The good politician cares for all his constituents. He knows them and they know him (or her). He understands their needs. They understand he is willing to put his political life on the line for their benefit.
The hired hand politician has no such relationship. His interests are money and power. When pressured he readily abandons constituents because he truly cares nothing about them.
So, the good mayor will make decisions that are best for his whole community, not just the coalition that got him elected. The good legislator will support and pass bills that are good for his entire district, not just the small percentage of constituents that voted for him (a 55% majority in a 65% voter turnout equals 36% of registered voters and does not include unregistered adults or children in the district).
The good governor will do what is best for his whole state.
Consider Ohio Governor John Kasich, just re-elected to a second term. A Fox News commentator said, “Kasich’s empathy for others is one of his strongest qualities.”
Kasich is a fiscal conservative, an adamant tax cutter, a small government champion, an effective job creator, and pro business. He is also an evangelical Christian whose pro-life actions dramatically reduced abortions in Ohio.
But, he believes the Bible calls him to do more.
“The right way to live is to make sure that those who do not have the blessings that we have, those who are beleaguered, those who have fallen on hard times – we can’t ignore them, we have to help them, and we’re expected to do that, and I believe the Lord expects us to do that,” he said. “And it’s spelled out pretty clearly in the Old and New Testaments, consistently.”
For that reason he signed Ohio up for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, one of a handful of Republican governors to do so. “I had a chance to bring … Ohio money back to Ohio to do some things that frankly needed to be done. And that’s to treat the mentally ill, to get them across the bridge so they can get employment. The same for the drug addicted – and you know drug addiction is in every demographic, every income, every community – to treat those people, rehab them, and get them to work. And also to make sure the working poor have a system that makes sense, instead of showing up and getting their healthcare in emergency rooms.”
Not the typical behavior or policy approach for most conservative Republicans.
“I’m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on the poor,” Kasich complained about Republican policies. “The Lord has created everyone in the image of God. Everyone deserves a chance and everyone deserves respect.”
The good politician acts as a good shepherd to his constituents.