r/NoStupidQuestions Dec 01 '22

Has there ever been a politician who was just a genuinely good, honest person? Unanswered

8.8k Upvotes

5.0k comments sorted by

2.9k

u/DubC_Bassist Dec 01 '22 Silver Gold Take My Energy Eureka! Plus One

There are plenty of them. You don’t hear about them, because they are simply doing the job for their constituents that they were elected to do.

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u/akotlya1 Dec 01 '22

This is the correct answer. The nuts and bolts of most politics are boring as shit and the good, honest, hardworking politicians by necessity fly so low under the radar almost no one hears about them.

Couple that with the model our news and social media operate under - infinite short term attention grabbing - and there is no incentive to report on these people.

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u/Atgardian Dec 01 '22

It is true that "crazy politician does crazy thing" is a better headline than "local mayor quietly, honestly, and competently does her job without corruption."

Just like how the news is mostly bad news, because plane crash / typhoon killing thousands / war / etc. is more "newsworthy" than 1,000,000 examples of "loving family has a great day together, kids get good grades, & parent gets promotion at work & donates increase to charity."

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u/Overdonderd Dec 01 '22

I agree with the sentiment, but we mostly hear bad things about politicians in the news because the media's purpose is to hold them accountable. Sure, it's nice to hear "underappreciated person performs their job honestly and admirably," as well as "millions of families are happy and loving", but that's hardly "news" by definition because we assume that's all already happening without hearing about it. It's important for the unusual, negative stories to be reported or else we all might as well stick our heads in the sand.

The problem ever since about 2016 is that politicians are feeding on the negative press rather than doing their diligence to avoid it and stay honest. It's become a race to the bottom.

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u/Opening_Carpenter_21 Dec 01 '22

It all about advertising. I mean money. Yay. <sad trombone noises>

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u/SteveIDP Dec 01 '22

Paul Wellstone. That guy was 100 percent authentic. He is dearly missed.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22 Wholesome

[deleted]

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u/SSolomonGrundy Dec 01 '22

Agree about Wellstone and how awesome he was.

I had a similar experience growing up in New England under Bernie Sanders, and I truly believe he is in that rare and authentic Paul Wellstone mode.

Whether you agree or disagree with Bernie, he care intensely about his community and country and is passionately trying to help his fellow Americans the best way he knows how.

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u/chadsomething Dec 01 '22

This is why I voted for Beto for Texas governor, I don't agree with all of his politics, but he came to damn near every town in Texas no matter how small and talked to his fellow Texas in a town hall. During the freeze a couple years back he organized food and water deliveries for the old and poor without power. Like you can just tell the dude cares, I'll vote for someone like that any day.

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u/StandardZebra2947 Dec 01 '22

Came here to say this! I only met him once in person, was working as a cook in a private club, and unlike all the other VIPs that would come through the door, Wellstone made it a point to come back into the kitchen, introduce himself to all of us workers, and was 100% authentic. He wasn't trying to get votes, just came back to meet/thank us all for the meal.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 06 '22

He was my first thought. I lived in Minnesota briefly a while back, and I'll still occasionally see a Wellstone bumper sticker when I visit. It's hard to believe it's been 20 years.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

I still have a Wellstone shirt 🥲

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u/orangeworker Dec 01 '22

We all do better when we all do better.

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u/implicitpharmakoi Dec 01 '22

If he survived things would have been different.

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u/LinusMendeleev Dec 01 '22

How'd he die, and why was he so good? I know I have Google, but why use that when here's reddit.

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u/SteveIDP Dec 01 '22

He died in a plane crash in Northern Minnesota. As many of the comments here show, he was the rare politician who truly cared about everybody and worked tirelessly on our behalf. And he was kind to everyone, and reminded us to be kind. He was the conscience of the Senate.

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u/MetallurgyClergy Dec 01 '22

His wife, Sheila, and daughter, Marcia, also both died in the crash. They were just as kind as him.

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u/NaturesWar Dec 01 '22

Life just ain't fair.

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u/paynea3 Dec 01 '22

A lot of people have a lot of questions regarding the nature of the plane crash...just saying because I didn't see anyone mention that yet.

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u/noturbrobruh Dec 01 '22

I just did^

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u/disgustingEvan Dec 01 '22

thank you. Here's an article from 2002. Lots of people found it suspicious AF https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2002/10/well-o29.html

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u/canon_w Dec 01 '22

Kinda wild to see some of the stuff I've been talking about and my attitudes towards the current political landscape were echoed 20 years ago. I am only now becoming aware of a trend that has been apparent to some for decades now.

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u/bigbobbyweird Dec 01 '22

Only democrat who was up for re-election to vote against the Iraq War. Maintained old school labor politics when ye rest of the party was running away from that.

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u/kosmonautkenny Dec 01 '22

This. He was Bernie with a magical ability to not piss people off like Bernie does. He was that teacher that every former student loves no matter how much they hated school.

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u/Small-Albatross5445 Dec 01 '22

I cried when I learned of his death.

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u/tomaszmajewski Dec 01 '22

Came here to leave this comment.

