Aristocratic character has fallen out of favor with us Americans. Our founding fathers had it, although they failed to document its ownership as an essential ingredient for election to office. I think it’s better to say, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they were endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, which include life, liberty, and the aspiration to noble character.” What better inscription could one have on his tombstone than “He was a good man” or “She was a good woman” or “John Doe was a good woman”.
The noblest traits, kindness and kindness, are sometimes scoffed at today by those who view kindness and kindness as “cocker spaniel traits” that are not essential to success – actually counterproductive to success.
Not being a religious person, I admire the noble character of religious icons from Christ to Buddha. It saddens me when religious leaders today disagree on a theological detail and confront each other. The same goes for political leaders. I quote one in Kazakhstan who recently asked Russia for military assistance and advised Russian troops to shoot without warning to kill and fire. Unfortunately, there is a lack of character here.
Have you ever met a UPS driver closer to home that you didn’t like? Neither do I. They must state on their applications, “Must be of noble character.” I have to believe that because I’ve never met a current or retired UPS driver that I didn’t instinctively like. The same goes for first responders and dog trainers.
What I think conspiracy theorists lack is one thing: good information; and second, nobility of character. They lack the cornerstone of what it takes to build good character: a conscience. Our conscience censures us when we do something that harms others and is just plain wrong, especially when it benefits our own personal agenda. An active conscience in America’s Congress was last seen when a dodo bird flew high over Washington. The ablest and most just citizens of America today will not choose to run for a donor-only Congress that will be re-elected.
In these times of political grudges and pandemic fatigue, we can rely on our mother’s loving advice: “Honey, you need a good bed and a good pair of shoes because you’re going to be in one or the other.”
And we can also appeal to Mark Twain, who reminds us that “this cruel doctrine of party allegiance plays straight into the hands of politicians of the lower class, and no doubt it was borrowed or stolen from the monarchical system. ”
Thank you Mom, and thank you Mark for giving a little meaning to 2022 young as she is. To a return of the intrinsic value of character in the American political landscape and our collective humanity.