IN POLITICS CHARACTER IS EVERYTHING
July 22, 2007
As with public officials so it is with candidates for public office, character is everything. Helen Keller said it well: Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved." Helen Keller, a woman of stalwart character. As we see it, a person's degree of character determines a person's level of creditability. And that is the way it should be.
An office holder does not necessarily need to be brilliant; some might say Harry Truman was not brilliant, but he helped save Western Europe from Stalin. One does not necessarily need to be clever; one can buy cleverness from those who possess those skills. One does not need to be a specialist in all the areas of governmental operations; officials and candidates can secure the services of operational specialists and policy wonks. And even in this day and age, one can seek and secure a personal and political temporary "fix'em up for a makeover"; for there are those who specialize in selling political makeovers, transparent as they may be. Public office holders and candidates can surround themselves with financial advisers, poll taking managers, and policy pragmatists. In fact, it is not uncommon for some to hire ghost writers to author books and to write specific speeches for select populations; to some of us, this may be less than prudent and not very cricket. It is not the way to gain credibility and earn the public trust.
We believe that the profound key to the success of any candidate is credibility and credibility is dependent upon character. And no amount of financial support or buying power can purchase that. It was Margaret Thatcher who said so wisely "Discipline yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, personal satisfaction, and character." It is disparaging to read the latest job approval rating of the Congress and the President. The President has a favorability rating of 36 percent and the current Congress has a 23 percent favorability rating. These figures are abysmal and are cause of great concern. Clearly, credibility is a significant factor and credibility is determined by character.
We believe one cannot buy trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and self discipline. One cannot purchase courage and decency, and one cannot rent a strong moral sense. A public official must possess these pillars of character within the heart and bring them to bear in pubic service. For character determines ones credibility destiny. Political campaigns, one-liners, appearances on talk shows, fund raising events, canned speeches, and slick slogans are all a part of the current campaign for President political scene. What value is notoriety if you lose the public trust? And the rhetoric continues but what do we really know about the many "want-to-be" candidates? What are their core values? John Locke said it well "I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts."
There are a number of strategically current and serious issues facing America today and Americans are eager to hear these matters discussed and evaluated. For starters, the voters are yearning to hear the candidates' positions on national security and offense in the Terrorists War on us. They look for projected plans with respect to fiscal spending, taxes, entitlements, and the size of government. Americans are looking for positions with respect to reform in the legal system, appointment of judges and protection of liberty based on the interpretation of the Constitution. People want to know their thoughts on governmental intrusiveness, the full mobilization of the free enterprise system where business drives the economy, free markets, and less dependence on foreign oil. In short, The American citizen has had enough of style; they are hungry for substance. The rank and file of Americans holds to the truth that one must use self-discipline and control, and NOT compromise principles or sacrifice long-term goals for short-term indulgences.
It was Thomas Edison who said "What a man's mind can create, man's character can control." Our Country is built on solid core values. America is a nation that is never finished; each generation works at making our country better. Threats to our ideals have always rallied those who believe in the promise of America. We believe that most Americans forthrightly hold as generations of the past, to the solid core American values of peace through strength, liberty, and a free economy. We believe in trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and self discipline. For these are the pillars of a person's character. And it is character that serves as the foundation of credibility. In the 2008 Presidential election and in other elections as well, as goes ones' credibility, so is that person's "electability." And that is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.