Friday, February 5, 2010

Leaders or Servants

It’s past time that we (as a nation) took a look at our elected officials and the roll that they play in our lives. You will often hear of how Senator “Jones” has spent a life time as a public servant or some politician admonishing some other group of politicians that they should start showing leadership. These two terms: public servant and leader deserve some examination. From universal experience we all know what a servant is. It’s someone who is paid to do the bidding of the person that pays his or her salary. We also have universal knowledge of what a leader is. Webster defines leader as a person who guides. When you’re young and in the Scouts there were adult troop leaders who were in charge. They guide. They make suggestions, but ultimately they decide. Later on in life you may have military leaders. Their job is not to suggest, or to guide. Their job is to analyze a situation and to order an action.

But we are a nation of civilians living in a democratic republic. Do we need to hire leaders to decide for us what we should do, or do we need to hire servants who will do what we decide? This is the question that needs to be asked. We’ve hired leaders in the past, but the job was always rather narrow. The example that comes to mind is that of the wagon master. As pioneer families we hired these “leaders”, but only to take us to a place of our choosing, where we wanted to go. They didn’t decide where we would go, only the easiest way to get there.

The men who hammered out the Constitution one compromise at a time were servants sent by the various states to do just that. They did not lead. They did not decide. When they had finished their work the document was put to the populace. We decided. We chose. There were news paper articles and pamphlets published to educate the public. A debate was had and we chose.

Now, it seems that the ranks of our elected officials are peopled my men and women who see themselves as our leaders and not our servants. The business of the government has become so complex that we can hardly decide every issue, and so we hire these people to represent us, to do our bidding. But now the government is crowded with people who want to “fundamentally transform” our nation in the interest of what they call “social justice”, “being on the right side of history”, and “doing the right thing”. These things all sound fine. Who can be against “doing the right thing”? But an argument can be made that fealty to the Constitution is the “right thing”, the safe thing, and that the lack of that loyalty is what got us into this mess in the first place. Our elected officials have, for the last hundred years or so, curried our favor and bought our votes by providing us with “free money” and services from the federal treasury. And for our part, we have turned a blind eye to the source of our wind fall. This relationship has led us to our present situation where politicians have taken money from this fund or that to pay for our votes, and used accounting tricks to steal from the very fund that they created to protect us in our older years. We are forced to carefully analyze every sentence to try to separate the truth from half truth and outright lies.

These men and women have turned their backs on their oaths to support, defend and bear true allegiance to the Constitution and have taken it upon themselves to decide what is best for the citizens of a nation whose ancestors paid so dearly for the right to chose for themselves.

It’s time for us to pay closer attention to who we hire and where we leave our wallets.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

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