“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bravery and Benazir Bhutto

I want to start this post by clearly stating that I am no political expert, and I do not advertise myself as such; however there are a few things I wanted to note about the recent tragic events in Pakistan, and the U.S.'s current political clime.

1. - Our Founding Fathers put together a pretty good system, which has enabled 'bloodless' transfer of power for over two centuries. That is pretty amazing considering how rare that is. Even when we have close calls, such as in 1960 and 2000, we are able to transfer power without massive riots in the street. Obviously, this says something about the society as a whole as well.

2. - After saying the above, I would like to say that, while this system has served us well, the people within the system are in drastic need of revamping. Look at Bhutto, a person willing to risk her life for what she believed. She took a position which she knew was unpopular to the more radical element in her society and stuck to it. Ultimately, as she knew it would, this cost her her life.

Now, look at the current state of our politics, the BIG 'issues' so far are:

1. - Did Hilary Clinton lie? (of course, so did they all)
2. - Did Barak Obama take drugs?
3. - Was there a (gasp) cross surreptitiously positioned in Mike Huckabee's Christmas message?
4. - Is Mitt Romney a cultist? (yes)

On and on it goes -- and do you notice anything? There is no a single issue of substance involved in any of the debates, attacks or discussions. Whichever way the polls turn, so too do our 'leaders'. What a contrast with Bhutto who stood FOR something, regardless of what the polls said, regardless of what the times dictated as far as regards her personal comfort.

Oh yes, the ads 'act' as though they are addressing issues, and again, it is the issue du jour -- i.e. Mitt Romney attacks everyone's position on illegal immigration, yet what is his plan? Who knows, you can't answer a complex question like that in a five minute sound bite on a so-called Presidential Debate (which are not only jokes, but actually misnamed, they are not debates, but a platform to test out the latest sound bite).

REAL leaders have REAL answers to REAL issues, and stick with those answers because they have been thought-out and tested against what makes sense, not what resonates with the most people. Because, my friends, quite frankly, we, the people, are as shallow as those we elect. Who would actually sit and listen to a true debate about the issues?

We watch the debates for the same reason many go to the NASCAR races -- to wait for that one spectacular crash.

We can learn much from Bhutto's life and death -- yes, she made mistakes, and was no saint, but she actually stood for something, and there were people who actually cared about that. How about this election year: can you and I get off of our duffs and actually elect someone with answers? Can we stop focusing on only the issues that the media and the politicos point us to, and actually start addressing the politicians and asking hard questions like:

Is this person a leader? Why?
Do they actually have a vision for this country? What is it?
Can they articulate their position on the issues in a way that is meaningful and not simply sensational?


Anonymous said...

I must disagree with you on two points (ME disagree with YOU -- shocking!!).

First, Mitt Romney's being a cultist IS a major issue. The man has a worldview in opposition to all 43 U.S. presidents and ALL current candidates. I actually shiver at the the thought of him being elected.

Secondly, we have not always had a bloodless change of power in our government. On FOUR occasions, the blood of our leader has been spilled and power has been transfered to another. Has this made us a "banana republic"? Definitely not, and this was simply a technical observation, but it HAS happened.

Otherwise, great observations.


Ray said...

Aha -- but the blood being spilled was NOT by a rival opponent, but rather by an assassin, and the transfer of power was the second-in-command...

(And I am unsure that Romney's worldview is in opposition to all the candidates -- many of them are simply using the 'Christian stick' to build constituency -- they may, or may not be Christians.)