James Madison said: "Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation."
I believe we are in-fact in that "wretched situation". Today many politicians, commentators and media experts told us character doesn't count. To my recollection this horrible lie began during the Clinton/Bush election period and was expanded on regularly throughout the Clinton Administration period.
Now, it's rearing its ugly head again. We have two candidates running for the US Senate who have knowingly lied about their military service to help their political image and as a way of influencing their candidacy. The media and political experts are once again telling us this isn't important. Even my beloved Fox News, and a commentator I truly respect, Neil Cavuto, has said as much about Blumenthal!
One candidate is a "Liberal Democrat" Senate Candidate who is also the Attorney General in Connecticut, known for his remarkable memory and ability to speak and write in such a clear and precise manner. Yet he "misspoke" multiple times about serving "in" Vietnam, his return "from" Vietnam and how he was treated as a "returning Vietnam Vet". Please excuse my language... "misspoke" my ass! He Lied!
The other is a "Conservative" Republican Candidate for the Senate seat from Illinois )Obama's previous seat) who "may have misstated" his actual level of responsibility while serving in the Pentagon. He stated he was the "Commander" and was "ultimately responsible" for the war room. This while not being an Admiral or General. He too also lied!
Many of us profess to be deeply concerned about the level of corruption that has become epidemic (even endemic) within the House and Senate. Corruption has become so widespread that most members of the House and Senate don't even recognize it when it is happening (the pay-offs for votes on the Health Care Bill, accepting "contributions" to their reelection campaign accounts for changes to the tax code, etc.).
Yet even those who profess to be disgusted with this rampant corruption don't appear to have a problem supporting candidates like the two just mentioned who are clearly suffering from personal integrity, honesty and ethics issues.
Have we become so blinded by our desire to see "our man", "our party" and "our side" win that we are willing to forfeit our own character? For some, it certainly appears so. What I've personally found disheartening are the comments I've heard from people I respect who are willing to ignore such bold face lies, distortions, exaggerations; these clear and obvious character issues, when it's their candidate or party that has been found out.
If we care, if we truly want to see the character of our government change and return to the values established by the founding fathers then it's time we all start demanding the national parties remove themselves from candidates with proven character weakness; especially from those who are unwilling to stand-up and admit their errors, apologize and commit to future honesty. (Something neither of these two candidates have yet to do.) The issue goes well beyond these men's honesty deficit, the true issue is their unwillingness to accept responsibility for what they've said, for their lies, and their continued excuses.
It's time "individual character" once again be a key consideration in who we vote for. If they lie to us when they don't have the power of their political position why do we think they won't lie to us when we give them that power?
I want to point out that character was of critical importance to our founding fathers and in the early years of the Republic. To this point I offer the following quotations:
"In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate - look tohis character...." Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education, 1789
"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
Samuel Adams, 1776
[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt." --
Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749
"No government, any more than an individual, will long be respected without being truly respectable." Federalist No. 62
"Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters."
Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, 1775
If it was important to the creation of the country and to its success in its infancy why shouldn't it be important now?
Feedback is very much appreciated!