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u/DOCTORNUTMEG Dec 01 '22 Brighten My Day

Maybe most famous for his untimely death, but it seems like senator Paul Wellstone was really appreciated and on the right side of things for such a high-ranking official

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u/bbqtom1400 Dec 01 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Bless Up

I met Paul Wellstone at Scholz Garten several years ago. I was the owner. Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower were there too. He was there speaking against a nuclear waste dump planned for the Texas border with no discussion on the floor of the Senate. His no vote probably kept the waste dump from thankfully happening. I was able to meet and speak with him for an hour or two. The Austin Saengerrunde was having a meeting next door and they were fairly bugged by the fact that their enemies were right across the Biergarten from them. I tried to give a Scholz's coffee mug to Senator Wellstone and he thanked me but declined because he was unable to accept gifts. My cost for the mug was $1.75 but he said he couldn't because he would be skewered, his words, for it. I knew Molly and asked her if she would accompany me along with the Senator and Jim Hightower next door to meet with their right wing wing haters. Senator Wellstone liked my idea and Molly loved it. Jim Hightower seemed a little nervous but he agreed to go. I introduced my 'guests' to about fifty old Germans who didn't care for my guests. It was great. Molly and the Senator Wellstone charmed them completely. I was so happy these guys, who were all Republicans, got to meet their sworn enemies. It's harder to hate someone in person. Molly thanked me and Senator Wellstone thought the 'meeting' was fun.

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u/GForce1975 Dec 01 '22

Awesome story. Great job! People in general, and Americans in my case, really need to fo a better job with simply discussing issues and debating. The whole political system has devolved into accusations and hyperbole.

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u/CommonMan67 Dec 01 '22

And he was right about attacking Iraq. He was last holdout in the Senate.

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u/Wonderful_Warthog310 Dec 01 '22

And just so conservatives don't take it to heart

I don't think Bush did it, 'cause he isn't that smart

He's just a stupid puppet takin' orders on his cell phone

From the same people that sabotaged Senator Wellstone

The military industry got it poppin' and lockin'

Lookin' for a way to justify the Wolfowitz Doctrine

And as a matter of fact, Rumsfeld, now that I think back

Without 9/11, you couldn't have a war in Iraq

Or a defense budget of world conquest proportions

Kill freedom of speech and revoke the right to abortion

  • Immortal Technique, The Cause of Death
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u/ElectionHacker420 Dec 01 '22

His death was questionable to say the least too. I know the FBI investigated it but they had also been looking into him for a long time before he was even elected. Maybe it was just a regular plane crash and accident and not a hit.

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u/Candelestine Dec 01 '22

I didn't realize he was trying to fight against what would eventually become the Citizens United ruling.

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u/ThrowAway_biologist Dec 01 '22

Can you explain this a bit more, please?

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u/MrFrillows Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

"Wellstone was the author of the "Wellstone Amendment" to the McCain-Feingold Bill for campaign finance reform, in what came to be known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. The law, including the Wellstone Amendment, was called unconstitutional by groups and individuals of various political perspectives, including the California Democratic Party, the National Rifle Association, and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Whip.[19] On December 10, 2003, the Supreme Court upheld McCain-Feingold's key provisions, including the Wellstone Amendment. Wellstone called McCain-Feingold's protection of "advocacy" groups a "loophole" allowing "special interests" to run last-minute election ads. He pushed an amendment to extend McCain-Feingold's ban on last-minute ads to nonprofits like "the NRA, the Sierra Club, the Christian Coalition, and others." Under the Wellstone Amendment, these organizations could advertise using only money raised under strict "hard money" limits—no more than $5,000 per individual.[20]

In January 2010, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the McCain-Feingold Act and removed restrictions on the NRA and others' ability to campaign at election time."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wellstone#Political_positions

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u/thegreatbrah Dec 01 '22

Citizens united needs to be overturned.

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u/WWBKD Dec 01 '22

If you've pissed off the California Democratic Party, the NRA and Mitch McConnell in one fell swoop, you know you're doing something right.

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u/begaldroft Dec 01 '22

Before E.Warren was in the Senate, Paul Wellstone would say, I could use 10 more progressive senators or at least one Elizabeth Warren. https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/paul-wellstone-elizabeth-warren/

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u/LITERALLY_NOT_SATAN Dec 01 '22

lol I spent about 90 seconds trying to figure out who E.Warren was before I saw the name in the link and it clicked

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22 Bless Up

Most of them start out honestly trying to make real changes. Once they get in and understand the process you quickly realize you cant do as much as you want without the support of others, and with the support of others comes the I will scratch you back if you scratch my back mentality. And its all downhill from there. You will have to make deals your against to move forward, you will have to lie to someone to get the support of someone else. And so on. You cant make it to the top without making lots of enemies.

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u/NotThatYucky Dec 01 '22

There's also the problem that your constituents may accidentally force you to lie to them somewhat.

If you give the voters realistic promises, then those promises will sound boring and unimpressive compared to a different candidate who is promising the moon. The electoral incentive is to overpromise and underdeliver. So the candidate who is misleading has an advantage over the candidate who is honest about what can actually be done.

Which of course makes everyone more cynical about everything.

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u/JoeDoherty_Music Dec 01 '22

"If you elect me, together we will reduce the taxpayer burden of local highway repair by 1.62% by 2036!"

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u/BigUncleHeavy Dec 01 '22

Meh. If it was at least 1.75%, this guy would have had my vote.

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u/Throwaway_inSC_79 Dec 01 '22

The sad part is, if you said 1.62% because that was the realistic goal, the competitor would go up on stage or TV and say "They're only saying they can reduce it by 1.62%, while experts say it can be reduced by 10%. What are they doing with the other 8.38%?" And people would by it that they could get a 10% savings.

