Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Not a Dirty Word

Work is not a dirty word.
Profit is not a dirty word.
Politics is not a dirty word.

None of the dictionary definitions (bottom of page) cover my definition of politician. I learned it right in my own hometown, observing true professionals.  I won't call names, but many of my homefolks will recognize them by characterization.

A politician is one who cares about every voter and the voter's family and friends. He (she) calls, writes, and/or visits every voter, not a form letter, but one-to-one contact.

A politician cares about his community.  He serves in a variety of unpaid ways: doctoring livestock, help on legal matters, coaching children's teams, contributing to churches, buying meals and donating groceries, speaking when the right word needs to be said, laughing or quietly smiling or otherwise expressing good humor, praising every good deed by any person, catering to rich or poor alike, leading motorcades to distant sports events, stopping traffic so cheerleaders can dance under the traffic light in the middle of town, creating a historical society so the community will know who they are and where they came from, being a friend to sportsmen and lying about fishing if called up, serving on boards, committees, clubs or other organizations because they really believe in the cause, being the friend and advocate when the voter or member of his family is in trouble and scared, helping anyone who is down and out by personal assistance (even money out their own pocket) or through cutting through red tape.  In addition to all those things and more, he tends to the duties of the office, too.

During the most of my adult life my community has been well served by politicians with that caring attitude.  We have been fortunate, indeed.  Some people prefer calling them public servants, and they are, but a true politician is one of the most important persons in any society.  They can get things done because they know their people intimately.

Now, you're thinking that I've been living in a dream world. Nope.  I knew them - the ones who have departed and the ones who remain.  They were alive, flesh and blood, imperfect, loved and hated. Like the voters who elected them, they were real people.

I don't worry about what aggravating TV commercials say about politicians.  Actually, I don't even watch commercials, as I don't subscribe to local stations, just cable channels.  Now, who's in the real world - the one who watches TV?

Somebody mentioned the ad about Nancy Pelosi in the red Cadillac, so I looked it up on YouTube. Pretty funny! Has no bearing on reality, but still funny.  The polls are scary, as is everything near Halloween.  Be glad when the political season is over, and everybody can face reality again.

When we read the definition of politics we realize it's all about people. Government of the people, by the people and for the people. My favorite politicians in Soperton have given me my hope for America, not parties nor TV commercials nor some friend's interpretation of economics.

I've learned that the only way to understand politics or politicians is by knowing people.

Definitions of POLITICS
a : the art or science of government
b : the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy
c : the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government
2: political actions, practices, or policies

a : political affairs or business; especially : competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership (as in a government)
b : political life especially as a principal activity or profession
c : political activities characterized by artful and often dishonest practices

4: the political opinions or sympathies of a person

a : the total complex of relations between people living in society
b : relations or conduct in a particular area of experience especially as seen or dealt with from a political point of view politics> politics>

William A. Ricks 
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