We need more businessmen in government, not more politicians governing us.

We need less rhetoric and more results, because a shadow government run by the unaccountable can do the unconscionable — it will do unspeakable things, unless we raise our voices and combine our votes to elect leaders with executive experience.

We need Democratic executives, we need Republican executives, we need CEOs of every party and of almost every point of view.

We need leaders from the private sector to run for public office.

We need leaders who can both read a balance sheet and weigh the balances of a decision, who can profit the nation and protect the soul of America, who can turn deficits into surpluses and agencies into agents of change.

We need these leaders to serve their respective states and cities, because we have too few professionals in politics and too many professional politicians in government.

The leaders I speak of are men and women who know how to do things. They know how to meet deadlines because they understand the bottom line: that we cannot continue to defer the costs of what accountants call deferred maintenance, that we cannot establish justice by perpetuating injustice, that we cannot promote the general welfare by ending welfare for those who need it.

Mike Bloomberg speaking in Johannesburg in 2014. The businessman and former mayor is now running for president. Flickr: GovernmentZA/GCIS

Do these leaders have the answers to all our questions? To ask the question is to answer it, because not every problem has a solution and not every solution is free of problems.

On a practical level, however, the majority of our everyday problems are solvable.

We can make our cities safer, our streets cleaner, and our schools better.

We can do these things, and more, so long as we have leaders who make their intentions known and their results knowable. That is to say, if we can measure words against actions, if we can see with our own eyes what our fellow citizens see every day, if we have greater transparency in government, we can advance the cause of good government.

Power Can Cleanse

Take, for instance, Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor of New York City.

Elected twice as a Republican, he won a third term as an independent. He now seeks to be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.

Because of his ability to switch parties without switching principles, because of what power allows him to do rather than be, because his power is not dependent on comforting the powerful, Bloomberg proves that power reveals.

According to the American political biographer Robert A. Caro, power does not always corrupt. Power can cleanse.

As mayor, Bloomberg cleansed his office by adopting an open office plan. He turned his office into the Wall Street equivalent of a trading floor. He placed managers and aides together in one room.

Between his statistical, results-based approach to governing and his government of individual experts, Bloomberg made himself more accountable and accessible to the public.

We need leaders from the private sector to run for public office.

He also managed multiple challenges, including the aftermath of 9/11 and the global financial crisis.

His high approval ratings were a credit to his service, just as the city’s good credit made it easier for Mayor Bloomberg to provide essential goods and services.

By setting an example of what a non-politician can do, in addition to exemplifying the good we all can achieve, Bloomberg shows us how much better government can be.

By showing us how responsive government should be, he reminds us how responsible those who govern us must be.

By showing us the way forward, we have the power to begin our system of government over again.

Let us, therefore, resolve to realize the government we deserve.

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