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u/standardtissue Dec 01 '22

Now they'd just get up on stage and scream some sort of absolutely idiotic Chewbacca thing and drop the mic. "1.62% ? Is that METRIC ? THIS IS THE AMERICA THEY WANT" because American voters are intellectually impaired.

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u/Boring_Reflection642 Dec 01 '22

*waves candidate flag and craps self in rapturous joy*

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u/idk2612 Dec 01 '22

I think the bigger problem is that due election cycles it is really hard to make unpopular but necessary decisions. Rulers job (let's say president) is to be good for the country as a whole. Very often this means cutting short term interests of some group with a long term perspective.

Currently making any unpopular decision is likely to benefit your opponent. You make a decision. Voters get angry. Opponent promises to reverse. Wins elections but decision stays because XYZ.

Elections pretty much allow us to remove really bad politicians, but they also remove good ones saying necessary but not popular things.

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u/74misanthrope Dec 01 '22 Bravo!

This. Plus so many people today think that 'compromise' is a dirty word. See 'flip-flopping'.

The system we have worked best when there was compromise and no one got everything they wanted, 100% of the time. It works best when it's not just one party rule. It was designed that way for a reason.

It works best too when people actually understand how the process works. That requires actually educating ourselves; not just listening to some talking head or favorite source tell us how it works or what's going on. But that's a lot of work, and despite the amount of bitching people do, too many of them are simply not going to put the work in. They're going to listen to the people who agree with them.

There's an issue there too with the information that's out there. It's hard for people to sort through all the bad and misleading information to get to the truth. We simply can't get there when we reward people who lie or mislead, and punish those who are telling us things we don't want to hear. This goes doubly for the media we consume. How many media people and pundits are out there, telling people things that have been proven false; yet they face no consequences for their dishonesty? When called out, they double down on the dishonesty and are rewarded for it. They are rewarded because they are pushing someone's agenda and too many people want to be lied to. That's our downfall- too many want to be told only what they want to hear.

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u/markofcontroversy Dec 01 '22

I've always thought that an honest person could never be more than an attempted politician. If you don't lie you can't win, since your opponent will lie to win. Anyone who runs for office should be immediately disqualified from holding office.

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u/Blacksmithkin Dec 01 '22

I don't think i have the quote right word for word, but I always likes this one

"Anyone capable of getting themselves elected should under no circumstances be allowed to do the job"

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u/NotSpartacus Dec 01 '22

Nailed the meaning. Here's the quote-

It is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

-The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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u/OSUfirebird18 Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

So in the end, it’s the fault of us, the voters, why so many politicians are slimy.

It’s something I always think about when it comes to the presidential election. No matter what your political affiliation, the president always promises to do XYZ. Realistically, they can’t, they don’t make the laws. But yet we vote for them like they make the laws…

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u/ArsonProbable Dec 01 '22

A good promise nowadays would probably seem like inciting rebellion, not politics. Maybe that’s why we don’t have any good politicians… it’s impossible to be both a good person and to be a politician in this fucking world order. I’d probably turn to warlord real quick if presented options.

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u/Ilovethe90sforreal Dec 01 '22

This has always been my suspicion

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u/Funexamination Dec 01 '22

If you wish to see it more fleshed out, watch The Wire. One of the characters is a politician (not necessarily good, but not evil also) who gets more and more corrupt with time

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u/interesting_square Dec 01 '22

You basically gave a summary of this fantastic CGP Grey video which describes the process by which good people cannot actually enact positive change

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs

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u/ElectricRains Dec 01 '22

never saw any of this guys videos before, read your comment about an hour ago and just watched a bunch of his videos lmao

watch this one if you haven't already: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEV9qoup2mQ

so good!

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u/Megalocerus Dec 01 '22

Making deals is not necessarily dishonest; in fact, people have to trust you to make deals with you. Each person can just be furthering the goals they were elected to do, even though they disagree with each other. Congress members do not report to anyone. If there is no top dog, all joint action is through negotiation.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

Yes there are positive negotiations, but at some point you will have to compromise yourself for your career.

Congress members are owned by those who donate a significant amount to their campaigns. You need lots of money to win at this level, money comes from those that will benefit the most from electing you.

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u/GypsySnowflake Dec 01 '22

Serious question: what would happen if they took money from lobbyists but then just did whatever they felt was right, without regard for what the lobbyists wanted? It’s not like they can ask for a refund, right? Or are there actual legally binding contracts when someone gives a large sum to a political campaign, saying “You have to do xyz if elected or I can sue you”?

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u/orangesandmandarines Dec 01 '22

Quite sure they don't need to sue you...

First: they wouldn't get re-elected. And big changes need time. So the politicians need to be reelected to actually do something. Second: they better get really good bodyguards. Because yes, not all lobbyists are willing to kill, but just enough to be worried that you better keep your word. Third: even if they don't actively do anything against you, most lobbyists defend the interest of rich people and rich people tend to be the ones that have companies... Go against a lobby like that, "steal" their money, and you'll have a hard time getting a job after you are not re-elected.

So yes, politicians tend to keep their word or at least look like they did all they could. That's why many countries try to block donations to politicians.

In my country, for example, there's a max a person (or company) can donate to a political party for every election (10k), and there's asking from the auditors to ban company donations and only allow people to donate. Donations can't be anonymous and there's auditors. Of course, there's loopholes and work-arounds and people that just DGAF... But most people would see the fact that we allow big donations as a problem (although, probay, only for their political rivals and not their own preferred party...)

