The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

By Carl Parker
For the Record 

What's a Politician?


Last updated 2/15/2022 at 6:52pm

How many times have you heard someone running for office say, "I am not a politician"? The phrase seems to suggest that being a politician is necessarily a bad thing. I disagree.

Anyone hoping to win in any game, be it athletics, business, cards or even monopoly must know the rules. To me in a free, democratic form of government one who knows and understands the rules and how to apply them is a politician.

Washington, Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin et. al. were all consummate politicians.

Orange County has recently lost a person I consider the epitome of what a politician should be like. That person is Essie Bellfield. She knew how to wield influence and what government should be about. Essie was a dear friend of mine and one of my early and loyal supporters of my political ventures.

I recall one way that Essie was an influence, not only in local politics but even at the state level. She once brought to my attention the fact that the state of Texas did not have a single highway trooper of color. As a result of my conversation and on her urging I was able to gather a delegation of state representatives to bring the matter to the attention of Governor John Connally. Within weeks of my conversation with Essie on the subject, Texas had its first person of color highway trooper.

Unfortunately today, we have plenty of showmen, snake-oil salesmen, grifters and people seeking public, some successfully, for all the wrong reasons.

Unfortunately, we are short on what I consider true politicians.


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