Why do people in high-profile positions spend taxpayer dollars as if it were their own? Don’t they know they will always get caught?
One American psychotherapist, Judith Acosta, tried to answer the question in an essay. She was blunt: Politicians, she says, are sociopaths.
It’s a tempting analysis, but having spent most of my adult life around politicians I am inclined towards a different, admittedly unscientific, assessment.
Politicians are (clearly) goal-driven. They tend to regard the universe as a win-lose proposition. They believe that, upon election or appointment, they have been admitted to another plane of existence, wherein (as Acosta says) the rules do not apply to them so much, or at all.
I’ve also found that they harbour deep resentments. Every day, they meet rich and powerful people who want things from them. Because they work hard, and they don’t have much of a life anymore, they feel — and my heart sank the first time I heard this now-storied phrase — they are entitled to their entitlements. Rules, begone.
That doesn’t make them sociopaths. They are, instead, next-door neighbours.
They see the grass on the other side, they see it is greener, and they want it.
So they go after it, and they don’t give a damn who is paying the bill.