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When Politics Trumps Principles
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 2:04 PM

When Politics Trumps Principles

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 2:04 PM
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 2:04 PM
The peer pressure among kids is nothing compared to the peer pressure among politicians.
Good public policy is a result of mature leaders reaching across the divide to devise policy that benefits the whole, not enrich the few.
One of the most glaring reasons we find ourselves so upside down in this country is because politicians govern according to peer pressure and social media rather than guided by good policy-making and solid principles.
We have a President that sets the country's agenda by endless incendiary tweets and who is so thin-skinned that clapping back is more important than governing. And, a dysfunctional Congress with many of its members without backbone or moral compass. Many with a "religious" one, yes, but a moral one? Hardly.
This isn't a criticism just hard truth about hard times in America. And knowing the greatness we historically have been makes me exceedingly sad to witness where we now are.
Far too many members of Congress are so afraid of being "primaried" that even though (giving the benefit of the doubt) they know the right thing to do, in order to save their political bacon, they do what is politically safe rather than what is pragmatically right.
Never mind the fallout. As long as they are "safe" at the ballot box they can slink around D.C. and go back home secure in knowing that as long as they have dotted the "i's" and kissed the right ring, they can beat their chest, with less chance of getting beaten at the ballot box. It is a sad commentary.
We are living in an unimaginable challenging and curious time in America. In my humble opinion? Both the left and right are out of touch with reality.
While those on the right kiss the Trumpian ring and play anything but "Christianly" hardball with full support of evangelicals and preachers to back them up, those on the left play kissy-face with progressive socialism with the most extreme left wrestling for control of the Democratic Party's heart and soul.
Even as Bernie has backed out, it is questionable whether a more moderate Joe Biden can rally the Bernie Brigade, let alone get the ball across the goal line. Even with former President Barack Obama in the huddle helping to call plays, Biden will need a serious ground game and near flawless execution. 
The American people are being forced to choose between progressive socialism for the working class and elite socialism for the top one percent. This stimulus will be no boon and economically America is in for some dark days and deep debt the likes of which we have not seen.
What will we look like when we emerge? The once-powerful world superpower, feared throughout the world? Even that is quickly eroding as America slips on the international stage.
So, we get to pick our poison. Socialism or elitism. Either one gets the same result. Death to high-flying capitalism as capitalists emerge from this pandemic as capitalistic cannibals, feeding on the vulnerable with the full support of an administration who cares nothing but for its image and ratings with superficial, slick marketing and with the help of FOXNews and conservative talk radio talking heads. Indeed a sad commentary.
Pick your poison America. Either way, we're screwed.
Abraham Lincoln told a still divided country that if America were to fall, it would not be from the hands of an enemy without, but from the hands of enemies from within. It would implode.
The president's wall very well may prevent intrusion, but it is no defense against implosion. How can you build a wall around a country when its very enemies reside within its boundaries?
Alarming murder rates, the meteoric rise in racist groups, massive unemployment, reduction in wealth on a scale unlike we've never seen since The Great Depression; the revelation by this pandemic of how totally unprepared the systems of the greatest country on the planet is when it comes to its ability to respond quickly to crises; and, the fragility of the same.
We have far more than "illegals" to worry about. We no longer even have a concern with mass murder by Muslims. And I can't remember the last time I heard mention of "radical Islamic terrorists" by conservative D.C. politicians and talking heads. It was all about political rhetoric, ratings, good soundbites for talk radio and votes. Period.
Such is life in the United (Divided) States today.
Good public policy is a result of mature leaders reaching across the divide to devise policy that benefits the whole, not enrich the few.
I love this country and it saddens me to see how far we've fallen and continue to fall. We are in freefall as leaders scramble to do what they should have been doing all along - leading and governing with principle and purpose.
We in times past would always hold out hope that the next generation would lead us out of the weeds. However, a new generation is not the end all be all.
Many of them it seems are coming into office with axes to grind, a chip on their shoulder with something to prove; or, to "get in where they fit in" - finding their "tribe" and playing to it, forsaking anyone who can't do anything for them. Kissing up and fitting in. Sad commentary - this is raw but real.
Still, others have proven little except that they are great "community organizers and activists" not quite ready for prime-time governing and leadership - with little to no interest at all in "paying their dues." They are the right-now generation who feel it is their inherent right, right now to run things.
This is where we are. It's not pretty and this I know will be seen as negative, but it's not. It is unvarnished truthful observations.
Politicians more concerned about the next election than they are about the well-being of people is our new reality.
Politicians are concerned about how they will fare in the next election, principled public servants are concerned about how well the next generation will fare.
We desperately need far more principled public servants and far fewer unprincipled politicians. So many great leaders, statesmen and stateswomen down through history sacrificed so much and it saddens me to no end to see what we have become and are becoming.
And looking at the dugout, we have fewer true public servants and even fewer "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" types up to bat.
When people who are in office are there to curry political favor or prove political points, they will ultimately be proven wrong. They always are and history will not be kind.
Alas, but by then, the damage is done and we are left to pick up the pieces left by politicians who concerned themselves only with enriching the few while sacrificing the well-being of the many on the altar of self-aggrandizing politics.
Only true leaders with moral fortitude, courage, steel wills and backs, not more politicians influenced by radio talking heads, CNN, FOX or MSNBC or their own sense of importance can lead us out of this present darkness. And my prayer is that God will raise up such. We can do better. Far better.
What is sadder? There is no moral authority on the national stage. None.
There are no more Martin Luther King, Jr. or Billy Graham-type, politically uncompromised faith leaders unobligated to anyone but God who dare speak truth to those who don't want to hear it, let alone be governed by it.
King and Graham were not afraid to stand flat-footed, challenging leaders not bowing to them while speaking with biblical clarity and grace.
We can no longer even look to the church and church leaders in America to lead the way. That not only is sad but frightening.
At the rate we're going, it will be neither the politicians nor the preachers that will lead.
It will take a fed-up people who become finally fed up with broken promises of unprincipled politicians and elect from the local level up to the federal, those who value principles more than politics and service above self.
Barring this, Abraham Lincoln would not only have been President but proved a prophet.

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