If my pastor got up some Sunday and said,
"I am not a pastor. I'm just a regular person," I'd respond like this: "Well, we
hired you to be a pastor, and if you have a problem with it you should find
another line of work."
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said
something similar after finding out she came in dead last in
Iowa yesterday: "I am a very real person, I am not a politician. Nor do I
ever hope or aspire to be a politician."
But Bachmann is a politician, quite apart
from whether she's suited for the office of congressperson, much less the
presidency. She's served three terms in Congress, and until she dropped
out of the race today she aspired to be the president of the United States.
Why denigrate the very role you play? This only adds to people's cynicism about
the political process and about politicians themselves.
And how can Bachmann, who holds the
Constitution in high regard, tear down the very offices prescribed by it?
In a recent
op-ed in the Seattle Times, William
Ruckelshaus, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has
some wise words for politicians about what it will take to restore the peoples'
trust in government:
why we should vote for you,
not what's wrong with your opponent. Show us you understand our nation's
problems and tell us what you are going to do about them. Promise you will work
with whomever your colleagues turn out to be . . . . Tell us you believe
compromise is not a bad word . . . . Get things done.
And here is
Stop tearing down the institution (Congress) to which you want us to
elect you. We don't want to hear our congressman say, 'You think Congress is
bad; you don't know the half of it ...' Stop boosting yourself by mocking the
institution of which you want to be a part.
As Ruckelshaus acknowledges,
such a shift in political rhetoric wouldn't resolve all our national problems.
But it's a good place to begin. We need politicians who believe it is a high
calling to serve the people--and who are transparent about their vision and
plans for the future of our nation.