"My rule for the next two years," proclaimed President Clinton as he defined his middle-class bill of rights plan to cut taxes, "will be country first and politics as usual dead last."

By a strange coincidence, the Democratic and Republican titans of Capitol Hill, who are hawking their own tax cuts, also renounced politics as usual.They expressed horror at the very thought that the desire for political gain might have been a motivating factor in the development of their proposals.

It may sound cynical to suggest that politicians are politicians no matter what their pretenses. They may be in public life to implement certain philosophical beliefs and improve the lot of the people, but they must never forget that their tenure is based on the will of the people.

Politics, it is said, is the art of the possible. It also is the art of pleasing people and winning their support. If politicians in a republic cannot do those things that please their constituents, they soon will be ousted from office.

-Robert E. Thompson

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