“A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.”
James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888), American preacher and author
There once was a time where America’s politicians cared more about America and what was good for her people than what was good for them or their agenda. There once was a time when government was limited and people were free to make their own choices on how to live their life, take risks, fail and succeed. There once was a time when our liberties were safe because our leaders saw themselves in us instead of above us. Where have all the statesmen gone?
Mankind has struggled for generations against those that have tried to enslave, control, and steal from those they sought to rule. The lust for power and money has been the vice that has caused so much human misery since time began. However, occasionally,
there are men and women that rise above the fray, who choose to put others ahead of themselves, who honor their word, whose actions match their claimed convictions, and who are good stewards of the responsibilities placed in their hands. Our founding fathers were imperfect men, but they were willing to not only sacrifice their fortunes, but
their very lives, for the sake of liberty for themselves and their fellow Americans.
Americans around the country are watching with disgust at all the sword rattling going on Washington. We are able to balance our budgets every month at our kitchen tables, sacrificing and spending less, eliminating unnecessary expenses and prioritizing debt payments. Ordinary American folk don’t understand why Washington cannot do the same thing; instead they would rather try to scare Americans into submitting to an increase of debt and taxes. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are looking to preserve their respective political hides instead of doing what is best for the American people. They would rather divide us – by race, gender or class- than unite us. No longer is about us being sovereign, it is about them retaining control. Instead of statesmen, we have political monarchs.
In November of 2010 the American people sent many fresh faces to Washington, sending a message that they wanted common sense, instead of political practicality, to rule. We wanted a smaller, less intrusive government, and wanted to remind Washington of the fact that the money coming into the US Treasury is not theirs to do with as they see fit. We wanted to be respected and listened to, and were hungry for men and women that had the
strength to lead, instead of dominate, the public. We wanted to be told the truth; we were all tired of the lies coming out of Washington.
Currently, the United States takes in plenty of money to service our debt, social security, Medicare, Medicaid and our military. Yet many political leaders say something different – why? Certainly their reasoning has nothing to do with us – it is quite apparent that they consider us to be a bunch of nitwits that can be scared into submission. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of being bullied, lectured and lied to.
Unfortunately, this treatment is not limited to just the American people. The political machine also treats those that seek to reform the corruption in the same manner. Ever wonder why more honest, genuine, principled people with common sense do not run for office? Would you submit yourself and your family to vicious political and personal attacks to serve your country? Would you willingly allow your words to be twisted, see lies become truth, and subject even your children to the mud-slinging? I have seen and
experienced it here in Iowa, and watched it play out in Washington as well. An honest person running for office is a little like Eliot Ness facing Al Capone: you have a target on your back as soon as you decide to throw open the door to that smoke filled back room.
We can change that by taking on the responsibility of electing more statesmen and women to office. We can start voting for representatives that do not lie, cheat, talk out of both sides of their mouths, or surround themselves with those that do. We need those who are able to put what is best for America ahead of what is best for themselves. We need serious
men and women who are able to lead and make serious responsible decisions, not wait until the last minute of a crisis in order to force a “take it or leave it” vote. Real statesmen are not tied by political party or favors, but are tied only to the Constitution and their oath to support it. Let’s set aside party loyalty for American loyalty. If we do not, then we deserve the country we get.
“A statesman is a politician who places himself at the service of the nation. A politician
is a statesman who places the nation at his service.” Georges Pompidou (1911-1974), French politician and former Prime Minister of France