Owen below mentions a Robert Kennedy quote “Politics should be the most honorable profession.” With all due respect to the late Senator, one has to wonder if he was drinking at the time? Or perhaps he was merely speaking in the subjunctive, making a statement of aspiration.
In any case, politics isn’t and has never been the most honorable profession, it’s merely the oldest. (You think not? Without politicians to tell other people what to do, Ugh the caveman just called it “dating”. Without politicians, there is no prostitution — nor any need for it.)
But then, wishing for perfectly honorable politicians and a better grade of citizen to vote for them is really just the same old fantasy of politics somehow perfecting human nature. The brilliance of the American system is that the Founders went into it, eyes open, all of them mature and aware of human foibles, and designed a system meant for real people, not imaginary paragons of virtue.