Thoughts On Independence Day

On this Fourth of July, it's a good opportunity to consider what the founders of this nation would have thought about us, our generation.

Surely, they would have been impressed with the wealth of America as it approaches the millennium. Certainly they would have have admired the courage of the fathers and mothers who lived through the Depression and World War II.

But as I was thinking about the Clinton family scouring the country, looking for new offices to run for, and as I was watching congressmen worm out of the promises they made, I also wondered what the founders would think about the evolution of our politics: How we've developed an elite new class of professional office seekers.

And how that has spawned the enormous cottage industry of pollsters, consultants, advertising and media experts. Ands how all that has made our politics so expensive that almost nothing matters but money anymore.

My friend Walter Meares, the Associated Press columnist says he's been covering politics so long he can remember when people worked in campaigns because they thought their candidate would be a good president.

These days, that motivates only some in politics, which for so many has become just another job.

I think that's the part that would have astounded the founders.

By BOB SCHIEFFER
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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