Friday, January 28, 2011

Poem: We Are All Politicians

I decided to look up the definition of the word politician today.  I went to on the internet and found these definitions:  1. A person who is active in party politics.  
2.  A seeker or holder of public office who is more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles. 
I was quite stunned by the second definition.  It is clearly stating that maintaining the moral high ground is a virtual impossibility once you engage in politics.  Is that true, I pondered?
I have a feeling it is.  No matter how virtuous the person, the small compromises will occur and those small compromises will grow into bigger compromises until the moral compass is spinning out of control never to find its bearings again.  But aren’t we all politicians in our everyday lives?  I think we are, and I think we must battle the same fight to maintain our ethical compass.

We Are All Politicians

We are all politicians,
Making small compromises,
Asserting our opinions,
Working to achieve an outcome,
Finding an advantage
That might suit our needs,
Or make someone else's life
A little bit better,

It can go either way,

We can shake a hand,
Pat a back,
Smile sincerely,
Then walk away,
Feeling, caring,
Worrying about
Our friend;
Wanting what is best for them,

Or maybe we shake a hand,
Pat a back,
Smile sincerely,
Then walk away
Wondering what our friend
Can do for us,
What advantage can be gained
By being in a relationship
With that person?

We are all politicians,

Everyday we rise,
Move through our days,
Looking for some truth,
Hoping for some goodness
To occur,
But within that framework
We look out for our own needs,

And that makes us politicians,

Being a politician used to be

It can be again,

If we use our political savvy
To improve the plight of others,
To change the world for the better,
To focus on the needs of the poor,
Then we are politicians
Of the most admirable sort,

The kind we wish for
When we turn on the news,
The kind we pray for when we
Vote at the polls,

Are they out there?
Do they care?
Do we care?

We are all politicians,

The definition can change;
And so can we,

We are all politicians,

What kind will we be?


  1. Rita: For obvious reasons, I think politicians can be good people. But I very much like your thought that we are all politicians. Humans are social animals and once you are part of a group, stuff happens. I remember years ago Lee Hamilton telling us during the Tongsun Park scandal that the US Congress "respresents the American people better than the American people would like to think." There are wonderful politicians and mediocre ones and really bad ones. Democracy is messy for sure .......and so is life. Thank you for your thoughtful approach to it all.

  2. Libby, you inspired me to write this after the e-mail you sent last night. You said that I was a bit of a politician and it got me thinking about that whole thank you!

  3. Excellent, Rita. How true, how true. May we all back the candidates that don't care about definition 2.


  4. Agreed. Definition #2 is sad to even contemplate.