Tag Archives: absolute power corrupts absolutely

Frodo’s Ring

Tom Terrell's fantastic blog post on former NC Gov. Easley's plea deal contains a fantastic reminder for anyone in public service:

But the point, nonetheless, remains.  From lowly Soil and Water Conservation District representatives to the President, men and women elevated to elected and appointed positions have fiduciary duties to the public.  They exercise and are entrusted with powers we have handed them to take care of the rest of us. This power can be used beneficially for the common good, or it can be abused for all the reasons that gave rise to Shakespeare’s many tragedies.

The problem is that political power is like Frodo’s ring. When you possess it, it consumes you in ways you don’t understand, and it works its black magic before you realize it’s happening. All we can do is to be vigilant and to keep reminding ourselves of the weakness of the human spirit and the dangers inherent in power itself.

Our faith in our own cities and counties as well as our state and nation depends upon it.