It is not often that someone in a position of great power lowers himself to the status of the average person. Just that happened this week as Speaker of the House-to-be John Boehner pledges to take commercial flights to and from Washington right alongside the average man. This is in an effort to stay in touch with the people, rather than fly in a private jet and become detached from the people whom he is representing.
There have been several other politicians during the midterm elections who have tried to maintain their relationship with the average person. One such politician is Joe Sestak. During his run for office, he proclaimed again and again that he was not one of the Washington insiders who cared nothing for the people. Though it remains to be seen that he has continued to be a politician for the everyman, his relation to everyday people was one of the main ideas of his campaign.
Another politician who touted her ability to be a politician for the people is Sarah Palin. Although she was not part of the midterm election, she has made it a point to discourage politicians from becoming Washington insiders and has made it clear that she is not one of them. She has made it a point to make sure that everyone knows she is a politician who is for the people, no matter what. She still does all the same things she did before she became a candidate for vice president and governor of Alaska, and believes that this makes her just like everyone else.
Both of the politicians listed above and Boehner have made it a point to prove to the people that they are just like them. Sestak has repeated over and over again that he is for the people, and even though he lost his campaign for Senate, he continues to live his life like every other person. Palin, on the other hand, also still lives her life as she did before she became a politician. Though she held a seat of power and received much attention when she ran with John McCain in 2008, she has continued to live her life as she would have if she had not been a politician.
It is certain that, though many people want to believe that their representatives are just like the rest of us, there will likely be outcry from people who don’t believe that it is possible for a politician to do things like an average person. Boehner will surely face much criticism for his actions no matter how noble they may be. The only way for him to receive the props that he deserves for spurning the privileges that he may have received is to stick it out and hope for the best while keeping his integrity intact.
Corey Boles, Boehner: Flying Commercial, blogs.wsj.com
CBS News, Joe Sestak: “I’m not a Washington Insider”, cbsnews.com
Eleanor Clift, Palin Lives in the Moment, Spurns Washington Insiders, politicsdaily.com