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u/fredSanford6 Dec 01 '22

Lobbyists will tear up checks if votes don't go the way they want. Its vote then get paid for many actions. Sometimes there is enough calls and noise from the citizens that a politician will go against the Lobbyist because they don't want that to be an issue later. It takes massive campaigns to sway a vote away from the 1% though

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

I doubt there are contracts just handshake agreements. And if your back out of a deal depending on how powerful the person is I'm sure you can kiss being re-elected goodbye, and possibly even your entire political career. I am sure if you screw over one the word will get out and no one will trust you anymore. That is just my uneducated guess.

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u/Decasteon Dec 01 '22

As sad as it sounds I like it better that way. Something about absolute power and such

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u/Houdini423 Dec 01 '22 Silver

There is a town in Minnesota that elected a dog as their mayor. Pretty sure the dog was a liar, cheater and stole the election. Still a good boy.

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u/alextbrown4 Dec 01 '22

Same with the town of Georgetown in Colorado. Really cute Bernese mountain dog

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u/JunosGold2 Dec 01 '22

Probably got in based on looks and ability to schmooze the right people. 😉

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u/jazd Dec 01 '22

Mayor Parker the snowdog

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u/PigPlayer3 Dec 01 '22

Also a dog in California, a town called Idyllwild, where their mayor is a dog. His name is Mayor Max, he also has deputies(who are dogs).

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u/Twittle86 Dec 01 '22

Goodest politician!

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u/skelingtun Dec 01 '22

But very easy to bribe.

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u/jimbris Dec 01 '22

When his administration shit the bed, it was not a metaphor.

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u/EquivalentCommon5 Dec 01 '22

He probably stole lots of treats and belly rubs while barking about the issues he was dealing with.

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u/Cameronalloneword Dec 01 '22

This is my kind of politician.

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u/GrumpyKitten514 Dec 01 '22

The Goodest boy.

Also I’m partial to Bernie sanders, he seems solid his whole life but that’s why he never wins lmao.

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u/DragonflyScared813 Dec 01 '22

Here in Canada, there was a guy named Jack Layton who was a New Democratic party official. Had a pretty solid reputation as a good person but passed away a few years ago from cancer. Pretty big loss for the people, some feel he'd have likely done a lot of good.

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u/darthaquaticmammal Dec 01 '22

Came here to mention Jack. If he had had the chance, I have no doubt he would've made Prime Minister

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

I just commented the exact same thing. I wonder how much different things would be?

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u/TribuneofthePlebs94 Dec 01 '22

For one, the Canadian pundit class would actually take the NDP seriously. The Liberals would have to fight hard to even be the opposition for at least a while.

It would have been a game changer, it's depressing to think about tbh.

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u/corialis Dec 01 '22

He wrote a letter to be released upon his passing and it contains a very moving passage that resonates with many of us still:

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."

Even though he was the leader of the opposition party and their politics were on opposite sides of the spectrum, the Prime Minister offered a state funeral for him.

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u/xAFBx Dec 01 '22

I've never been a huge fan of politicians in general, but Jack Layton seemed like he actually cared about the country rather than just wanting to be PM for money and power. He also seemed like a genuinely good man.

I'll never forget watching a debate, in French, where he spoke very well despite being an anglophone, meanwhile Stephen Harper was clearly reading from cue cards, and poorly. I'm pretty sure I remember Jack Layton giving Stephen Harper a shitty look for doing so, but that may just be wishful thinking and misremembering.

To this day I maintain that he's the best PM we'll never have. I hope we can find another politician at some point with the same passion for our country who can actually get elected.

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u/zanozium Dec 01 '22

Voting for Jack was one of the very few times I was actually proud to vote for someone. Here in Québec, we have this odd, kinda old-fashioned expression "un bon jack" when we mean a likeable, trustworthy, generous man. It's fascinating how quickly it became Jack's nickname with a lot of people here.

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u/TotallyTrash3d Dec 01 '22

I have no doubt the planet would be better if Jack Layton had been a 2 term Prime Minister.

We would hve been much more capable during the pandemic and our poorest citizens would be in such a better position financially now.

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u/otteregg Dec 01 '22

I volunteered during a few of his campaigns. He was a really kind man who genuinely cared about people who also happened to be a great politician. His death was a huge loss for Canada.

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u/MrLanesLament Dec 01 '22 Helpful

Jose Mujica, former president of Uruguay. He was one of the most humble politicians in modern history.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/Verified_ElonMusk Dec 01 '22

He was also a revolutionary who got into gunfights with the cops. He is incredibly based

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u/buttpooperson Dec 01 '22

He was kept in prison and tortured for what, 20 years? Tupamaros were fucking rad.

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u/LukeWhostalkin Dec 01 '22

He donated 90% of his salary to charities that fought poverty and was an outspoken critic of capitalism.

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u/persistantelection Dec 01 '22

He drove a VW Beatle and eschewed living a life in the presidential palace preferring to live on his chrysanthemum farm, instead. Absolute legend!

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u/gossamerfae Dec 01 '22

yooo nice. my mother is from uruguay and it makes sense that uruguay had a good president like that, seeing as the country has a lot of human rights accomplishments and stuff like that compared to some other south american countries (also the first country to legalize weed!)

