VI. Will and Ambition
“It gratified my pride to be without fault and, when I did something bad, not to confess that I had done it.”
When I left academics for politics, I knew what I wanted: to be elected. Everything was in service of that ambition. Each and every relationship was a transaction. My twenties are best summed up not by me, but a Nathan who told me the truth.
You lack a level of maturity that would make you a good candidate right now. Having worked with you, I’ve seen the way you can talk behind people’s backs, make promises you can’t keep, and in general have too great a sense of your self-importance. I say these things to you because I believe that you can hear them and do something with them. I think these characteristics are a sign of someone who is professionally advanced for someone as young as you are and at the same time relatively inexperienced in terms of life and personal/professional discovery.
His words, your voice. I saw people as a means to an end; isn’t that how they saw me? I skipped the needed niceties. I didn’t make friends, only associates. My subtle disdain and mockery were felt, acutely, and when I finally did run for office, people held back.
A good legislator (I think) would be one who can listen to people with less judgement about people, or at least the ability to see their own judgments and still hear what’s valuable and what individuals are saying underneath what might sound trivial, uneducated, or whatever.
My political career would have ended in scandal and humiliation. My losing was your will, your mercy, and your grace.
“But in fact, it was me, wholly me, and my impiety had divided me against myself.”