Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr, one of America’s great liberal theologians, gave us one of the most powerful pieces of literature ever written–the Serenity Prayer. Many a friend and foe of mine, overcoming the strains of addiction, have called on their Sovereign Lord through the words of this poet:
- O God and Heavenly Father,
- Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
While Niebuhr has been far more influential on those that do not share my political ideology–Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, his prayer speaks to the heart of what many Americans are seeking in the next person that they elect. American voters are seeking men and women of wisdom and courage to help them face the trials and tribulations of the economy, tax policies, immigration and foreign policy.
American voters are not seeking the assurance of politicians. Such men and women come to voice an acceptance of the things that they can not change. We have grown to know politicians as manipulators of relationships. The foundation of any relationship is trust–the confidence in or reliance upon the best qualities of the individual. We have, on both sides of the major political aisle, expected justice, truth, honor and accountability in the persons that received our vote. Yet, we have become acclimated to the euphemisms of their wheeling and dealing and self-interests: The Louisiana Purchase; The Nebraska Corn-husker Kickback; The Snow Compromise; and The Arlene Spector Shuffle. Solutions are mere fodder in the hands of the politician with exceptional hearing. They have “heard” from their constituents back home. They have “heard” the cries of so many in need of relief. They have “heard” from the voters that want them to exchange their natural rights for the coveted checks of the federal government. Trust is expendable when the currency is no longer a citizen’s vote but a coveted endorsement or the resource of a former politician turned lobbyist.
The politician finds it easy to accept the problems of the world as unchangeable until the next election. Leaders of the US House offer a people seeking a “hand-up” merely a “hand-out” [http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978581646]. Food Stamps, Welfare and Medicaid become the salvation for the person drowning in the sins of unemployment and underemployment. No man wants to be handed a day old fish for sustenance. He wants to be freed from the binds of regulation, morass of drilling moratoriums and the chains of socialized capitalism so that he might fish for his family and his community. A politician can only offer the ease of seizing another man’s wealth or corporation’s profit to “fairly” care for the needs of his constituents. But what burden does a creator of industry bear? Such giants of the free market are laying on the beach or shooting craps in Vegas, right [http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-10-17/tax-cut-decision-would-…]? No, they are the baker that makes that cinnamon bun you are biting. They are the agent in the insurance office or the owner of the two restaurants on Main Street. An amateur politician sees them as disenfranchised victims of the political system. A professional sees them as the sucker that will put their poster in the front window despite the fact that he or she plans on raising their taxes. “They can afford it!”, is what they tell the union supporters. They are not there when the owner decides to forgo their mortgage payment so that their employees are paid. They are not there when they decide to send their child to the public school because they can not afford the private school of their choice. An absentee politician looks great on “Meet the Press” or “Sean Hannity” programs. However, he is unable to discern the needs of the ones that put him in that Sunday morning chair [http://christine2010.com/press-releases/2010-10-20/coons-out-touch-…].
Voting is one of the most fundamental symbols of our Nation’s power as a Constitutional Republic. It is a privilege to receive the call to represent the people of a state. They are vesting their collective power as a citizenry into a person expecting their natural rights to be protected and their abilities to make wealth liberated. However, once that individual takes a cab ride from National Airport to Capitol Hill, he or she is no longer a statesman in a Republic but a representative in a democracy. The rights of the baker, butler, small business owner and maid in the old town are no longer important. A representative’s emphasis is on division and multiplication. A representative focuses on the divisions of race, sex, religion, wealth, labor, age and other circumstances beyond human control. He or she multiplies the threats that each must face and feels empowered to match one group against another for his or her gain. The matching causes the representative, our professional politician, to respond to those that sent him or her in the following manner: “I can not solve the problems because of so much opposition. We’ve begun a good work but, I will need another term [http://www.theolympian.com/2010/10/20/1410082/murray-a-must-vote-bi…].” Eventually, their math skills weaken and they begin to add groups, foreign to a Republic, as beneficiaries of their Democratic Utopia [http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-10-18/news/bs-ed-immigration-…]. Our converted politician becomes more concerned about becoming leader of the United Nations than remaining leader of the free world. Satisfaction can not be found in servant leadership. There will be no quenching until the borders of the nation are completely opened, every human is a citizen and ultimate power rests in the few. The professional politician is surely corrupted when democracy is more important than Republic.
For this season, a politician will not do. The signs and wonders of the economy, taxes, immigration and foreign policy will not allow us to elect a mere politician. What the media, the Democrats and even Dick Morris are missing is that Americans are looking for statesmen to empower with their Constitutional rights. They want persons that actually know more than one right protected by the Bill of Rights. A statesman is needed to address the issues impacting not just us but our next generations. Mikhail Gorbachev advised, “What is the difference between a statesman and a politician?… A statesman does what he believes is best for his country, a politician does what best gets him re-elected.” While John McCain used “Country First” as his campaign signet, it is more vital than ever that those we vote take the greatest risk of all in politics–actually, putting the Nation ahead of self. Before pulling the lever, each voter should compare the moral fiber, commitment to virtuous performance and principled beliefs. If your vision of the United States is a balanced budget, low taxes, absolute repeal of Obamacare, a strong foreign policy and reinstatement of the Constitutional Republic, the only answer is a conservative statesman. In order to obtain the best from the Constitution, we must seek the best in those we empower to represent us in the halls of legislative, executive and judicial offices. This is a season for statesmen.