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Homo Politicianus

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Peggy Noonan correctly suggests that the scandals that frequently erupt around Bill and Hillary Clinton likely reflect that couple’s genuine corruption or, at least, their inexcusably cavalier attitude toward rule-following (“Stuck in Scandal Land,” March 6).  But Ms. Noonan slips up just a bit when she writes that questions about Ms. Clinton’s motives for conducting all of her public business on her private e-mail account are, if excusable in this case, “low and embarrassing” and that “[i]t is uncomfortable to ask such questions.”

In fact, such questions are low, embarrassing, and uncomfortable to ask only when asked of people who are not in the business of minding other people’s business.  Yet Bill and Hillary Clinton are politicians – which means that they are hungry for power and that their chosen line of work is to lord it over others.  Anyone with enough arrogance, self-importance, and hubris to choose such an odious career deserves few, if any, of the presumptions of decency, scrupulousness, and fair play that are owed to the typical store clerk, appliance repairman, insurance saleswoman, hedge-fund manager, and others who make their livings only by eliciting the voluntary cooperation of their fellows.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030