Why Power Corrupts (Smithsonian) discusses a study to determine whether “When you give good people power, are they more able than others to enact that moral identity, to do what’s right?” It turns out, yes.
People’s sense of “moral identity”—the degree to which they thought it was important to their sense of self to be “caring,” “compassionate,” “fair,” “generous” and so on—shaped their responses to feelings of power. ... [T]he study found, power doesn’t corrupt; it heightens pre-existing ethical tendencies. Which brings to mind another maxim, from Abraham Lincoln: "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power."
So, we really are just electing the wrong people. People who seek power for power's sake have the wrong attitude, and aptitude. Just ask Julius Caesar.