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People who hold or are running for a political office

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. In democratic countries, politicians seek elective positions within a government through elections or, at times, temporary appointment to replace politicians who have died, resigned or have been otherwise removed from office. In non-democratic countries, they employ other means of reaching power. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Notable Individuals


Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Aubrey Herbert, Faith and Freedom, Sep 1955
After some comments on politics and politicians, covers the debate over the TVA from both Republican and Democrat sides and finds a libertarian voice in a young Republican, ending with remarks on regulatory mischief at the Civil Aeronautics Board
In our television era, politicians—like soap—are "sold" to the public in attractive and gaudy packages. Unlike soap, however, we never get a chance to unwrap and test the contents of the package. When we gauge an office seeker by his smile or by the charm he gives off, we chase a will-o'-the-wisp. We poor voters, bombarded by press releases and staged TV appearances, can't know a man's true character. We can only judge his policies, for different policies cause different results. So we must learn to tell the difference between a man's smile and his ideas.
The Ethics of Voting: Part Three [PDF], by George H. Smith, The Voluntaryist, Apr 1983
Examines, among other things, whether a libertarian can be employed by or hold office in a State entity
A particular Senator (e.g., a libertarian) may never actually vote for a tax bill, but he has the legal right nonetheless. The privilege resides in the office. A person elected to high political office allies himself with the power of leviathan. He voluntarily seeks and successfully achieves the privileges of political office which permit him to aggress against his neighbors—privileges enforced by the State. Such a person is a dangerous threat to innocent persons everywhere ... The protest of the libertarian office-holder—that he intends to use his power for beneficent ends—is beside the point.
Related Topics: Government, Lyndon B. Johnson
The Ethics of Voting: Part Two [PDF], by George H. Smith, The Voluntaryist, Dec 1982
An analysis of the State as an institution, the latter term being used "in a broad sense to designate a widely recognized and stabilized method of pursuing a social activity"
I have attempted to show what it means to say that an anarchist politician contributes to State injustice merely by filling a role (i.e., holding political office). I have attemped to show why the intentions of the politician are irrelevant ... Political offices are indispensable roles in the State apparatus; and ... anyone who fills these roles contributes, however inadvertently, to the State process (monopoly of power) and product (sovereignty) ... Thus the anarchist politician is like the auto worker who claims to be building a boat, and who professes surprise when a car comes out anyway against his wishes.
The Mugging of Murtha, by Justin Raimondo, 17 Nov 2006
Comments on how the the U.S. congressional Democrats, after having gained control of both houses in the 2006 elections, chose Steny Hoyer instead of John Murtha as House majority leader
Now we hear talk of a "final push," a sudden increase in the number of troops to leave some sort of semi-permanent imprint on the chaos. How many more have to die in order to save the face of the Washington know-it-alls? This once again underlines the basic principle at the heart of any peace movement worthy of the name: put not your trust in politicians. The people voted to get us out of Iraq, and instead the Democrats will stand idly by – at best – while we get in deeper. They can concentrate on extending the welfare state and wait for the Baker Commission to somehow magically come up with a comfortably "bipartisan" solution.
The Politicians Are Scaring You Again, by Sheldon Richman, 16 Oct 2014
Comments on scaremongering efforts by Obama administration as well as opposition offiicials in order to gain support for military action against the Islamic State
They are doing it again. "They" are the war-party politicians, Democrats and Republicans. "It" is scaring you into supporting another war in the Middle East. When will the American people learn? If in a republic the people are the ultimate check on government power, a gullible, easily frightened public is a disaster waiting to happen. Where is the derisive skepticism Americans are reputed to feel toward politicians? ... Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), for example, goes to absurd lengths to frighten Americans ... He forecast the deaths of hundreds of millions of Americans if something drastic is not done.
Related Topics: Barack Obama, Terrorism
The Surveillance State Lives, by Sheldon Richman, 21 Jan 2014
Examines Obama's 17 Jan 2014 speech "Remarks by the President on Review of Signals Intelligence" announcing some "reforms" to surveillance programs
In sizing up Obama's "reforms" of the indiscriminate gathering of data on every American, remember this: Politicians will do everything they can get away with in pursuit of their own agenda. To them, liberty and privacy are unimportant, things to be gotten around with the minimum of public attention. Should the public get wind of some untoward thing the politicians are up to—as it did, thanks to Edward Snowden—they will put on a public-relations show to lull the people back to sleep, enabling the state once again to go about its unsavory business unobserved.
A Tribute to John T. Flynn, by John T. Flynn, Adam Young, 31 Jan 2003
Biographical overview followed by quotes from Flynn's writings on Franklin Roosevelt, Roosevelt's monument, the New Deal, the Second World War and the Roosevelt myth
On Roosevelt the Man:
There was really nothing complex about Roosevelt. He was of a well-known type found in every city and state in political life. He is the wellborn, rich gentleman with a taste for public life, its importance and honors, who finds for himself a post in the most corrupt political machines, utters in campaigns and interviews the most pious platitudes about public virtue while getting his own dividends out of public corruption one way or another. In any case, they are a type in which the loftiest sentiments and pretensions are combined with a rather lowgrade political conscience.


Interview with James Buchanan, by James M. Buchanan, The Region, Sep 1995
Topics include The Calculus of Consent, public choice theory, monetary policy and the Federal Reserve
Buchanan: ... [C]ommon sense tells you that a politician is very much like the rest of us. A politician who's seeking office or seeking to remain in office ... wants to go back to a constituency and tell them that he's either lowered their taxes, or he's brought them program benefits. You plug that into politics and you have a natural proclivity of a politician to create deficits. Then the question comes along: Why didn't we have deficits before? You see the Keynesian economic revolution gave the politicians an excuse for deficits. You give politicians half an excuse ...
The Plowboy Interview: Karl Hess, by Karl Hess, Anson Mount, Mother Earth News, Jan 1976
Karl Hess interview in issue No. 37, Jan/Feb 1976, shortly after his book Dear America (1975) had become a bestseller, questions him about the switch from right wing conservatism to the New Left
You don't have to do anything to write speeches for politicians. You don't have to know anything. You don't even have to think. All you have to do is be glib and invent great phrases. Historic phrases. You see, all politicians want to go down in the history books. Right? And history books are written, by and large (chuckle), by idiots. And idiots look for meaningless but good-sounding phrases. That's why all political administrations have to have slogans. All except the good ones, that is. The good ones don't need slogans. Like what was George Washington's administration called? Or Jefferson's? Madison's?

Cartoons and Comic Strips

As your king, it is my duty to safeguard the freedoms of my citizens!, by Parker and Hart, The Wizard of Id, 17 Sep 2014
The Office of Sen. Kingpit Dixon, by Wiley Miller, Non Sequitur, 10 Mar 2011
Spot the Future Congressman, by Wiley Miller, Non Sequitur, 23 Nov 2006
What do you want to be when you grow up?, by Parker and Hart, The Wizard of Id, 9 Sep 2007

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Politician" as of 28 Nov 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.