Thursday, January 21

Why Politicians Matter So Much...And So Little

Reading that John Edwards finally confessed to fathering a child with a woman he was having an affair with while his wife continues to battle terminal cancer reminds me that while not many people love politics, they do seek politicians that they can believe in. John Edwards was the fair-haired candidate when he ran as John Kerry's VP choice and was a front-runner until Obama ran him over him in Iowa.

It was difficult, as a supporter of Edwards, to comprehend the depths he would sink in chasing his political ambitions. To that end, not only did he betray his wife, Elizabeth, but he betrayed the trust of thousands of people who worked hard on his behalf. Couple this experience with many other politicians from all parties who have operated in a similar matter and you begin to understand the problem of politics--the lack of trust that politicians create with their constituents.

As we are in a time when good decisions are important and we need our best and brightest to make them, it is very important that these men and women step up and do the work. At the same time, it is important that they act like adults and not like sweaty teenagers. If we hope to have better government, we need to have better politicians.

When voters become jaded to the idea that really hard-working public officials are out there, they stay home and leave the political arena to the partisans who are not invested in solving the problems that affect the rest of us, so much as working their agendas. We need and deserve better than this.

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