Mike Diederich Jr.
Stony Point Politicians versus Statesmen
Openness, Integrity and Acting on Principle, not Politics, is Statesmanship
Good citizenship requires contribution and sometimes sacrifices. A soldier who gives his or her life for the country is the epitome of a good citizen. But so too are volunteer firefighters and ambulance corps members, volunteer sports coaches, a heroic police officer, a civil servant who goes “above and beyond,” and every other citizen who contributes to making the larger society a better place.
A voter who becomes informed and educated about candidates for public office demonstrates good citizenship. A voter who simply votes party line, without thinking, does not.
Partisan politics these days—where emotion too often trumps rationality—has degraded our democracy. Too many people vote without thinking.
In my view, voters should elect representatives who are capable of leadership, and doing the right thing for the larger society. Party affiliation should become irrelevant after being elected to office. Too many elected officials, unfortunately, remain partisans. Too many congressional representatives view their primary loyalty as to their party, not the nation.
Can anything be done? Yes!
Voters can examine who they are voting for more carefully. They can elect representatives who will act with integrity, based upon principle, not party politics. Put simply, they can elect statesmen rather than politicians.
The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician does what is necessary to win, whereas a statesman is a person of integrity and bedrock principles who acts in the interests of the larger society regardless of self-interest. The Democratic and Republican leadership in the County and State have had the opportunity to be statesmen and stateswomen, and to represent the interests of the whole citizenry. Instead, they have chosen to be self-interested politicians.
As Town Supervisor, I will be a statesman. If elected, it will be my job is both to enact and enforce local law to PROMOTE quality of life for a law-abiding citizenry. And to solicit the views of ALL concerned citizens. Open government is best government. Catering to special interests is not.