Making US Great

“A symbol of freedom does not, within itself, possess what it takes to preserve it.”

Photo by Andrew Pons

By John Dunia

Not all who read my posts are US citizens but I’m hoping everyone will find some inspiration in this week’s article directed toward my fellow Americans. The past few articles have centered on Leadership and as the US midterm elections approach, I felt these thoughts were rather timely.

As my sixth decade on this planet swiftly approaches, never would I have imagined this country would be in such disarray. While the solutions to resolve these issues may remain a mystery, there are plenty of actions from all sides of the political spectrum which are clearly not the remedies.

Since I have no party affiliation and therefore no cause to promote, I’ll do my best to be as unbiased, fair, and independent as possible. A brief assessment of both major political parties will reveal that for many politicians being in the good graces of their party far outweigh the importance of being a leader to those they were elected to serve.

My concerns about political parties were also echoed by someone with much more political clout than I and that was none other than the Father of our country, George Washington. In his farewell address, he advised the citizens to see themselves as a cohesive unit and to “avoid political parties”. He also stated, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterward the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

We citizens must now both demand leadership and do our best to commend those who exude it. The current leadership at the national level seems to have very little interest in righting the course. Nearly every word uttered places blame and belittles the other party. The Senate Majority “Leader” talked about his disgust for the hearings of the recently-approved Supreme Court Justice. IT HAPPENED UNDER YOUR WATCH! Why didn’t you do anything about it? Other than fanning the flames more!

But the Democrats should not hold themselves blameless. There has been plenty of gaslighting on their side of the aisle. If these upcoming elections put you back in the majority, I only pray you don’t play the revenge card. That will only further widen the crisis in this nation and deepen the wound which is in desperate need of healing.

The problem is that many succumb to the lure of money and the perceived power which supposedly accompanies it. The income you receive only forces you to dance to the whims of your puppeteer(s). The more the dollar becomes the goal, the more integrity flies out the window. This unquestionably evident in every move and decision made by this Administration. In fact, winning is defined by how much money can be made. Mr. President, no one in the history of the world has ever purchased integrity; you have been a very, very good example of that.

We need politicians whose sole objective is to serve those who elected them. Leaders whose uprightness outweighs partisan favoritism and are so deeply committed to representing the needs of constituents that campaigning becomes all but unnecessary. An understanding that no side gets everything they want and working together with opposing views only initiates a more creative solution.

We citizens, too, need to understand this same concept. Those who hold their religion in high regard must realize it is fine for them. Fighting to create legislation that everyone must have those same beliefs is strictly in opposition to the First Amendment. Believe it or not, the Treaty of Tripoli, signed in 1796 by President John Adams, clearly states: “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” The First Amendment, among many freedoms, gives us the right to form our own opinions but it does provide a mandatory stage for you to be heard.

Being tolerant of opposing points of views doesn’t mean you are compromising your own. If we cannot learn to practice the art of accepting views which differ from ours, these current wounds will never have an opportunity to heal.

Unfortunately, too many politicians think admitting mistakes is a sign of weakness. This could not be further from the truth. Questioning ourselves is not a sign of frailty but rather a fervent search for the truth. I am no exception; carefully examining and rethinking my words to make sure they fully represent my values. If anything is found to be inconsistent, great consideration will be taken to align those ideas so I grow as a human.

This is perhaps the biggest challenge politicians face. When their own selfish desires become the primary reason for decisions about legislation, it establishes barriers and divisions that ultimately never create fair and just legislation. The bickering and fighting continue to compound and then… how did President Washington put it? “Cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterward the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

I still have hope for this nation. Even though we remain the largest economy on the globe, what good is it if the once indivisible nation becomes torn and tattered more than the flag which inspired its anthem? We need to become a beacon; an inspiration and great example to the rest of the world for our integrity, honesty, and compassion. We don’t need to withhold financial support in order to force our bidding on them. People want to follow a true leader and other nations will gladly follow a great nation.

My thanks to Andrew Pons for the fitting photo. Find out more about him by clicking here. I look forward to your comments.

 

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