Most people I know are virtuous hard working people. They seek wisdom, exhibit courage, revere honor, and are generally measured and respectful in their words and judgement. Empathy and caring is a tricky thing to show authentically at scale. Some choose to virtue signal and tell you want they intend, how much they care while focusing on how much better it would be if they had more control. I tend towards a different model. I care deeply, but I believe that my actions and choices, in spending of precious resources like time and money, must deliver results in support of my principles. To be nice is nice. To actually help others is nicer.
My concern, shared by most, is that leaders also set an example of morality and character. This is unavoidable and critical. How I perceive words and actions can be completely disconnected from reality when leaders play the spin game. All leaders do it. All leaders must do it. Competency in this game is about using character and record of results to find the right balance. Inspiring the masses is an extraordinary ability and responsibility. Until Trump came into the picture it was almost always about walking the lukewarm middle to avoid a radical appearance. He trumped this norm and embraced a model of in your face, out loud thinking, and counterpunching that broke the mold and hit the reset button.
Donald Trump is not a nice measured communicator. He does get the job done in my view. In his next term, I’d like to see him adopt a more measured persona. Alas that want is not effective in national elections and the current environment. Trump’s drain the swamp approach reset the playing field. He bears responsibility for ushering in and condoning a “key signature” that is harsh and mean spirited. A decision is starkly presented for US. Do we prioritize result over rhetoric. Nice, well mannered elderly intentions over snap decisions and sometimes harsh decisions. I like what Biden said last night. Character is on the ballot. America’s character is not built on flashy rhetoric and Marxist progressivism in my book. My choice is clear. To keep America great, we must get results and then manage the optics.
Managing optics up front with controlling and autocratic decisions in the back rooms is toxic. The central committee begins then to set the moral standards and uses rule of law and force of government to destroy the rights granted by God. When coupled with a victimization, cancel culture that rejects rule of law in favor of mob movements, the rights of the people to speak and live freely are damaged and maybe even destroyed. A deep feeling of resentment and disgust spreads like a virus as omnipotent morality reigns in place of one on one decisions.
My solution, vote your conscience and search your heart. Go to church and put God back in charge because of your own interpretations. Talk less, smile more. Above all, decide if you prioritize image over results. To evaluate the results you MUST get past the image and find real numbers and metrics that matter. Look ahead, but don’t ignore the past. With politicians and leaders, past results are a predictor of future decisions.
My view of politicians is that most are not virtuous hard working people. They ignore wisdom, rarely do anything courageous, are willing to sacrifice honor for poll results and votes, and in recent years are not measured and respectful. That last one, I’d really like to get back to measured and respectful, but when push comes to shove, progress will provide jobs, and security both physically and financially. I can overlook the bad behavior if the results continue to pile up. If I see decisions ultimately bearing fruit over time and at scale. That is the bar. Progress is not about who is nicer, it is about what decisions best enable life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On that front, we have come so far, but we have so far to go. Choose wisely when you vote.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” —C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (1970)
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Intersection of principles and practices...