What reward do politicians get? History provides the first part of the answer through examples like Eisenhower, Churchill, De Gaul, Thatcher and Reagan. For the most part the media never highlighted their lifestyles; in fact their reward was to avoid the limelight, almost as a sign of respect.
Later politicians preferred the lavish alternative by focusing even more limelight on them, in a sense enlightening of a new populism where being popularized by media, meant being connected and compatible to the current incumbents of powerful positions.
Enter the love triangle of elected power, financial power (donors) and connected power (ex-politicians).
The emergence of connected power changed the old metaphor of â€œthe corridors of powerâ€ to â€œthe after-dinner circuitâ€ as described about David Cameron.
Modern retired politicians do not get much respect, so they seek the alternative thrill of rubbing shoulders in after-dinner parties and connecting secretive deals no government knows about. It is almost childish. But this process did not go entirely unnoticed.
It is called industrialization and happens in all industries. As new industries emerge (such as application software), the various competitors will club together to motivate Government to change laws in their favor (another example is the very successful Chamber of Mines). Labor unions also club together to form federations. Â It even happens in Academia where the Governmental interface affects big education grants.
In this process of establishing an industry association, the oldest most knowledgeable competitor will take the lead to groom some of the younger energetic participants to do most of the work. The older guys will observe whatâ€™s happening and change â€œpoliciesâ€ to ensure improved outcome (for them). Essentially this is the trickle-up system. The energetic younger politicians realize (only afterwards) that they missed out because they left their powerful jobs relatively penniless i.e. Bill Clinton. But because they were â€œgood soldiersâ€ for the senior guys, they are allowed to join the after-dinner Industry club.
The problem experienced by the younger politicians is that they have nothing left to do, they are too young to exercise â€œhobbiesâ€ and they also feel unrewarded because they can see other people getting it.Â The counter contention is however, that a Prime Minister at the age of forty-two years is more likely to damage his country despite being more energetic than an older, mature person and therefore is not deemed worthy of a â€œrewardâ€ because he will break his â€œvowsâ€ anyway.
Feeling neglected, a young â€œretiredâ€ Prime Minister will intuitively seek to â€œre-connectâ€, but this time for his â€œownâ€ benefit i.e. not for the electorate. Essentially this is the story of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. In hindsight the After-Dinner Club also include FW de Klerk, David Cameron, Justin Trudeau (not resigned yet), John Kerry (not resigned yet) Hillary Clinton (part of the Clinton dynasty) and Nickolas Sarkozy.
There are more of course, with the common denominator being the New World Order. We should oppose the industrialization of politics by opposing the election of young immature politicians and instead should test, instruct and reward our own mature politicians directly so temptation is of no use to them.