Does a politician need to personally believe in the policies they promote?

I see politicians routinely getting slammed by pundits and social media when they vote in favor of policies they personally don’t believe in. An easy example are gay politicians voting in favor of anti-gay policies.

However, isn’t the whole point of electing someone so that they represent the will of the people and not just their own personal beliefs? I see that it’s probably easier to believe a politician who personally aligns with you but as they are an individual, they can’t possibly believe in every policy they promote, maybe the majority, but their job is to represent their people.

Next softball question.

you actually think that republicans like donald trump? i’m sure many of them hate him, but they care about their own power more, so they go along with it.

I kind of feel like it’s weird that they’re still supporting him even though he’s not in power anymore.

Not in office isn’t necessarily the same as not in power

if they don’t support Trump, Trump will tell his base not to vote for them, and most of the people who vote republican still support him. He’s a bully and people are terrified of losing their own power if they fall out of favor with Donnie.

I see. Maybe in that case those politicians aren’t following the will of the people then. Unfortunately for me the will of the people has a lot of really, really weird beliefs.

they are following the will of the people who would vote for them, the republican voters.

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He still has power that affects certain politicians: his ability to get a shitload of voters to primary out the current GOP representative or senator. And this power is all it takes for them to keep bowing to him.

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democratic politicians happen to be on the right side of things right now, but i’m not sure they are much better. they also care about power, but their power doesn’t depend on donald trump.

some of them seem truly good. AOC comes to mind. she went to help out in Texas when they had that power outage, while their own senator fled. There was no reason for her to have to do that politically that I can think of.


The converse can also be true. Being in office isn’t necessarily the same as in power. (Still thinking of Trump)

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This. And the same can be said of Democrats, it’s just not as obvious because there hasn’t been a total whack-job Dem elected to the highest office in the land in a tide of populism.

I recall then-little-known Representative John Boehner reassuring a group of concerned Republicans in 1993 that we had nothing to fear from Hillarycare because it was so bad that even Democrats wouldn’t vote for it. He explained that 95% of what happens on Capitol Hill is about getting back to Capitol Hill, and the Dem Congress Critters may like the Clintons, but they like their jobs better. Even if they were personally in favor of the bill they weren’t voting for it.

In that case they were going against the POTUS, but the similarity is in their motivation primarily being about keeping their jobs rather than voting their conscience.

Eh, I think AOC is hoping to be more than a Representative. She seems pretty ambitious.

I’m sure that the optics of going to Texas and helping was a significant motivation for her.

Agree with the rest of your post though.

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Absolutely. Sarah Palin had far more political power after she stopped being Governor of Alaska, if you want another example.

Some things, sure. Others, not so much.

I was thinking more of the converse, where people attribute more power to a sitting office-holder than they actually have. A few examples:

  • “Trump’s economy”
  • “the Trump vaccines”
  • “Trump caused 300k covid deaths”

Fine! Jimmy Carter builds houses and stuff for habitat for humanity and he is like 100 years old and isn’t doing good deeds for any sort of political points anymore.

I think Jimmy Carter is an exception to the rule…especially if viewed from today’s polarized climate.

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He’s not doing it for political power, no. He does have his legacy to think about, of course. He’s held in much higher regard today than he was in 1980/81, certainly.

That said, kudos to him for doing real good in his ex-Presidency. Better than most ex-Presidents, for sure.

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okay, with that line of thinking you can’t say that anyone does anything just for the good of humanity and not for any sort of recognition, not just politicians.