> I tend to think of the whole political landscape as a sort of hologram where what is actually going on at any given point in time depends on where you’re standing. Which is why in trying to write an inspirational blog I often stay away from the topic. But two political events in the past week offer such clear insight into the need for honesty that I can’t resist going there.
First, there was Hillary Clinton’s decision to bypass campaigning in Michigan and Florida because those states had decided to move up their primary election day against the wishes of the Democratic National Committee. So while she bypassed campaigning in those states, she deliberately kept her name on the ballot in order to later demand the inclusion of those votes when she was trailing behind Barack Obama in accumulating delegate votes. Which is exactly what she has done.
So Ms. Clinton was more about the appearance of truthfulness rather than truthfulness itself.
But in order for her lack of ethics to not stand alone, Barack Obama provides us with another example of how “what I say only means what I say as long as I want it to and then it means something else.”
In April, Mr. Obama said, in a much praised speech given at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, that he could “no more abandon Reverend Wright than I could abandon the black community.” One month later, he has not only abandoned Reverend Wright, he has now also abandoned the entire Trinity Church of Christ at which he and his wife attended and prayed for the past 20 years.
The hate speech and bigotry spewed from the pulpit of Trinity Church which was previously acceptable to Mr. Obama and his wife, and from which they refused to disavow themselves, is now suddenly unacceptable. It’s so unacceptable that they are walking away as fast and as completely as they can.
So what’s true?
I think only one thing is absolutely certain relative to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and that is political expediency. They will both say whatever they have to, and do whatever they must, to reach their goal. The end justifies the means.
Now we cannot change how they choose to live their lives or shape their characters. But we are none-the-less left with two choices we must make.
The first is whether or not to vote for someone who exemplifies blatant dishonesty. This is not an easy question to answer, especially if you don’t want to vote for John McCain. And I have no easy answer for this one.
The second choice we have is more clear cut and under our control.
If we are so offended by manipulation of the truth by others to achieve their desired goals, then we must be diligent in behaving otherwise in our own lives. Although it isn’t always the office of the Presidency of the United States that is at stake, whatever the matter and whatever the stake, we must come from a place of truthfulness. It all begins with us.
I believe we get the leaders we deserve. So, if we are not scrupulous in being honest in our own dealings, we cannot expect to see reflected in our leaders otherwise.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama present us with a choice that is much more important to the future than who is the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2008. They present us with the opportunity to turn within and elevate our own behavior and commitment to what is true and what is good and what is in the best interest of our highest selves.
Let’s thank them both for such an obvious display of what not to choose.
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