Kilpatrick: Undone by Age and Advisors?

Mayor Kilpatrick stands charged of violating criminal laws.
Too bad for him and the city.
I moved to Michigan in 2000 and started practicing law in 2001.
I occasionally handled cases at Detroit’s 36 district court. I have noticed positive changes that happened under the leadership of Mr. Kilpatrick. As a graduate student who commutes to Wayne State in Detroit I also noticed the changes in the city. The man deserves credit for the developments in the city and the new confidence in the city.
He finds himself in this painful situation because of his age and some of the people around him. There is a logic for setting a minimum age for public office. With age usually come experience, wisdom, and balance. Mr. Kilpatrick is an ambitious young man who had a lot of potential.
Politics is not for the faint hearted. Ambition requires risk taking and he is a risk taker. But too much risk is foolhardy- there is a lot one can do but would be crazy or foolish to do. Political office brings power. Powerful people are usually surrounded by people who tell them how great they are. Sometimes powerful people bring their friends as their advisors and the challenge is that the friends, who owe all to their buddy, to tell the powerful that they are not infallible. This is hard for young friends to say.
With age, a politician can see through the actions and the words of those around him/her and thus keep a balance.
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Add youth to the equation and you have a real high risk of self-destructive behavior.


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