Sunday, January 22, 2012
Politics oops, I said that word!
Usually, around our house, and even on the Internet, discussions about politics are a no-no -- and I respect other thoughts than mine. But I have a problem with today's politics in general.
My problem lies in what our leaders and candidates really are thinking of in their beliefs. I'm old-fashioned in a lot of ways -
and I am reminded of this more often than I like, but I don't want to apologize for how I think about our country. For instance, I look back at Harry Truman and realize that, though he may have made mistakes, he held fast in his beliefs and never 'passed the buck', instead he was decisive and history reminds us that he was right more often than wrong. I look back in history to Theodore Roosevelt, a president I have admired for a long time. With Theodore Roosevelt, the needs of the nation and the morality and accountability of leadership was paramount in his leadership.
I know there are a lot of people who do not like and maybe detest Bill O'Reilly and Glen Beck, but the two books above (by them) have motivated and excited my thoughts about 'old-time-politics - something somewhat lacking in today's political world. I know, there are those in my family who are apt to say to me, 'the world is different,' and I must agree. But I think that we need to reconsider who we are as Americans, and what we expect as Americans. Just like the question of what to believe in the church: should the church change to conform with society or should the church hold fast to its traditional beliefs and try to lead society to a strong and consistent belief in the presence and power of God.
Both Washington and Lincoln lived in dreadful times but each of them, in many ways, stood fast in their priorities. Neither of them deviated from their belief in God's power, and belief in the United States Constitution. Each of them sacrificed much for the sake of our freedom and national potential. In many ways today's focus is on self aggrandizement, and secular and personal things. Even Franklin D. Roosevelt did not prioritize a give-away government - he came up with programs like the CCC and WPA that put people on a payroll. Yes, their salaries came from the government - but people did not live on handouts - there was dignity in earning what they got. Look at the legacies those programs offered us, and those results continue to this day.
I am sure that the books above may not appeal to everyone. But the fact of the matter is, we all need to deeply and sensitively consider what made our country great and what our national priorities are today. What sacrifices do we make that might parallel the sacrifices of Washington and Lincoln and the people of their times? Washington was not perfect (he admitted that) and surely I'm not - but Washington and Lincoln, in terrible times,
placed trust in God and did the best they could to mold a strong nation. And I've tried to do what I could in my lifetime.
Finally, the books must be good - they have been on the New York Times non-fiction best-seller list for quite some time. Beck and O'Reilly must have done something right - and I appreciate
their efforts. The big question is: 'Who among our leadership today offers the same commitment to what America stands for'?