Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Politicians Many, Statesmen Few

I've been going light on the political blogs lately, more out of cynicism than lack of interest. But I would like to share this quote I came across. It's from Henry Kissinger, who certainly has his share of detractors, but I think he accurately describes what the problem is in politics today:

The great statesmen of the past saw themselves as heroes who took on the burden of their societies' painful journey from the familiar to the as yet unknown. The modern politician is less interested in being a hero than a superstar. Heroes walk alone; stars derive their status from approbation. Heroes are defined by inner values; stars by consensus. When a candidate's views are forged in focus groups and ratified by television anchorpersons, insecurity and superficiality become congenital.

Henry Kissinger, Years of Renewal, 2000

Who are the statesmen of today?


  1. In their time they were probably thought of as egomaniacs and tirants.

    From this definition, one may consider Obama in this light. Without passing judgement on his effectiveness, he at least is certainly not affraid of making very abrupt paridigm shifts in our concept of government. In this way I see him much like Reagan and Roosevelt. Paradigm shifters.

    For whatever you might say about Obama, he does seem to have "taken on the burden of society's painful journey from the familiar (almost 30 years of varying degrees of conservative governanace) to the as yet unkown (for one, spending that makes Bush look like a tight wad).
    Now this unknown may be a total collapse of American Society, but the guys does seem to have changed the rules of the game....


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  3. Lieberman? Yes, maybe. I may not always agree with his positions, but they do typically seem to be honest opinions.

    Thanks for your comment, Josh. I checked out your blog (trying to figure out if I knew you). You had some good things to say...sorry you haven't kept it up.