POLITICIANS vs STATESMEN

Over the last couple of years I have been a reluctant convert to “Smartphone Technology”. I must admit it has been a great way to keep up with what is happening in the world. For instance, news travels much faster by social media such as Facebook, rather than more traditional means. 

Part of the fun is trying to sort out what information is authentic, or what is of value and what is not. 

Recently, something came across my Facebook News Feed that really struck a chord with me. 

I am not sure who the originator is, so I can’t claim the credit, but we can all learn from this: 

Politicians versus Statesmen:
Politicians Talk it – Statesmen Walk it
Politicians run to Win – Statesmen run to Serve
Politicians are Idealogues – Statesmen are Open-minded
Politicians, “It’s all about me” – Statesmen, “it’s all about them”
Politicians focus on the next Election – Statesmen focus on the Future 

My thoughts right now, more than any other time in recent history, is that we need to see the emergence of true “Statesmen”. 

Politicians, who can talk the talk, but don’t really walk the walk are a dime a dozen. And let’s face it, we are all over it. 

Isn’t it amazing that in these days of political correctness you obviously have to hold your tongue at the football, even if you are a totally unaware 13-year-old kid from the bush. True racial abuse can never be accepted, but compare the actions and severe punishment of that child to the behaviour of our political leaders – who carry on the way they do, throwing insults across the floor, and yet legislate on our behalf. It is as though they are informing us uneducated folk about what is politically correct as far as respect and tolerance, and what is not. Mmm…Please give me a break…!! 

The late Dr. J. Rufus Fears, professor in the History of Freedom, says that a politician and a statesman are not the same thing. He argues that a statesman is not a tyrant. He is a free leader of a free people and he must possess four critical qualities: 

1. A bedrock of Principals 

2. A moral compass 

3. A vision 

4. The ability to build a consensus to achieve this vision 

Some indecisive electorates around the globe may well be rebelling against politicians and yearning for the arrival of a generation of “True Statesmen” who possess these genuine characteristics of Enduring Leadership. For example, the recent Malaysian national elections in May were marred by serious allegations of corruption and ended in the ruling party returning to power with only 47 per cent of the vote. Such is the need for the emergence of what he describes as “A new breed without greed”, my mentor Dr. Jonathan David is running The School of Statesmanship for the first time in Malaysia later this year. This is receiving much interest and support from people across the world who are obviously looking for a new type of leader, or hope to be built into that stature themselves. 

Well, it is only a matter of months until we go to the polls again for what will be a very important election. Can we be confident that a statesman will represent us accurately or will we be governed by politicians who will “sell out” to secure their own jobs? This is to be a shared responsibility between leaders and the electorate alike and we, the people, must ask the question: “Is he or she a Statesman or just another Politician?” 


- PASTOR BRIAN HEATH