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Politics & Power

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The Loyalty Test

Can you stick with someone no matter what happens? It seems to be the question of the day in the Democratic presidential primary. On one side you Have Barack Obama who is dynamic, eloquent and inspiring but he has some affiliations that make his true intentions a little hard to know with absolute certainty. On the other side you have Hillary Clinton who has been around politics most of her life and who knows how the system really works but she seems to have an issue with embellishing the facts of the past to put her self in a more favorable light.

So what should be the test of an election? Should it be a test of the votersí abilities to ferret out the truth of a candidate and vote for the best one or should it be a test of the votersí loyalty to one candidate? If it came out that Barack Obama cheated on a college exam or Hillary Clinton took money from people tied to criminal activities should you still vote for them? Would it matter? How important is the character of a president? What if it comes out that your beloved candidate has been a liar or a cheat in the past? Should you still vote for them out of some sense of loyalty? What if they are honest but clearly unstable? Should we vote for an honest but crazy person?

The interesting thing about watching politics is that if you watch for long enough you will see every foible known to man exhibited by some politician somewhere. From alcohol and drug addiction to embezzlement and pedophilia, just about everything has been seen in Washington since the inception of our current form of government. So what should be the acid test for candidates? Do we hold them to the highest moral standards or should we be more concerned with their abilities as a leader? Should we worry if they tell a little lie here and there or have some unsavory friends or should that not matter if they really get the job done for the people?

The integrity of candidates probably should matter but finding perfection in any human being is next to impossible so where do we draw the line? These are questions voters should be asking themselves as they go to the polls and decide who they want to lead them. The plain truth is that people lie and people have unsavory friends but those flaws donít necessarily make them unsuitable to lead others. JFK who is held up as an icon of a great American president cheated on his wife on a regular basis and had ties to known mafia figures through his family. Ronald Reagan left his first wife and misled Congress about arms sales around the world. Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War denying prisoners their constitutional rights to due process. Thomas Jefferson held and fathered children with slaves. Were they all bad leaders because of their flaws? Not necessarily. The sum of their deeds would tend to lead to the conclusion that they were good leaders overall despite their flaws and maybe even because of them.

We as voters need to be intelligent in our decision making when it comes to our leaders. If the person we like is dishonest, we need to deal with that fact and decide if their lack of honesty is outweighed by their abilities or if they just are not honest enough to be entrusted with the reigns of power. If the candidate we like is honest but crazy, we need to consider that and ask if honest but crazy is ok for a leader. We need to choose people we trust and know that can intelligently make decisions based on the greater good of our society. It really doesnít matter if someone is a nice guy if they are stupid or insane enough to start WWIII unnecessarily. It doesnít matter how nice someone seems if we know they will unapologetically lie to our faces to make them look better in the public eye because we donít know what else they might lie about. It doesnít matter how inspiring someone is if they donít have the judgment to make sound decisions about the future of our country.

Integrity, honesty and intelligence do matter and should be taken into account when choosing leaders but we also need to temper that with weighing the overall strengths and weaknesses they bring to the leadership table. Leaders need to be able to foster the good will of their people in order to lead them. Divisiveness, underhanded tactics and below the belt rhetoric should be considered weakness in a leader. If the person has to resort to name calling or telling half truths about their opponent, they likely donít have the record of their own worth running on and may not be the best choice for a leadership role. Leaders need to be open, honest and not afraid to reveal the details of their lives to the people they lead even when those details point to flaws. A real leader is not afraid of their flaws and publicly owns them with the knowledge that they have learned from their mistakes. There is no perfect politician but if you find one that is all-around better than another, you probably should vote for the best one even if they werenít your first choice. A loyal fool is still a fool and it is foolish to ignore the facts simply to be loyal to someone that you donít really know anyway.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article.



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net

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