virtuous if their leaders are corrupt – standards other than political correctness? Great leaders tend to be role models, not just vote chasers by any means possible. Why does this current bunch preach about “inequality”, while living the life of evil 1%-ers themselves, while talking about inequality and their exemption from their speeches? Why does the rule of law – which we are told to obey – not also apply to them? Why do they consistently fumble their agenda, and We The People get to fund the mistakes while they retire to dachas on Martha’s Vineyard?
Why must we go to jail for lying under oath, when they take an oath upholding the Constitution and the laws of the land, then plead the Fifth and ignore those laws whenever they want? Where’s the 4th estate – (currently labeled the “lamestream media”) – whose role is to speak truth to power, yet instead ignores or actually aids-and-abets these false gods? It’s time perhaps, for America to start reading Aesop again – we would be a much better place and live a much better life above the pursuit of Tolkien’s Gollum and his “Precious Ring.” As someone famously once said – “Ted Kennedy is dead and I STILL don’t trust him!”
“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.” ~ Ronald Wilson Reagan
R. B. Parrish from today’s “American Thinker”…
When we read about the accumulated wealth of our leaders most of us simply shrug. Accumulated wealth after a lifetime spent in public service is now taken as a given. I think of the Hasterts, the Pelosis ($34 million or so), Harry Reid ($10 million), Ted Stevens, and of course we can’t forget the Clintons. Prosecution of our ruling class for violations of ordinary laws (which the rest of us must live by) is almost nonexistent. We tend to accept that there are two classes in America: our nobility, who are not to be judged by ordinary standards, and then everyone else. We have become, in that regard, divided like Bourbon France.
But once in a while I remember a different America, and a different set of rules.
Sam Rayburn was in Congress for almost 49 years, 17 of them as speaker — speaker during the years of FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower. Speaker during World War II. Nowadays people hear that and think: World War II — imagine the number of government contracts that were let! What incredible opportunities there must have been for a little acceptable graft! No one would be surprised — or much upset — if Rayburn had finished out his life with a nice bundle stashed away somewhere.
Lyndon Johnson, a rough contemporary, is estimated to have had as much as $100 million at the time of his death.
It comes as a major shock, then, to learn that Speaker Rayburn had only $26,000 in cash in various accounts when he died. In his civilian life he was a Texas rancher. His various acreages put together were valued at around $300,000. He also owned some old pickup trucks (one valued at $100) and other antiquated (not new) farm equipment.
Rayburn was a man at whose house Diogenes might have put down his lantern and settled in to stay. His honesty was a byword. When he went on congressional junkets, he paid his own travel expenses. He refused payment for work from companies when they had an issue before the legislature.
…I said to him that I was a member of the Legislature . . . and that my experience had taught me that men who represent the people should be as far removed as possible from concerns whose interests he was liable to be called on to legislate concerning, and that on that ground I would not accept a dollar of the railroad’s money, though I was legally entitled to it. I never did take a dollar of it. I have been guided by the principle in all my dealings. (H.G. Dulaney & Edward Hake Phillips, Speak, Mr. Speaker 20 (1978)
When a businessman privately delivered a valuable horse to his property, he returned the horse.
We would search hard to find that kind of concept of public service today.
And even worse, we no longer expect to find it. We are content if our heroes and standard bearers engage in only a moderate amount of corruption — if they pile up only a few trifling millions. That goes with the territory, with being part of the ruling elite.
We accept that’s the best we can hope for.
If a man puts in the years of service that Sam Rayburn did, and emerges with less than half a million, we think him a fool, not a hero.
And that’s a pity.
It’s a pity alright … Considering that $175,000 per year, plus all the perks that would be unavailable/unaffordable to the rest of We The People goes into the pockets of these 535 “public servants”, and they STILL don’t deem it enough to live on – We The People would be well advised to change the US Congress to the Texas Plan of meeting every other odd year, and convening together for a maximum of 140 days. State legislators in Texas make $600 per month, or $7,200 per year, plus a per diem of $150 for every day the Legislature is in session (also including any special sessions). That adds up to $28,200 a year for a regular session (140 days), with the total pay for a two-year term being $35,400.