What is the TRUE goal of most politic...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2001
What is the TRUE goal of most politic...
9
Wed, 09-22-2010 - 5:13pm


What is the TRUE goal of most politicians?





  • Do what is best for their country

  • Do what is best for their party

  • Do what is best for their constituency

  • Promote a philosophical/political agenda

  • Amass personal power and wealth

  • Get re-elected



You will be able to change your vote.



iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2007
Fri, 10-01-2010 - 5:03pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2001
Fri, 10-01-2010 - 3:12pm

Isn't it odd and sad that no one thought the true goal was to do what was best for the country or their constituency?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2007
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 9:11am

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2004
Sun, 09-26-2010 - 12:13pm

Stereotypes and generalizations will never answer a question correctly. One person's "entrenched government bureaucracy" is another person's office filled with people who have the maximum amount of experience and expertise in an issue. I really wouldn't want a bunch of new-comers managing a highly technical scientific program at NASA or determining the best way to man, equip, and train a military unit. You have long-term experts working issues they understand because they are the ones who know how to do the job. In my experience, some agencies are ineffiecent because they have antiquated work rules, or poorly equipped politically-appointed managers, and the people who actually know how to do the job don't have the authority to change the work rules or manage the day-to-day operations. (The most innefficient person in my agency was the deputy director, the cheers were audible throughout the building when she left).



Our country isn't "run" by any single entity. We have federalism, so some parts of public services and policy are run by states and local governments (and nothing was more inefficient and entrenched than the local government in Bell California), some programs are run by private non-profit organizations; some parts of our civic life are contracted out to private entities. We have a legislative branch that makes laws, an executive branch that issues regulations and runs programs, and an elite corporate/legal class that has a significant amount of control by providing both financing and expertise to the nonprofits and government organzizations.



Any conspiracy theory about unions or coroporations or smoke-filled rooms will be broken open by the reality of shared, overlapping, and competing interests.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2004
Sun, 09-26-2010 - 11:29am

Thank you for your response!



So who do you believe actually runs the country, entrenched government bureaucracies?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2004
Sun, 09-26-2010 - 10:16am

Sorry for the delayed response. I was out of town for a couple of days.



Let me repeat, you don't accumulate wealth and power by being a member of Congress. While we can all identify a few Members who have become highly-paid lobbyist, and a very few who have gone on to higher office, that really is not the norm. There are 435 Members of Congress, if 20-30 of those eventually become highly paid lobbyists, that would be a lot. And the last time a Member of the House became President, it was Gerald Ford, who was appointed to VP. Before Obama, the last Senator to become President was Kennedy, in 1960. Most Presidents were Governors (its that executive experience thing), so, anyone who ran for Congress expecting that the job would earn them wealth and power would be seriously delusional. I don't think that's on their minds at all. Some may believe that they will have power of policy and the direction of the country, but, again, unless they chair a powerful committee (like Ted Stevens or Robert Byrd did with Appropriations), they are just going to be one of 100 or one of 435 votes. Not much power there.



So, I'll say pretty unequivically, people do not run for Congress expecting to achieve wealth and power. Many of them actually have more wealth and power in their previous jobs (lots of them are big-time lawyers) then they have in Congress.



Most people run for Congress believing they can really make a difference on a particular policy area that is important to them (the environment, the economy, ending a war, etc) and most of these policy areas are, conveniently, important to their consituents. If they didn't reallyc are about the issues that their constituents cared about, they wouldn't win elections. I'd say, in most cases, the caring about the issue came first, but, in some cases, its a learned skill (like I said before, Members tend to become very strong supporters of the major industry in their district, the longer they stay in office). Let me give you another example. Ellen Tauscher was the Congresswomen from the East Bay (Oakland) in California. She was a brilliant stock-trader in New York, she was the first woman to win a seat on the NYSE, and her signature issues, when she first ran for office, were focussed on families, child care, access to jobs, etc. What you would expect for a relatively liberal district in California. Before she left Congress, she was on the House Armed Services Committee, and chaired the subcommittee on strategic forces (so she was responsible for authorizing U.S. nuclear weapons programs)., She is now the

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2004
Sat, 09-25-2010 - 4:47am

If they seek election and re-election as a means to something else (perceived power, future access to wealth as lobbyists, a step on the road to higher elective office such as the presidency, etc.) then isn't their ultimate goal truly wealth and power?



Based on your experience, do you believe most

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2007
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 2:54pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2004
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 9:47am

When I was taking my first government class in college, the book we read on Congress made the point, very strongly, that the job of a Member of Congress is to get reelected. And they must get reelected every two years, so its pretty much a full time job. However, the way that most Congressmen get reelected is to be very, very attuned to the needs of constituents. That means the most busy people in