Choosing Our Leader
Integrity is the first thing I look for when I try to figure out who I am going to vote for. It’s the first quality, but not the last. Of course, in Washington, integrity is consider to be a character flaw that is extremely hazardous to one’s political career. Ronald Reagan proved that wrong and surrounded himself with people like George Shultz, Bill Bennett and quite a few others who possessed that “Political Personality Flaw.”
Now whether you are a democrat, republican or independent, you don’t have to be a whiz kid to know that this country really needs a Ronald Reagan to turn things around. Not a Ronald Reagan with a secret plan to solve all of our problems for us, but a Ronald Reagan who can inspire us as a nation to solve those problems ourselves.
Integrity of course is keeping one’s word, and adhering to one’s principals and beliefs. It shines through when things get really rough and doing the right thing is not quite so popular. It’s a very important quality to possess for leadership. But if the principals and beliefs are wrong , integrity can be a monstrously evil trait, too. The classic example was the Nazi slave master and mass murder Rosenthal. While all of his cohorts at Nuremburg were claiming, “ I knew nothing of it” or “ I was just following orders.” He stood before his judges and stated, “I deny nothing, and I apologize for nothing. Everything I did, I did for the fatherland. If I had it all to do over again, I would do everything exactly the same.” He was talking about the murder of millions of innocent people, and his adherence to his “principals and beliefs” which brought about the hell on earth that earned him a well deserved noose and eternity in hell. Hence, the importantance of the right principals and beliefs where integrity is concerned, is it is quite obvious. So the second thing I look for is the candidate’s “real” beliefs and principals.
What real principals and beliefs do I look for? A true belief in God and his goodness, and the willingness to call upon God publicly when our nation is in peril. Faith in the American people. Faith in the constitution and it’s principals that have kept us free, and made The United States the greatest nation on earth.
The third thing is courage. The courage to make unpopular decisions when they are based on those right principals and beliefs. The courage to admit and correct their errors when they stray from those principals and beliefs.
The last quality I look for is decency. Ronald Reagan didn’t believe in special rights for “minorities” He believed that being an American period, guarantees your freedom, and protection from harm. He believed that as Americans, deep down inside, we all had the decency to treat each other fairly and with dignity.
Yes, the Gipper had the integrity, principals, courage and the decency to stand before us and show us the right course, even when it seemed to be the hardest path to follow. He reminded us who we are, where we came from, and the amazing things we are capable of doing.
Ronald Reagans are indeed hard to find, and if there is one among the current candidates, he or she is doing a really good job of hiding. So I’m going to keep looking and praying that we find one. If not there is still hope.
Sometimes, not always, the person we elect actually learns integrity on the job. In fact, it happened to a guy I worked with many years ago. He told me he ran for mayor of his small town and was elected. When he made his first decision, half the people in the town hated him. When he made his second decision, the other half of the people in town hated him, too. He told me it really bothered the heck out of him for awhile. Then he told me the solution finally came to him one day. “I knew when ever I made a decision, somebody was going to hate me. So I stopped listening to my “political advisors” and decided to make my decisions based on what was right, rather than what was popular.” Hence, even though everyone in town hated me, they all voted to reelect me to a second term. “
In any event, all we can really do is learn as much as we can and make our best guess. Let’s pray we all guess right, because our country’s future depends on it.