Politicians Are Never Punished

You may think you know what I am going to say. If so, you are wrong. Note: I write the word “never” advisedly.

There lies danger in encouraging incipient authoritarians by revealing the following, but the danger is small. So I continue.

It is commonly said some politicians pay for some of their crimes/errors. Examples are given of “blowback” to the nation, even the man himself. Many history books try to show “Haman hanged on his own gallows“. This is taken to be the meaning of בקדרה שבשל בה נתבשל and ראיתי עבדים על סוסים ושרים הלכים כעבדים על הארץ, חפר גומץ בו יפול ופרץ גדר ישכנו נחש.

They are all wrong.

Why are they wrong?

Hold on. I first wish to bring one example of this claim (boldface added):

Since mala prohibita are not wrongful in any traditional moral sense, people tend to take them less seriously. This poses a problem for legislators, politicians, and judges, who are offended their handiwork may not be taken seriously enough by the citizens whom such laws purportedly benefit. And since things like drugs laws, or prohibitions of gambling, are commonly and even generally ignored, the only solution these worthies can imagine is to increase the penalties until people take the laws seriously enough.
Thus, a recent offender was threatened with life imprisonment for the possession of some brownies baked with marijuana, while persons convicted of murder historically may serve five years or less in prison. The grotesque injustice of this is usually evident to all — except for the legislators, politicians, and judges who are responsible for such a legal regime. They seem to like it just fine. Until, of course, they or theirs get caught in the web.

The part about increased penalties is correct. The bolded part is not, as stated.

Again, why is this wrong?

Because the psychological satisfaction gained by power drowns out all aches and pains. Psychopathy pays! Pols don’t “feel your pain”. They don’t feel their family’s pain. They don’t even feel their own pain. They enjoy the ups and the downs. Nothing has providential significance to them. Drunkenness reduces sorrow and pain. Power-drunkenness does the same.

Likewise, I disagree with the pseudo-diagnosis of state-supporters as suffering from a kind of mass “Stockholm Syndrome“. There are leaders and followers. Followers don’t need to wield power themselves to enjoy it vicariously. Much of the state’s “intellectual bodyguard”; journalists, teachers, etc., live off an average salary, for instance.

(I speak of this world. The next is a different matter.)

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