Do you know what a politician is? I’m only asking because you may just be as uninformed as I was.
You see, we generally think of politicians as public servants, don’t we? They supposedly work for us and represent us and not themselves. But that’s not what the dictionary says.
According to dictionary.com, a politician is a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow, usually short-sighted reasons.
And the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a politician as a person who seeks to gain power or advancement within an organization in ways that are generally disapproved of.
Is that really our understanding of what a politician is? And if so, are our expectations so tainted that this definition is what we ultimately end up with?
Isn’t that a little like defining a car as a gas-guzzling hunk of metal and plastic that’ll ultimately get you in a wreck? Or that a restaurant is a noisy, food supplying, over-packed break room that’ll give you food poisoning? Or that rodeo is a fenced-in-plot of dirt where you and a bucking horse or bull get together to break your leg?
In rodeo, it is a commonly accepted rule, as prominent as gravity, that if, when you are riding a bucking bull or horse, you at any time during the ride look at the ground, you’ll end up in exactly that spot prior to the eight-second whistle.
In other words, don’t look at the ground. And don’t expect the worst.
Then again, maybe the dictionary’s definition of politicians simply mimics the upside down views that have evolved in our society over the years.
For example, in our global society today we put business owners, corporate executives, athletes, royalty and actors, who are mostly being served by others, on a pedestal. And yet, we subliminally or not so subliminally degrade those, like pastors, teachers, janitors, garbage men, policemen and so many more, who are doing the serving. And their salaries confirm that.
Plus, it seems, we may have developed a win at all costs attitude and sometimes justify cheating, as simply a means to an end. Or we allow it as an innovative tactic if it leads to victory, rather than defeat.
Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros are a perfect example. It is documented that they cheated and yet, they are still considered 2017 World Series champions. And yes, they received a slap on the hand, but little more.
Have we become too accepting? Do we allow too much to slide? And where has that attitude led us to?
Former President Theodore Roosevelt once said that to educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
American economist, political scientist and cognitive psychologist Herbert A. Simon said that there are no morals about technology at all. Technology expands our ways of thinking about things, expands our ways of doing things. If we're bad people we use technology for bad purposes, and if we're good people we use it for good purposes.
In others words, do we accept any means to an end if it’s the end we desire?
Meanwhile, Jesus Christ once said, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.”
Maybe we should show that quote to a few politicians and the people who put the dictionary together.
Kevin Holten is the executive producer of "Special Cowboy Moments" on RFD-TV.