The legacy of Teddy

Bruce Anderson goes out on a limb and suggests politicians are still human.

For more than twenty years, in focus groups in every corner of the country, I’ve listened to people tell me why they don’t like most politicians. Mostly, I’ve heard a vague sense that politicians just aren’t like other people. That they are so ruthless about advancing their personal agendas that they lack the abitlity or desire to truly understand the daily struggles and disappointments that most people endure. The irony is that many who express this view, if they’ve met their local Member of Parliament, say he or she is an exception. So, this perception of politicians as ego-centric aliens comes not from the cumulative experiences of MPs and their constituents. It’s built on the view of politicians that emerges through normal media coverage of the battles and controversies of politics. The focus on strategy, tactics, winning, relentless ambition and destroying opponents. Little wonder folks are suspicious of the kind of people who might spend all their time this way…

This was a funeral, and Obama was there to eulogize a man, to describe his life, to console his family, to share a perspective on what made Kennedy unique … This is a narrative about people in politics that we need a lot more of.

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