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u/PancakeTactic Dec 01 '22

Can't find the article but their was one mayor or something, that slashed their salary to min, and donated what they made to charity, and lived in a small 1 bed with a room mate, and got their food from outreach and food banks.

Maybe not smartest, but, genuinely good, ya

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u/craiglbeero Dec 01 '22

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u/datsun1978 Dec 01 '22

This dude is special. If only this is why politicians got into it

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u/Superb-Antelope-2880 Dec 01 '22

Then they would have lost. Politicians aren't just evil for fun.

The system funnel people that are willing to pay dirty upward because if you don't play dirty you lose influences and elections.

If you hold power at some small position it might be unnecessary to cheat to win. However as you move up from local to city, regional, states, national, etc... you have to compete with 10000s of other people and at that number someone bound to be willing to do something extra to win.

People that are honest got kick out of the ladder before they even get to the state level.

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u/jplebourveau Dec 01 '22

This!!! As soon as I read the caption, I thought…

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u/Manuvelo Dec 01 '22

That's Mujica, Uruguay's former president. Not being greedy doesn't make you not smart. Mujica is a wise person, in most of his interviews he says pretty deep stuff and has a very kind and relaxed aura. He just enjoys a simple life, without unnecessary luxury, and thay's very understandable to be honest, he has all he needs to live what he considers a comfortable, happy life.

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u/Redqueenhypo Dec 01 '22 Take My Energy

Ben Wyatt. Was he a competent mayor? No. Did he mean well honestly? Yep

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

[deleted]

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u/DishwasherFromSurrey Dec 01 '22 Silver

Ice town costs ice clown town crown

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u/Parkotron1 Dec 01 '22

One of my favorite fake headlines ever.

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u/fireballx777 Dec 01 '22

Just ahead of Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb.

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u/thequietthingsthat Dec 01 '22

You sir, are a mouthful!

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u/somethingx3darkside Dec 01 '22

They were big into rhymes back then.

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u/whileIminTherapy Dec 01 '22

You better believe I'd vote for the Architect of Cones of Dunshire! Also, I support his position on calzones.

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u/megakungfu Dec 01 '22

🎵 stand in the place where you l...

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u/alizarik_thegoblin Dec 01 '22

Could a depressed person make this? No!

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u/ChloMiqoTe Dec 01 '22

I emailed it to Leslie and compared it to Avatar!

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u/MiceMan391 Dec 01 '22

I mean, what did they think would happen, electing a teenager to office?

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u/Butlington Dec 01 '22

18? That's pretty young to be mayor. What was he, like, 12?

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u/Bread_Truck Dec 01 '22

One of my favorite jokes ever. So simple. So perfect.

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u/No_Protection_88 Dec 01 '22

Old Australian prime minister named Jack Lang. Look him up. Absolute gentleman and intelligent caring leader.

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u/IntroductionSnacks Dec 01 '22

While not perfect, Bob Hawke seemed like a decent person. Pretty much the only ex PM who wouldn’t get booood as is tradition at sporting events for politicians.

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u/Fakinou Dec 01 '22

Funny thing, we also have a politician Jack Lang in France! But he's a former Minister of Culture. I think he's responsible for the Fête de la Musique (Music Festival, all other the country). But to say he's a good guy, idk...

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u/sunangel520 Dec 01 '22 Silver

Jack Layton.

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u/Pufflehuffy Dec 01 '22

I saw him in the Parliamentary cafeteria once and almost lost my shit. He commented on the number of pickles I wanted on my sandwich.

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u/BeemoBurrito Dec 01 '22

He would have been so good for Canada. There probably won't be another like him.

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u/obesitybunny Dec 01 '22

In Australia, the long-time leader of the Greens used to be a Tasmanian named Bob Brown. Whether you supported his policies or not, he was an exemplar of thoughtful, civil discourse, honest and principled. He lives very simply and was renowned for donating his parliamentary salary to charity.

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u/LaHawks Dec 01 '22 Gold

That cat that was elected mayor

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u/daginganinja547 Dec 01 '22

Talkeetna, Alaska (Mayor Stubbs) for anyone interested in specifics

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u/Clunas Dec 01 '22

I'm gonna go with the dog. Cats still remember when they were worshipped.

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u/Xeno_man Dec 01 '22

I suggest for anyone interested to watch CGP Gray's "Rules for Rulers"

https://youtu.be/rStL7niR7gs

It's eye opening to understand that those in power don't have much power. They only have power because someone else gives it to them and spending your resources on keeping those people happy is more important than anything, other wise you won't be in power for long.

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u/warkel Dec 01 '22

The book that this video was based on, The Dictator's Handbook, is also a great read. Helped me understand why Singapore is so successful despite not being that democratic.

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u/Kitchen_Music1302 Dec 01 '22

Depends what u mean by success here.

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u/Weekly-Host8216 Dec 01 '22 Gold Wholesome Take My Energy

Jimmy Carter was and is a great person. Kinda struggled as a President

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u/Daikataro Dec 01 '22

When elected president, he put his beloved peanut farm into a blind trust just to avoid any emoluments conflict.

Meanwhile the last guy literally endorsed a brand in the oval office.

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u/TOAOFriedPickleBoy Dec 01 '22

To this day I still refuse to buy Goya products for that reason.

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u/franz_kofta Dec 01 '22

I also stopped buying Goya. It’s not always easy, though. All of the Latin grocery stores are bursting at the seams with Goya products.

