Insights from the past

Thomas_Paine_by_Matthew_Pratt,_1785-95“… it will be found best … that the ELECTED might never form to themselves an interest separate from the ELECTORS.”

Thomas Paine, Common Sense

I find it impressive that the observations and thoughts of some of the founders of the American experiment had a very good insight on human nature.

I think today it would be possible to make the case that those who are elected to public office have formed a separate bond among themselves as opposed to a special bond with the people they represent.

Paine wanted elected officials to constantly be returning to and interacting with the people who elected them.  He suggested only a couple of months should go by before they returned and interacted with people in the real world — at work, at meals, in conversations, in real life — not in designed political moments.

Otherwise, he felt the elected would develop an interest that did not represent the people who elected them.  And that would be detrimental to freedom.

Today, politicians are content to use the media to “interact” with the electorate.  That way they don’t have to deal with them face-to-face.  They are content to arrange for structured events designed to show they are listening without having to actually listen.

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