Print this Page

An Observation Concerning Government Officials

An Observation on the Nature of Government and Elected and Appointed Officials. Being an occasional series of philosophical musings of the Cherry Hills Village Mayor Pro Tem.

Integrity. Honesty. Fairness. A commitment to equal protection.

All of these are critical in our elected and appointed officials.


Because we cannot function as a society in a system where everything is dependent upon personal favors, personal whims or a sense of being “beholden” to an interest group. And it is rendered all the more complicated when the individuals involved in government are not honest in what they say. Not only are they influenced by personal considerations, they also cannot be trusted to tell you (when they are so influenced) that they are in fact influenced, and they cannot be trusted even to be swayed by the same personal influences each time.

That is why we say that we are a government of laws and not of men.

Laws are made to be immutable, while unprincipled humans are the very epitome of mutability.

How does it work?

Let us say that, today, a certain government official is on your side.

Tomorrow, someone else who is also on that official’s side may turn against you. If your relationship with the government official is based upon personal influences – and not on the law – who will the government official choose to favor in the end?

And how will you know?

Is that what you want?

Avoid electing or selecting any government officials who are guided by personalities, personal considerations, and favoritism, and who are not guided by the law. For there is no sure way of knowing what they will do. And you cannot rely on what they will say in any event. Moreover, there is at least a 50-50 chance that you will be the loser.

It is far better to elect or appoint someone who is honest and who is guided by the principles of the law. Let us exaggerate the point to illustrate the point: Even if you yourself might have dishonest tendencies, and feel that you might therefore have an advantage with a dishonest official, you will do far better with an honest official: you will always know where that official stands, and can shape your plans accordingly. With the dishonest and mutable servant, you can never know how to plan, which is far more expensive and inefficient and – ultimately – successful only very rarely.

So as you consider candidates for elected or appointed positions, consider their integrity, their honesty, and their fairness. And consider individuals who are pledged to provide equal protection under the law.

We will all be the better for it.

  • Douglas M Tisdale, CHV Mayor Pro Tem
  Cherry Hills Village April, 2006

Permanent link to this article: