I like politicians who practice what they preach, walk the walk, live life by the same rules that they expect you and me to follow. People like that are true leaders.
Unfortunately for us, many politicians expect the rest of us to live our lives in a more austere manner than they would ever consider doing themselves. Take for example the congressional bloviators who don't want to spend any of our nation's resources on health care for common people, but are delighted with their own government-paid health care. Or governors and state legislators who would never think of not voting in an election, yet spend vast amounts of time on the public dime figuring out ways to eliminate groups of individuals they don't like from the voting rolls.
Today an excellent example of a politician acting in a hypocritical manner surfaced when Texas congressman and perennial presidential candidate Ron Paul revealed that he receives monthly social security checks. He's old enough, and he's entitled - and good for him. The system was designed to help old farts like Congressman Paul survive his golden years. Sadly though, the check-grabbing congressman isn't very eager to see the rest of us get ours.
Ron Paul, who has a long and vocal history of opposing federal welfare programs, has announced a plan whereby young people could opt out of social security - a code for bankrupting the program by draining off mandatory contributors and contributions. That's the same principal employed by people who want tax breaks so they can send their children to private or religious schools - syphoning off the funding in the hope of killing public, taxpayer-funded education. (Then those little beggars can go back to work in the factories where they belong!)
And old Ron calls it individual liberty - and maybe it is because he is freely pocketing his social security checks. But some things require a collective effort if they are to work - public education, old age assistance, and democracy are all examples.