Political Power

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George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a classic story of the ability of power to corrupt us.  Yes, you and me. The pigs who were once among the opposed, become the oppressors. While we each claim a certain amount of integrity, the book shows how power seeps into a person’s character and transforms opponents of tyrannical power into its wielders.

Power seduces many politicians. In a government that is of the people, by the people and for the people, it is the “of’s” and the “by’s” that rise above the “for’s” and instead of serving as a representative for the masses, they serve themselves. But we have to at least assume some of the politicians who turn to the dark side started off in the light. So what seduces them?

In the last Star Wars movie Anakin turned to the dark side when power seduced his prideful heart. In spite of rumors of bad acting, the movie drew me in because I wanted to know the root of Darth Vader’s transformation to see if anything of its kin resided in me. I know Stars Wars is a movie, but it is a movie with a message.

For those of us who aspire to have positions of leadership, perhaps even want to serve in the highest ranks of government, safeguarding what can seep into our character is foundational to our success. Pride goes before destruction, an overconfident attitude before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18) Never doubt there is a pig inside of you.

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