Because Yudhisthira Maharaja himself was very pious, he conducted his government in such a way that people were also pious. Yad yad acarati sresthah lokas tad anuvartate. (Gita 3.21) If the leaders are perfect, then the citizens will be perfect. If the leaders are rascals . . .
Just like in your country, now your president is caught up. Just see. Such an exalted post is occupied by a person who is subjected to so many criticisms. Why? “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.” The king or the president—why he should be under suspicion? And if he is under suspicion, then immediately he should resign: “Oh, people are now suspecting.” But this rascal will not resign. You see? Just see how much our leaders are polluted. He has been charged with so many things. Why he? Everyone is. He is weak; therefore he has been caught up. That’s all. He is not so perfect diplomat. Otherwise he would have not been caught up.
So the leaders must be perfect. Therefore, according to Vedic civilization, at least three persons in the society . . . First: the priest or the spiritual master, who are engaged in teaching people about religiosity, must be perfect, above suspicion. Similarly, the public leader must be above suspicion. A brahman . . . Brahman means priest also. He must be above suspicion. And the king must be above suspicion. Then things will go on. But there is no such restriction.
Nowadays it is the days of vote. Any rascal, if he gets votes somehow or other, then he acquires the exalted post. That is also written in Srimad-Bhagavatam, that in the Kali-yuga there will be no consideration who is fit to occupy the exalted post of president or royal throne. Simply somehow or other, by hook and crook, he’ll occupy the seat. Therefore people are suffering. It is not . . . Nowadays, in democratic days, the government by the people, for the people. So if the government is by the people, yes, you select your representative. If you are a fool, then you will select another fool.
So Bhagavata says, sva-vid-varaha ustra-kharaih samstutah purusah pasuh. (SB 3.2.19) Anyone who is not a devotee, Krishna conscious devotee of God, then he may be in an exalted post, but he is praised by people who are exactly like sva. Sva means dog, and vid-varaha means pigs, who eat stool. And ustra means camel. And khara means ass. If a person who is not a devotee is praised or is exalted, then the persons who are praising him must be among these animals: dog, camel, pig, and ass.
So the whole population is like that, like dog, like camel, like ass, and like vid-varaha, pig, stool-eater—the whole population, at the present moment. So they must elect another big animal who is also in this category. Because they have no knowledge. If you take votes from the camels, to whom he will vote? Another big camel, that’s all. If you take votes from the dog, then whom he will elect? Another big dog. Therefore, anyone who is not a devotee of God, Krishna, he is either of these animals. And if he is praised, it is to be understood that he is being praised by a similar type of animal.
So, if we remain sva-vid-varahostra-khara, then we must elect another big sva-vid-varahostra-khara. So how there can be good situation of the state? It is not possible. Therefore the public must be educated so that they may not elect another big dog or big camel or big ass to the exalted post. It is the public’s fault. Nowadays it is democratic days, so why should you complain against such-and-such person or president? You have elected him, and now you find fault with him. It was your fault that you elected such a rascal, sva-vid-varahostra. It is very right conclusion.
—Srila Prabhupada, talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam, Los Angeles, December 15, 1973