Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Character Counts: The Debase Debates of our Petty Presidential Candidates

It is official the Presidential debate has turned historically ugly.  With both candidates pushing to raise 1 billion dollars in pursuit of being named Commander in Chief, resources have recently been overwhelming spent on negative ads vilifying opponents.   The ads question Romney's past CEO initiatives and Obama's past Presidential programs.  Not that questioning an opponents' motives are wrong, but these paid messages have more name calling than a grade school playground fight.  These messages paid for by wealthy intelligent people in support of candidates are nothing more than bully talk.  The campaign messages are full of half truths that distort the other candidates' words.  There are sound bites taken to make a completely different message than ever intended. There is more dishonesty in this campaign than any other in our history.
Politicians (on both ends) lie about their opponents' to smear their name and then they dare to claim they stand for truth and justice.  Meanwhile the issues of rising poverty, escalating war, unstable governments, and missing opportunities of the lower class go ignored.  When is the last time the Afghanistan War which has over 80,000 U.S. troops engaged been mentioned?

These debase debates effect more than just our voting system.  The behaviors of our nation's leaders are a terrible hideous disease that has infected us all.

 We as a people can no longer discuss points and ideas in how to govern a nation, instead we get angry, make personal attacks, ostracize opposing ideas, and even commit unthinkable acts of violence.  We do not know how to have differing respectful debates because our leaders have debased the art.  Our politicians speak out against bullying, yet when it comes to their opponents' they cruelly attack anything and everything they can.  We have had everything from people’s pet ownership to singing ability attacked in political ads vying for what is supposed to be the highest position in our country.  We have been left with petty presidential debates that disease our nation, families, and even our own reasoning skills.

Why are we even passionately arguing for one leader over another when neither has risen above the challenge?  Why do we put our energy and resources into a failing system?

I think it is time we expect more from our leaders.  Every year candidates wonder why people do not make it to the polls when we are left with no good options.

Our leaders have failed to lead us to be better people; our public servants have failed to serve.  We have put winning, election, and position at the forefront of our achievement and we have only sunk to the bottom in attempts to reach these goals. 

Jesus Christ quite plainly told his disciples the secret to leadership and effective change; serve humbly and look to others interest before your own.  If we are to become a people united together with vision that can effect change, our leadership, our politics, our theology and deepest personal self must turn away from the egotism that has led to violent words and behavior of debate.  We must learn to serve.  This message is for our politicians, for our CEO's and world leaders, but if we expect them to reflect this behavior, we must first lead them with our own daily sacrificial lives, just as Jesus did.  We as a people from the bottom must imitate the greatest teacher who ever lived, we must trust in the powerful words of service and humility allow ourselves to become last so others can be first.  This will not trickle down from the top, but it will be planted in those on the bottom.  It will slowly, yet surely as a strong oak, grow into an unmovable, healthy, and fruitful tree. 

This will happen with those who trust in those words of Jesus and become the underground, dirty, unnoticeable roots that hold together both tree and nation.

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