Apparently public choice theory isn’t good enough for the politicians. Rather than admitting that they’re in public life for their own self-interest, they cling to this silly narrative about a “calling to servce” being the driving force of their careers.
Case in point, yesterday’s “community service, forum” presented by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama. There, Obama claimed that Bush’s running for Congress, work in the CIA, ambassadorship, and presidency were motivated by Bush’s selfless sense of duty to his fellow man.
It’s always interesting to speculate on the timing and reasons for these sort of “bipartisan,” events. Perhaps Obama is seeking to bring a patriotic, “we’re all in this together,” type spin to his previously proposed, mandatory service program. But regardless of whether such an agenda really comes to fruition, we need to remind our fellow young people that true service and charity is voluntary, humanitarian and generous, not compulsory, self-interested, or political.Published in