#2 6/5/13 Tenaciousness as an asset?

“Tenacious before his time”. Robert Menendez on the death of fellow Senator Frank Lautenberg.

Is tenaciousness an asset? Certainly in some fields, in sports for instance, a tenacious rebounder is something every NBA team needs. And a tenacious doctor or lawyer is the kind you want to hire if you’re sick or have a grievance. But is it an asset in public service?

I would suggest for the most part no. The IRS was tenacious in it’s oppression of political opponents, the Bush administration was tenacious in it’s build up to the second Iraq war. The problem with tenacious public servants is that a public servant is there to serve the public, not impose morality. And Tenaciousness requires one of two beliefs, either that you are absolutely good, or that your cause is absolutely good. Both are very dangerous beliefs for public servants to have.

Once they are convinced they are absolutely right their appears to be no absolute wrong they are unwilling to justify to promote what they perceive as the common good. Wether it’s Stalin starving the Kulaks or Obama’s IRS suppressing political opposition. Both are tyranny, plain and simple. And with the exception of a few exceptional cases (Lincoln preserving the union) the causes of politicians, wether it be preserving their power or saving us from 16 ounce sodas, just isn’t that exceptional.

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