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u/jomiran Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22 Helpful

I learned to mix my own Adobo and Sazon until I found alternatives that tasted like they are supposed to. Fuuuuuuuuuck GOYA.

EDIT: https://youtu.be/WBkGDSqzyow

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u/jamphan Dec 01 '22

I admire Jimmy Carter and Dolly Parton so much. Two extra special people. ❤️

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u/blouazhome Dec 01 '22

Should be top spot, especially given the fact he was POTUS not mayor of podunkville

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u/Chainweasel Dec 01 '22

Jimmy Carter was and is a great person.

Which is exactly why he struggled as a president

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u/ForsakenDrawer Dec 01 '22

He was basically the last president to attempt to speak to Americans like adults, and he paid the price. Boomers still foam at the mouth about how he asked them to put on a sweater or whatever so instead they elected Reagan and killed the world.

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u/PublicFurryAccount Dec 01 '22

It’s literally this.

Carter was one of our best, most successful Presidents but he’s reviled and considered a failure because he asked people to turn down the thermostat and then lost an election.

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u/Archercrash Dec 01 '22

Imagine If Reagan had been president during WWII. “Don’t ration, it’s your right as an American to consume as much as you can”.

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u/SandInTheGears Dec 01 '22

Not to mention, uniquely qualified to deal with the 3-mile island disaster

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u/TJ700 Dec 01 '22

I think he was actually a much better president than he was ever given credit for.

However, he had some very powerful hidden forces (October Surprise?) working against him. The world would have been much better off if he'd had another term.

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u/orthopod Dec 01 '22

Carter was responsible for starting the craft beer movement in America by relaxing home brewing restrictions.

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u/themetahumancrusader Dec 01 '22

I don’t even like beer but that’s kinda cool

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u/dcheesi Dec 01 '22

I'm guessing his brother may have had a hand in that one

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u/speedycat2014 Dec 01 '22

Billy Beer! Wasn't that his brother or something?

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u/Bkfootball Dec 01 '22

He definitely had a tendency for being honest about his and the government's failings, which made his presidency look worse than it actually was. Naturally, every politician since then has learned that lying is much better for your legacy.

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u/GT-FractalxNeo Dec 01 '22

Jimmy Carter

sold his peanut farm before becoming president to avoid any conflicts of interest.... All the good old days

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u/Rough-Culture Dec 01 '22

This should literally be the top of the list, the man was relentlessly honest and devoted to weeding out corruption.

My parents were Washington activists in the 70s and 80s, and they actually impacted some things. One of them was a stat wizard, and the other was a relentless do gooder. Blips on the map and probably things you’ve never heard of, but they knew a lot of Washington elites and politicians.

My parents always said jimmy carter was meant to be one of the greatest presidents in American history, but he took away the limos... if you’ve never heard of this, carter drastically limited the instances in which politicians, the highest whitehouse aides, insiders, etc… could be transported by government limousines. before that they were getting chauffeured to and from work in limos every day.

He took this luxury from them. I’ve always heard mixed reviews, some saying it was a huge cost savings to the budget, others that it was largely symbolic. But he took the limos away and nobody in dc wanted to play ball with him anymore. Its like he underestimated how much people hate being caught behind the wheel in traffic.

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u/jdith123 Dec 01 '22

I think a fair number of local politicians start out as good people who sincerely want to make a difference. But it’s so expensive to get elected to state or national office that generally people have to “sell their souls”

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u/tmahfan117 Dec 01 '22

Sure, there’s been lots of politicians in history, one of them is bound to be a good, honest person.

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u/Errorstatel Dec 01 '22

You could also win the powerball

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u/Ma3vis Dec 01 '22

There was once a roman military leader that reluctantly became Caesar or emperor I can't remember. But he retired from the job early, only to come back later when things needed fixing again. Anyways, sounded like a decent dude who tried

Edit: Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus it was I believe

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u/The_Flying_Spaniard Dec 01 '22

Cincinnatus was an absolute chad. Made dictator, solved the issue, retired to his farm, came back for another term after everyone begging him to, solved the issue again, then inmediately retired back to his farm

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u/relationship_tom Dec 01 '22

Canada had Jack Layton. Died too early with the respect of all parties and everyone in the country save for morons. Had a very good chance of becoming Prime Minister near the end. I never votes for him but he was one of the good ones.

Bernie is proably as close as America gets to a consistent, honest politician in a higher position?

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u/Ah2k15 Dec 01 '22

Jack was the NDP's best shot at winning an election. Sadly none of the leaders (Turmel, Mulcair and now Singh) after him have that same charisma.

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u/Nynaeve91 Dec 01 '22

Katie Porter seemingly fits that.

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u/Hyphenated_Gorilla Dec 01 '22

Katie is an absolutely amazing woman, she just brings facts, hammers them home and outplays virtually everyone.

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u/OutrageousStrength91 Dec 01 '22

Which is why they removed her from the Finance Committee.

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u/Cloudy_Retina Dec 01 '22

“Under House Dem rules, a member is allowed to serve on two non-exclusive committees. Mine are Oversight and Natural Resources. One can ask for a waiver for a third committee. I asked. Others in same situ got waivers. I did not. I play by the rules,” Porter said in a tweet.

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u/GingerMau Dec 01 '22

I agree. And she is the protégé of Elizabeth Warren

I am waiting for someone to tell me something bad about Bernie Sanders, but in the 8 years I've been paying attention, no one has come up with anything.

