Why Lawyers Should Not Be In Politics
Written by our Knox County Correspondent
Shakespeare’s exact line ”The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” was stated by Dick the Butcher in ”Henry VI,” Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73. Dick the Butcher was a follower of the rebel Jack Cade, who thought that if he disturbed law and order, he could become king. Shakespeare meant it as a compliment to attorneys and judges who instill justice in society.
The proper role for our federal politicians is to identify areas in our laws and society where problems exist that can do harm to the general population and correct them. The constitution gave the Federal government 18 areas where it could exercise its authority over the states and its people. All other issues were left up to the states and their respective legislatures and by extension the people to resolve.
Now what qualifies an attorney, to resolve issues relating to the people of the United States?
They are by trade not problem solvers, as a business man is. They are litigators. They operate in an environment of antagonism, hostility and contention. Problem solving, to many attorneys, means winning.
Attorneys operate in the gray areas of the law. That is where they make their money. If a law is clearly black and white there are no areas to contend with. This is one reason the bar association has rabidly opposed common language laws. Legalese is the stock in trade of an attorney. That is why we need the legal profession to interpret our legislation for us. They craft legislation to promote this job security.
Another area of conflict is the issue of what is moral vs. what is legal. Just because something is legal is no indication that it is moral. After all, the Nazis murdered 12 million people in concentration camps and it was all legal. Morals are usually a static set of rules derived from an understanding of a higher power. I was discussing this issue with an attorney friend and he vehemently disagreed with me until I asked him how much moral/ethical training he was taught in law school. He replied “I see your point”.
That said, what is the proper roll and function of a public servant? Is it to craft legislation? From the conceptual point of view yes, but not to the point of actually writing the legislation. We do not need attorneys in the Congress to write legislation. We have people who are very adept at doing that.
Often times the lobbyists who plague Washington D.C., 33,000 at last count, write the legislation that will affect their clients and have the legislators introduce their bills.
What makes attorneys gravitate toward politics? What talents or lack thereof are required to become a successful (get elected over and over) politician.
Running for office requires time, lots of it, mostly in the evening but day time is also required. Attorneys by and large have flexible hours unless he/she has a very successful practice and has a full schedule.
An attorney also may have access to the more wealthy in our society thereby making it easier to raise funds.
So are attorneys more qualified to be public servants than say business men/woman? I will let the presidency of Donald Trump speak to that. Given the preceding arguments I would say that we need more business men in Congress and not so many attorneys.
(LFC Comments: We agree that the ballot language written by lawyers are far too confusing for the average citizen to understand, and there is deception being played on the taxpayers in the property tax language on the ballot. A recent proposed change in the ballot language by State Representative Derek Merrin, was defeated by the Democrats. State Representative John Rogers was instrumental in getting Governor DeWine to perform a line-item veto on the current budget. Here is a link to our prior article: