The Noble Politician

Vote You know the old saying that goes, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” This is true in principle, but it isn’t true 100% of the time. People evolve. My experience says that politicians don’t evolve toward nobility. This makes me sad. My contention is that the higher the visibility the greater is the likelihood that the person will evolve in the wrong direction. (This may be the result of brighter lights and higher heat or the corrupting nature of power.) 

Here is what I would like to see in the Noble Politician. I want to see the courage of McCain when he endured the horrors of captivity in Viet Nam. I want to see the character of Obamah, refusing to accept money from lobbyist. I want to see the moral clarity of Huckabee. I want to see the tender heart of George W. Bush. I want to see the leadership and conviction of Reagan.  

Now I can hear people screaming from every corner of the political landscape about the shortcomings of all of these politicians. I’m aware. My point is that the ideal candidate isn’t out there. We should stay involved. We should help select leaders that represent what is right for our country in light of our beliefs about who we are supposed to be. 

Jesus said to the leaders of his day, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34) You could tell who they really were by the kind of people they were in their down time. The same is true now. In the movie, Spiderwick Chronicles, a Brownie called Thimbletack says this, “You don’t see us; Now you do, but only if we want you to.” This is true of the modern politician. We see of them what they want us to see. 

Choose the person you vote for based on the type of person they have shown themselves to be in their life away from platforms and planned statements. That other Clinton taught us that character counts, but beyond character, we need leaders who are forged from steel; that will not run from the light of truth, that will not melt in the heat of battle and will not falter when the race is long.  

telemicus out

3 Responses to The Noble Politician

  1. Eric says:

    It seems to me that there are three basic types of leadership. There are those who lead by doing; who may or may not gain followers, but whose followers do so with a focus on imitation, not obligation. Their primary goal is to do what they love.

    Then there are those who are leaders for hire; who sell their leadership with the help of endorsements from other men, but whose practical expertise is never fully demonstrated. Their followers will keep this type of leader around until they get what they need, then dismiss them. Their primary goal is to keep employed.

    Finally, there are those who lead by force. These are the ones who tell others what to do and who, regardless of whether or not they are competent or even knowledgeable, demand obedience. Their followers may be loyal to them out of admiration but, in the end, such devotion is meaningless — for even those with no loyalty will be obligated to obey. Their primary goal is to maintain control.

    My assertion is that Jesus falls into the first category, government officials fall into the third category, and most other leaders fall into the second category. I would also assert that those who love and practice their craft for its own sake would be the *best* leaders to seek, while those who lead because it’s their job would be the worst.

    I suspect that the best leaders — both in character and in ability — are those who do not seek or accept the *official* title. My theory is that the best leaders, the ones with all the good qualities, gain followers by doing what is right because it is necessary — without any regard to how popular they will be.

    All this to say that if we put our faith in our favorite politician, we should expect no more than the leadership of a government official. Besides, if we already follow a competent and all-powerful leader (Christ), it doesn’t really make sense to have a backup. If Jesus can’t make people good by showing them Love, why does anyone think a government official can do it by force?

    While I share your desire to see noble qualities in politicians, I believe that if all these qualities were present, the bearer wouldn’t be a politician. It’s like wishing for a poison that doesn’t kill anything.

  2. cindy smith says:

    It’s good to have you back writing. I agree with all you said, realizing that we could look at each person we love and think about constructing the perfect spouse, child, best friend, parent. I think we are all lacking which is why the Lord’s wisdom for us to be in community and fellowship together is key. We as parts, together with each other make a good well rounded person.
    It was a good piece and one we all share in a dream. thanks for writing, again. ~* c

  3. Rick O. says:

    The older I get, the less political I get, or at least the less I care about such things. I think that goofy Shane Claiborne contributed to my lack of interest in civics… lol!

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