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u/Afraid-Palpitation24 Dec 01 '22

Jimmy carter

Man actually tried to keep America out of wars during his presidency

Actually saved a Canadian nuclear reactor before cherynobl happened

Spent his free time building houses for habitats for humanity

Was a farmer and a Sunday school teacher before his presidency

Unfortunately he was considered too soft and got replaced by Reagan.

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u/CrabbyBlueberry I don't really like talking about my flair. Dec 01 '22

Habitat for Humanity is nothing compared to (nearly) eradicating the guinea worm. Nasty parasite. The less you know about it the better. Don't look it up. NSFL

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u/Hiram_Goldberg Dec 01 '22

My first vote for president in 1980 was for Jimmy Carter. Reagan was nothing better than a slightly slicker version of Trump.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

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u/israeljeff Dec 01 '22

Paul Wellstone.

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u/hellolamps Dec 01 '22

I think Jeff Jackson out of NC seems to be this type of person.

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u/onmytangent Dec 01 '22

Genuinely nice guy. My former employer hosted him for an educators panel when he was campaigning last yr and he was honestly so down to earth, interested in what folks had to say and open to learning about what NC communities needs.

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u/JQWalrustittythe23rd Dec 01 '22 Gold

Hurricane Hazel, mayor of Mississauga Ontario, for something like 40 years. Ran unopposed in some elections because she was held in high regard, nobody thought they could win. Only injury from the Mississauga train derailment and spill (she twisted her ankle rushing to meet the press, Ted Cruz, your flight is boarding). Stood down at the age of 90, 10 years after she gave up ice hockey.

She’s not Jimmy Carter, but I think he’d figure she’s worth the time of day.

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u/mytorontosaurus Dec 01 '22

Hazel is something special. She’s over 100 now and could probably still run things if she wanted to.

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u/CerealIsBrkfstSoup Dec 01 '22

I’m not sure who this Hazel woman is, y’all inspired to look up her life. She sounds genuinely amazing.

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u/PC-12 Dec 01 '22

Hazel is squeaky clean… Other than that whole “$4 million to her son conflict of interest” thing…

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/mississauga-mayor-found-in-conflict-of-interest-1.1073000

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

Jack Layton. If he wouldn't have died from cancer he would currently be Canada's Prime Minister.

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u/Larbac00 Dec 01 '22

Tony Benn

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u/SamMcK94 Dec 01 '22

Absolute gem of a man, the greatest 'should have been' British PM

Also Dennis Skinner

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u/noonefromithaca Dec 01 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Ally Narwhal Salute Helpful (Pro)

I feel like Bernie Sanders counts. That said, it feels like he's fighting a constant losing battle against corrupt democrats :/

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u/veggit_40 Dec 01 '22

I can’t believe I had to scroll this far to see bernie

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u/BJntheRV Dec 01 '22

Same. I expected this to be a top response.

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u/FucktheArcticMonkeys Dec 01 '22

I thought he would have been one of the first ones I’d see

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u/doug Dec 01 '22

Comments are sorted by Best by default, which puts comments that earned more speculative upvotes than downvotes near the top, regardless of their total upvotes.

Bernie Sanders is a little divisive on account he gets a lot of downvotes from right-wingers, including centrist Democrats for "dividing the party."

If you sort by Top (at the time of this comment), Bernie is closer to the top, just beneath the joke answers and Jimmy Carter, because more people gave it upvotes than downvotes.

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u/MIGsalund Dec 01 '22

Every time on every issue he sides with the people. He embodies the very essence of empathy, love for others in a world that places zero value on that, preferring to place all value on money and power.

This is illustrated quite nicely with the impending rail strike-- Democrats on the side of the economy, Republicans on the side of rail robber barons, and Bernie standing all alone in the Senate demanding that if the entire Democratic Party wants his vote then they had better make concessions for the workers that are not totally inhumane.

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u/twitchydigits Dec 01 '22

As far as I can tell, Tim Walz, governor of Minnesota, is a genuinely good, honest person. He's one of the few politicians that I've ever truly admired and wished I could meet. He was extremely open and transparent during the COVID lockdowns as to why they were making the decisions they were. He had a one-hour show every day or every week explaining everything. Unlike some politicians recently, he took questions from the press and did not kick out those who asked questions that were uncomfortable to him. (Never trust a politician who won't answer an uncomfortable question from a real journalist.)

When the Mpls police arrested the CNN reporter during the Floyd riots, he went to the press the next day and took responsibility (even though as governor he of course has no authority or influence over local law enforcement). Compare that to many politicians who won't even admit to things they were caught red-handed doing.

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u/Primary-Plantain-758 Dec 01 '22

He does sound admirable! As a European, you only ever hear about the (more or less horrible) presidents of the US so I totally forgot that you too have many more politicians that may have potential. That's nice to hear.

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u/JeffJeffWorf Dec 01 '22

As a Minnesotan, it's good to hear my man being recognized. Former public school teacher too!

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u/Background-Log240 Dec 01 '22 Silver Take My Energy Starry Rocket Like

Not hundred percent but Bernie Sanders ? Believe he was fighting for things like gay right way back when it was super unpopular on both sides just because he thought it was right ? Whatever you may think of the guy can't argue with the fact he's passionate and compassionate

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u/WhoDat24_H Dec 01 '22

Also I’ve seen videos of Bernie from 30 years ago and he had the same stance he does now. His beliefs were very progressive for the time. He also had an excellent answer to BLM vs ALM when Hillary did not.

