After more than forty years as a political activist, volunteer, and paid consultant at the local, state, and national levels, I guess it’s somewhat a given that I might have become a little jaded or suspect, when it comes to the motives of those seeking office. Yet I’ve been told numerous times that I am one who tends to believe in someone, it’s my natural tendency, to accept them at face value…initially.
I honestly think that every candidate that I’ve ever worked with or for, who was new to the political process always started their campaign and career in politics by claiming they’re NOT a politician, that they aren’t seeking a career in politics, that they just want to make a difference, make the country better, for their children and children’s children. And I can report there actually are a few who, over time, proved that was who they were and are. But the vast majority…not so much.
I talked last week to an elected official whom I asked to introduce a bill to authorize the state legislature to impeach a Governor. I recently learned that Oregon is the only state in the Union that does not have that provision in their constitution. Now this is not a piece of legislation with a high probability of passage, with a democrat majority, and a scandal ridden democrat governor who would need to sign it into law, but it is at least worth engaging in the dialogue with the voters of Oregon, I believe.
The elected official I spoke with said that they couldn’t introduce such a bill because they have to work with the governor, and across the aisle, and that they are “in this for the long haul”. I responded that it sounded as though they were planning on being a professional politician then. They didn’t like that, and said I should know better than that. Should I?
I worked on a commissioner candidate’s campaign several years back, which was a successful campaign and they won their election. They were the typical candidate who said they were just getting in to try and make a difference, not to seek a job in politics. But after about three weeks on the job as a newly elected commissioner, I attended a meeting where they said publicly “I used to see things like you all do, before I was elected, but now I have come to appreciate the quality of the good people working here [for the government]”. Translated; I used to be one of you, and now I’m one of them. This happens a lot!
President Trump I believe, starting with his inaugural address and throughout his first three weeks in office, has proven so far that he really takes seriously his campaign commitment to return the power to the people, rather than accrue more power and authority to the government. From his inaugural address: “Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.”
Every action, every appointment, and every policy he has brought forth all have that common thread, returning power to the people; in education, immigration, energy, foreign policy, economics, healthcare, you name it. As far as I can recall, he has accomplished more these first three weeks than any president in modern history.