I’m sorry but if Lindsey Graham represents what today’s American conservative expects in a leader, our days are numbered. As a matter of fact, he is just one of many who would best serve our Country by opting for retirement.
Concerning this Republican stampede of candidates, I sense that a theory, a possible explanation may help our understanding. It all reverts back to the election and subsequent re-election of the draft dodging Bill Clinton. Add skirt chasing to his accomplishments and viola, the opposition equates the Clinton example as the new and revised Presidential yardstick.
Although sad, this is a plausible reflection from those eight embarrassing years. And Graham himself seems willing to carry on Clinton’s dalliances as he recently stated that since he is divorced, he would have rotating “first ladies.” Hopefully, this off color statement was his attempt at comic relief. All the same, this attitude seems as a spin off to the Clinton escapades, which slandered our Presidential image while lowering future public expectations.
So, as we wallow in this early campaign slush of hopeful wannabes, it might behoove us wander back and consider words from a time when more substantial factors entered into filling the Oval Office; rather than just being wooed by “good ole boy” charm or from striving to elect a “first.”
James Madison said on June 20th, 1788 at the Virginia Ratifying Convention: “…But I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation…To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men.”
This condition of responsible citizens electing virtuous leaders seems out of sorts with today’s highly sensitized electorate but one thing is certain; it details the deterioration of standards and personal assessments over time.
Way back in 1788, Madison assigned that total responsibility with his, “is there no virtue among us?” Well, is there, but more importantly, can we confront that question with today’s convoluted thinking?
In reality, the answer is well known already. Look around, gaze at all we currently permit. Obviously there were days long ago which were prudish, given today’s standards, but there was a middle ground which in retrospect, appeared only as a rest stop.
On a personal level, I live where at the end of my street is the big pond of the Atlantic. And no, its level is not rising, as some continue to fearfully forecast. However, one could say I live in the midst of pushing the societal envelope. While thongs slow the shoreline traffic on A1A, today’s swimwear verses styles around the turn of the twentieth century, at the very least, illustrates the direction which we are hastily following. The point is that this radical shift, while collectively at the personal level, is also indicative of our national virtue and our individual self respect.
I am aware of the convenient rationalizing that “it’s a generational thing.” I understand that one holds true to his or her youthful tenets and experiences however, where does today’s path end and has this acceptance become so widespread that it now overlaps into our Presidential judgments?
How do we limit such revisions and “feel good” principles? Can the human mind think leniency in one area while relegating rigidity in another? I think not!
In general, I think that our Forefathers were well aware of our inherent human frailties. In fact, Thomas Jefferson flatly stated, “In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
Although early in this nominating process, most people are able to spiel off the names of those with little or no chance of winning. At this juncture, Graham’s lack luster Iowa appearance only dug his also ran status a little deeper when he severed interest by his waffling responses. How does a Presidential candidate expect to amass votes with, “I’ll proudly defend the unborn, but if we can’t agree on abortion, let’s talk about taxes?” What happened to principles, to what is right and most of all, to the sanctity of life? His presentation failed miserably on all counts.
Another Madison quote details what all voters will have a hand in preserving. He stated that, “We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
This growing assemblage of candidates is insufferably egotistical. However, just as Graham made a fool of himself so early, others at some point will follow suit. Similar to water seeking its own level, those not capable should hopefully be revealed.
As Confucius so wisely believed: “a man simply cannot conceal himself.”
Of course with some, as is the case with Obama, it’s just taken a little longer.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com