Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What if integrity and character all of a sudden mattered?

Twitter is lit up right now with talk about impeachment.

Yes, I know Twitter is the social media equivalent of Dad jeans, but there is a lot of buzz about this.

Remember - impeachment doesn’t remove someone from office – it just puts them on trial (and it looks like for better or worse it might happen at some point in the next three and a half years).

Not being a fan of the right or the left, I find it interesting to watch it all – especially all the talk about things like honesty, integrity, diplomacy and intelligence.  Is Trump being honest about his dealings with Comey?  Is Trump stupid enough to leak our secrets to the Russians?

Wait, we care about this now? 

Have you ever noticed how all this talk switches sides based on who is in office?  We don't really care about intellect and integrity - it's all a game.  And those of us who don't play politics are done with it.

Remember how important integrity was when someone was caught with an intern in the Oval Office?  Funny how that evaporated in this last election cycle . . .

Remember how important intellect was when we learned our president skips intelligence briefings?  Funny how we never heard the last one skipped two-thirds of them . . .

It's a big game.  This is why we don’t like politics.  Attention to character and values is selective. 

So if we are serious about impeachment, then let’s make sure that character and morals and values matter once and for all.  We should sign a document that says, “we are done with politics – these things are needed for the next president of the United States. – regardless of what side of the political spectrum they are on.” 

The president needs:

1.      IntegrityIntegrity is having noble character whether or not you have an audience.  It means you have genuine values that are not for show or for sale.  Integrity means you really care.  It means you really want to lead through serving.  You take one person’s concern about pre-existing conditions just as seriously as another person’s concern about what gender shows up in their bathroom.  If you are smirking at this, you are not fit for the job.

2.      Real World Experience.  The next president has to have held a job – like a real job.  The next president needs to have been a teacher or waitress.  They should know what it is like to save up for something.  The next president cannot have gone through life as a professional politician or living off of a family fortune.  They need to know how much a loaf of bread costs.  They need to have experience comparison shopping for cheaper hotel rooms for their family vacations.  If this is foreign to you, keep your seat on the board of directors.

3.      WisdomThere are lots of measures of intelligence.  Book smarts.  Emotional IQ.  Analytical ability.  These are all pre-requisites but it must be paired with wisdom.  Jimmy Carter was a grad student in nuclear physics but you don’t hear anyone clamoring to return to the Carter age.  Our current occupant could be the diametric opposite with a similar result.  You need wisdom to lead.  Anyone can know the truth.  The wise person lives it out (which takes us back to no#1 above).

What if we did pursue impeachment?  If our culture really decided that truth and integrity matter, how could any of us disagree?  As a culture, we could deeply benefit from a return to character.  How wonderful would it be if we could all agree that those who serve us in government need to be people of noble character?  That is something all of us could get behind.  A nation thrives when its leaders have integrity.  

What I fear is that we are using this kind of language to get rid of someone because we don’t agree with their politics.  This is game-playing.  Let’s stop the games.  

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.  Proverbs 29:2

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