Another old screed that I'd forgotten I'd written until a friend put it into his email Signature rotation (minor changes made for updating):
First it was Collin. Then John McCain lets us down. Rudy. One by one the ones who have shown us that greatness lies within them, succumb to the siren song of power.
Maybe the definition of a politician is a person who, at some later point in their life, discover that why, yes, they can use those heroic younger selves to gain more power for themselves today. That courage and integrity that saw them through those awful tests then, well, they're not really that useful today. They're now just coinage.
Whereas to an ordinary person who opts not to so use their own earlier days of triumph over adversity, who instead just live their lives peacefully and honorably, those days were all that justifies the rest of the time we take up space on the planet.