by Frank Li
Two recent news stories:
Are these two stories related? Yes!
Both stories again prove this point: American politicians work for themselves first, with everything else being secondary.
Both President Obama and Blagojevich made the same mistake: being caught on tape!
Rod Blagojevich was a career politician who “served” in Congress for six years before becoming the Governor of Illinois in 2002. He spent most of his career enriching himself and was finally caught on tape trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama, which eventually led to his conviction in 2011.
Like many career politicians, Blagojevich does not seem to even know the real world anymore, living in his own fantasyland instead. Two examples:
He kept saying that what he tried to do was “horse trading”, a standard practice in politics, without realizing that “horse trading” in this case was corruption.
He campaigned until the end (Blagojevich speaks on last free day), never acknowledging the harsh reality. Perhaps, his 14-year sentence is a bit too harsh; but I believe his non-stop public campaign after his arrest in December 2008 contributed to the harsh sentence.
Welcome to the real world the rest of us live in, governor! You got what you deserve (Read: Illinois’ lost decade)!
2. President Obama
As I stated previously (American Democracy: Massive Falsehoods at The Top): “Like most American career politicians, President Obama serves, throughout his first term, for one supreme purpose only: getting re-elected ad nauseam”. This news story is just yet another example to prove the point!
Is this “mistake” by President Obama as bad as Blagojevich’s mistake in content? Yes, even worse! In China, it would have been considered treason. In America, it will be brushed off, just as the Iraq War was; nobody, either President George W. Bush or any of the members of Congress who voted for the war, has been held accountable for “the worst mistake of U.S. foreign policy in history” (Blagojevich and Pearl Harbor: They are related!)!
Americans seem to punish personal mistakes (e.g. Blagojevich’s), but not system mistakes (e.g. President Obama’s), though the latter damages America a lot more than the former! As a result, American politicians will keep making system mistakes, without being punished.
3. American Presidency
Previously, I listed out five Presidential “mistakes” (American Democracy: Massive Falsehoods at The Top). Here is a new example: General George Patton said, at the time, it was a huge mistake allowing Russia to take Berlin at the end of WWII. Eisenhower made the political choice of holding U.S. troops back. It furthered his presidential ambitions, but cost the U.S. and the world dearly! Ultimately, Patton was proven correct, but Ike became President! To Eisenhower, that was all it mattered!
Blagojevich and President Obama proved to be the same in two aspects, at least:
Both of them work for themselves first.
Both of them got caught on tape.
However, the realities are very different for them now: one is in jail, while the other will keep running for re-election, from the White House …
Should we blame them individually? Yes, to some extent! But more importantly, it’s the political system, stupid! Our political system simply does not attract the best people to serve in the first place. Worse yet, it turns many good people into self-serving politicos after election, all due to this “getting re-elected ad nauseam” thing!
About the Author
Frank Li is the Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company. Frank received his B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies until 2004, when he founded his own company W.E.I. Today, W.E.I. is a leader in the weighing industry not only in products & services, but also in thought and action.