Power leads to…?

In the US, we have just completed an election cycle where Republicans have taken back power in the House of Representatives. Behind this change is a fair amount of voter anger with the current Democratic leadership, especially from Tea Party sympathizers.

Traveling to work I heard a snippet of a speech by a person (not elected) stated that if the newly elected individual didn’t meet their expectations, they’d work to vote them out the next time.

Seems that sometimes power acquisition breeds more desire for power and less willingness to compromise. Of course, loss and failure may also breed a desire to pretend to compromise but do everything possible to avoid real flexibility.

What makes me think this is a comment my wife made about her current reading pleasure: Bonhoeffer (by Erik Metaxas). From the author’s perspective, there were a number of German civilian and military leaders who were uncomfortable with Hitler’s grandiosity and even interest in taking over other countries. However, once they were smashingly successful, most seemed to get on board and enjoy the power.

In short, they became comfortable with demanding even more power from those who couldn’t defend themselves.

Now, hear me loud and clear. I am not making an analogy between Hitler and Republicans. Nor, am I denigrating recent voting trends of voter anger. But success in the polls ought not make us more embolden to listen only to our own interests. Access to power sometimes breeds less love for the ones defeated. Our newly elected leaders have to find a way to govern (not something we’ve been doing well at for some time in this country) all of their constituents–even those who didn’t vote for them.


Filed under News and politics, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Power leads to…?

  1. D. Stevenson

    even those who did not vote for them….

    Two days before the election two town candidates were walking our street and knocking on doors. My husband commented that they must have had a list of houses with people registered with their party. (we are not)

    His basis for this thought was his observation that they didn’t go to all the houses. (such as ours) The reason he told me about this is because he wanted to tell me what happened next. He was outside mowing. They were looking his direction and he smiled and waved. No response whatsoever from them.


  2. Matt

    I enjoyed your observation of an increasing blindness in oneself that goes along with an increase in power. See an example in “The Seduction of Eva Volk” (http://www.cdbaker.com/www.cdbaker.com/Seduction_of_Eva/Seduction_of_Eva.html)

  3. Scott Knapp

    Hmmmm… seems like any time a Republican is elected to office, he must have “taken back” power from its rightful owner, the Democrat. He must have “acquired” it, not by the meritorious appeal of his ideas, but by stirring up “anger” (illogically, it is implied) in the voting bloc. How about “the voters entrusted the Republicans with power in the House because Democrats misused the trust previously given them”?

    • Scott, why do you come to that conclusion? Republicans did take back power at this time. I would have said the same thing in 2008 when the Dems “took back” power from Republicans. It is a statement of fact. The one who wins takes back power. Pretty straightforward. I made no comments on how Republicans were able to do that–only on the attitudes of those who were on the winning side.

      And, just in case it matters, I’ve been a Republican for almost all of my adult voting life–and voted for Republicans in this election.

  4. Scott Knapp

    On the other hand, maybe if I’d left the “hmmmm” off my initial post, I’d not have sounded quite so inflammatory myself….apologies for that, it sent the wrong tone. 😦

    • D. Stevenson

      Hmm… is inflammatory? I’ve always taken, and written it, to simply mean thoughtful pondering and reflection. What I mean to convey by its use is that I’m questioning and considering various ideas, certainly not dogmatic.

      • Scott Knapp

        I agree…some folks usually get hit with the “hmmmmm” right before a condescending, sarcastic critique, and assume the “hmmmmm” doesn’t bode well. I have to be very careful using my “hmmmmm” when I’m doing therapy (especially groups) because the receiver might think I’m about to corner them to expose flawed logic, when I want them to explore their thoughts in a safe environment. That’s why I rethought the “hmmmmm”; everything else, however, I stand behind.

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