“For what shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
That Bible passage has special application to politicians. Many a politician has lost his perspective, integrity, sobriety, car keys, family if not his soul while engulfed in the euphoria of wielding political power. Throughout history, power corrupts.
Take George Nethercutt. Once a hero of the term limits movement, today George has a big decision to make; one that could brand him forever as a Benedict Arnold. In 1994, Nethercutt became the first person to defeat a sitting Speaker of the House since before the Civil War. In the campaign, Foley, the 30-year incumbent, boasted of his “clout in Congress,” the pork he could deliver.
Why on earth did the voters of eastern Washington trade Congress’s most powerful player for a rookie?
Foley actually sued his state’s voters over the term limits law they passed. Speech after speech, Nethercutt pledged to serve no more than the three-term limit voters mandated. Nethercutt’s term limits pledge gave people confidence they could trust him to go to Washington and clean up the mess without becoming part of it. That was a heck of a lot more important to these voters than claiming first dibs on more pork.
Now Mr. Nethercutt himself is getting groggy with Potomac Fever. Now he says six years may not be enough for him. Step down as you promised, George, and give someone else a chance. Setting an example of honor and integrity is more important than another term in the Capitol. Integrity was why the voters sent you to Washington in the first place.
George, keep your word.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.