Thinking about Career Politicians

I was thinking that Donald Trump, who is portrayed as a nasty character in parts of the MSM, has been doing a reasonable job getting the US economy moving. Many of his predecessors were career politicians through and through, whereas he has been running a number of businesses for a long time – sometimes well – sometimes badly.

Career politicians can certainly talk the talk and inspire people, just like the tribunes who the Romans sensibly kept somewhere near the bottom of the ladder until higher offices were earned. But their decisions are often flawed and influenced by others. So you are left wondering who actually achieved anything much !

Eisenhower, a career soldier, gave America military roads – freeways – that greatly helped the economy. Don’t forget that when a Japanese invasion was a fear, the US military were not at all sure whether they could counter attack until the enemy had crossed most of the country. Military roads changed all of that, just as their inventors in Germany intended. JFK gets good press, but the so-called Domino Theory that his advisers posited resulted in an unnecessary war in Vietnam. Obama may be remembered primarily for trying to improve medical care, but a lot of what he achieved may be undone. Paul Ryan seems like an escapee from House of Cards – as untrustworthy as they come.

Moving to Britain, we have had a plague of career politicians. Tony Blair depended on his wife’s income as a leading lawyer, as did Nick Clegg. Both Clegg and David Cameron had some media experience in their short working lives. Theresa May worked at the Bank of England and an organisation that oversaw cheque payments – the most boring places imaginable and incredibly “safe” jobs at the time, before politics. No wonder the Brexit negotiations are in such a state.

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