… is from page 7 of my colleague Bryan Caplan’s hot-off-the-press 2022 book, How Evil Are Politicians?: Essays on Demagoguery (footnote deleted):
Under democracy, politicians are less candid about their motives; they need us to like them, and power-hunger is not likeable. But given its ubiquity throughout most of political history, can we really believe that the motive of power-hunger is no longer paramount? One of my favorite political insiders privately calls politicians of both parties “psychopaths” – and he’s on to something. Rising high on the pyramid of power is hard unless the love of power fuels your ascent.