One of things you have to love about Benjamin Franklin was his optimism with regard to those who hold public office.
They are of the People, and return again to mix with the People, having no more durable preeminence than the different Grains of Sand in an Hourglass. Such an Assembly cannot easily become dangerous to Liberty. They are the Servants of the People, sent together to do the People’s Business, and promote the public Welfare; their Powers must be sufficient, or their Duties cannot be performed. They have no profitable Appointments, but a mere Payment of daily Wages, such as are scarcely equivalent to their Expences; so that, having no Chance for great Places, and enormous Salaries or Pensions, as in some Countries, there is no triguing or bribing for Elections.
—letter to George Whatley, 23 May 1785
Reference: Franklin Collected Works, Lemay, ed., 1108.
[Via the Patriot Post.]posted on February 17, 2006 9:49 AM