Power-A Human Paradigm

June/03/2009 17:49PM
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The danger of human abuse of power is everywhere. Power breeds corruption.

Power is gained by several means. Fear is a big power lever. In countries like Korea, Iran, and Venezuela fear keeps the leaders in office. In corporations, the fear of losing jobs maintains control throughout all levels of the corporation. Some leaders use this as a motivational tool. In economies like this it’s more prevalent.

Wealth is a power status symbol. Those with the most toys gain power through envy and social status. They often use the wealth to extract special benefits. They use money to threaten those with less or no money. They gain celebrity through money.

Political office is rife with power. We treat bums like Barney Frank, a man who talks down to a student when asked a fair question, as if he were a celebrity instead of a hired hand. Politicians use this power to create wealth, to stoke their own egos, and to establish their job priorities. They became politicians to seek this power. They do whatever they have to do to maintain office and keep the power. Power trumps their responsibility to the people who put them in office and keep them in office.

Power is the culprit in many of the worst examples of humankind. In wars, in crimes, and in social injustices. Power coupled with greed is even worse.

We give power to elected officials by forgetting they are working for us. Until the apathy that pervades this country today dissipates, they will assume they can continue to disrespect our wishes and stay in office and be reelected. We need to find ways to strip them of their power. The power needs to come back to the states and back to the people and not stay in the hands of Washington. The longer a senator or congressman is in Washington, the more power they accumulate. The more power, the less concern for what we hired them to do.

They get paid like a mid-level corporate employee, and there is a reason for that. Their job requirements are thus. They have almost zero accountability, much like a low-level clerk. But, they expect to be treated like a Fortune 500 CEO. And, paid like one, so they find ways to supplement what we are willing to pay them.

Ronald Reagan was unique. He seemed to be willing to share power, focus on fixing a broken country, and work with others to get that done. Bill Clinton did not wear his power well. He led by political poll. Do what you need to do to appease the polls. George W. Bush used his power to finish a job his father failed to do. Take out Saddam. It cost him and this country dearly and the results, while noble, were too lofty for the price. Al Gore missed his big grab for power by a fingernail. So, he moved on and found a new way to grab power. By being the heart and soul of global warming. He has parlayed that into a huge fortune. And, celebrity. But, his damage, yet unknown, may be greater than taking out Saddam.

We, the people, must strip our elected officials of both the power we tacitly give them, and the illicit pay they take in compensation for the power they feel they have. It’s up to us. Term limits is the first step. Hire them as temporary employees, pay them accordingly, and move them along before they steal the china and flatware. Before they do irreparable damage to our future generations.

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