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u/Background-Log240 Dec 01 '22

Hey they're still progressive even now ! As none of it has been done 😂

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u/WhoDat24_H Dec 01 '22

Can we talk about the main issue? There are so many amazing people in this world. Why is our system so screwed up that the worst of the worst are elected? It needs to be like jury duty where you get called to serve. It shouldn’t be a career.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

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u/lurkingprophet Dec 01 '22

Eugene Debs, convict 9653.

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u/cliswp Dec 01 '22

A lot of people talk about the cats and dogs that got elected, but here's the problem with that: most of them have been bad at one time or another: Messing on carpets, shredding furniture, chewing shoes, etc.

Almost all of them have skeletons in their closet, or buried out in the back yard.

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u/divingA1A Dec 01 '22

Buddy Cianci. If you ignore the affairs, kidnapping, torture, bribes, embezzlement, multiple stints in prison, and using the mob to create a crisis so you look good fixing the problem you created. Otherwise, stand up guy

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u/urbeatagain Dec 01 '22

Jimmy Carter.

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u/VegetableBird99 Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Salvador Allende was the first Marxist politician who was successfully elected into office (edit: head-of-state position) through a liberal-democratic election. He was then couped and replaced by Pinochet.

Salvador Allende

Last Words to the Nation

This speech was delivered at 9:10 am on September 11, 1973, in the midst on an ultimately successful US-sponsored coup d'etat against the democratically-elected government. Barricaded inside La Moneda, the presidential palace, President Allende gave his life defending Chilean democracy. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi. Translation first appeared in MRzine.

My friends,

Surely this will be the last opportunity for me to address you. The Air Force has bombed the towers of Radio Portales and Radio Corporación.

My words do not have bitterness but disappointment. May they be a moral punishment for those who have betrayed their oath: soldiers of Chile, titular commanders in chief, Admiral Merino, who has designated himself Commander of the Navy, and Mr. Mendoza, the despicable general who only yesterday pledged his fidelity and loyalty to the Government, and who also has appointed himself Chief of the Carabineros [national police].

Given these facts, the only thing left for me is to say to workers: I am not going to resign!

Placed in a historic transition, I will pay for loyalty to the people with my life. And I say to them that I am certain that the seed which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever.

They have strength and will be able to dominate us, but social processes can be arrested neither by crime nor force. History is ours, and people make history.

Workers of my country: I want to thank you for the loyalty that you always had, the confidence that you deposited in a man who was only an interpreter of great yearnings for justice, who gave his word that he would respect the Constitution and the law and did just that. At this definitive moment, the last moment when I can address you, I wish you to take advantage of the lesson: foreign capital, imperialism, together with the reaction, created the climate in which the Armed Forces broke their tradition, the tradition taught by General Schneider and reaffirmed by Commander Araya, victims of the same social sector which will today be in their homes hoping, with foreign assistance, to retake power to continue defending their profits and their privileges.

I address, above all, the modest woman of our land, the campesina who believed in us, the worker who labored more, the mother who knew our concern for children. I address professionals of Chile, patriotic professionals, those who days ago continued working against the sedition sponsored by professional associations, class-based associations that also defended the advantages which a capitalist society grants to a few.

I address the youth, those who sang and gave us their joy and their spirit of struggle. I address the man of Chile, the worker, the farmer, the intellectual, those who will be persecuted, because in our country fascism has been already present for many hours -- in terrorist attacks, blowing up the bridges, cutting the railroad tracks, destroying the oil and gas pipelines, in the face of the silence of those who had the obligation to protect them. They were committed. History will judge them.

Surely Radio Magallanes will be silenced, and the calm metal instrument of my voice will no longer reach you. It does not matter. You will continue hearing it. I will always be next to you. At least my memory will be that of a man of dignity who was loyal to [inaudible] the workers.

The people must defend themselves, but they must not sacrifice themselves. The people must not let themselves be destroyed or riddled with bullets, but they cannot be humiliated either.

Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Go forward knowing that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again where free men will walk to build a better society.

Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!

These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain, I am certain that, at the very least, it will be a moral lesson that will punish felony, cowardice, and treason.

Santiago de Chile, 11 September 1973

Source

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u/gelattoh_ayy Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Bernie Sanders is a pretty genuine awesome dude. He was arrested at a civil rights movement in the 60s and has been a proponent of equality since day one. Pretty much lead alot of the talks on gay marriage and trans rights for years - decades. He has been at it before the recent movements, alot of the time alienating himself from political groups and peers.

He has a squeaky clean record, and has always always always been fighting for the middle class of the United States.

Based Bernie

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u/covidregret Dec 01 '22

I read an article where it said some tabloid tried to find out if there were nasty stories they could get on Bernie by going to his ex-wife. She told them to piss off and that he was and is a good person. I mean, if your ex endorses your character, there's likely no dirt available to be dug up against you.

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u/gelattoh_ayy Dec 01 '22

Wow that's funny. Yeah, he's aa good guy. Fuck the media and tabloids. Our system is so fucked up.

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u/AxiomCruiseCaptain Dec 01 '22

Tons of actual good humans that work in politics. The idea that only psychopaths go in to politics is a great way to suppress democratic participation.

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