Sunday, February 16, 2014

Values and American Leaders

In recent years, we've all watched politicians constantly talking about values during their campaigns. But when they talk about values, they tend to quickly focus on topics like abortion, gay marriage, guns - and most recently, the evils of trying to provide healthcare to all Americans.  Get real!

Let's talk about real values like honesty, compassion, respect, courage, caring for others, ...  Those are the important universal values we should be pursuing and talking about. Listening to many of these politicians and business leaders, you can see right through the fake imagery they are trying to project as they fight to retain power, position, and wealth. That's what they really value - for themselves.

When we talk about values, it should not be about glorifying the pursuit of money and power for self serving reasons. We all know that power and money can be used to accomplish much good for many people. It's those leaders who lose sight of that and use it for selfish purposes that we need to challenge.

For example, why do business leaders who took the country to the brink of financial disaster get to keep their positions, receive bonuses, pay no penalties, and never even apologise to the millions of citizens they hurt?

Why do we let polticians get away with shutting down the government and taking us to the brink of financial disaster - basically not doing their job - and get away without paying any penalty, without apologising to the people of this country they are supposed to represent?

Why do radio and TV talk show hosts who spew hateful remarks and sow discontent get so much air time? And why do we soak up their drivel? In many other countries they would not be allowed on the air.

Why do whistleblowers who expose corruption in the public and private sectors get villified by the government and corporate leaders?  Have you noticed that many of the radio an TV talk show hosts jump on the bandwagon along with those officials and organizations whose corrupt practices have been exposed.

We need to publically stand up and challenge those who think these evil practices are acceptable.

To further illustrate my point, I recently picked up an issue of Time magazine. The main topics covered in the issue included:

  • A move to create a federal law protecting wonen's access to abortions, regardless of state laws
  • A story on the relatively low turnout to date by uninsured Americans to purchase coverage under the Affordable Care Act
  • Comments about Governor Christie's apology for his staff causing the traffic jam on the bridge between NY and New Jersey
  • The conflict in S. Sudan related to control over revenues related to the flow of oil out of that country
  • A story related to how the Catholic Church hierarchy dealt with known pedophile priests
  • A news story on the chemical spill into the rivers of West Virginia and the lack of oversight by the government
  • Coverage of Detroit's bankruptcy and cutting workers pension to pay off corporate creditors
  • Mississippi state 'for-profit' prisons finding new ways to ensure the ails remain full and the companies running them remain profitable
  • News about both the government and the private sector collecting masive amounts of private data on citizens behaviour for various purposes
  • A major story on citizens unable to find out how and why hospitals are charging them outrageous fees for treatment

There were other news stories covering the ongoing efforts by big corporations in their fight to restrict the power of unions, the upcoming run by Hillary Clinton for the Presidency and the big donors lining up on either side, the legalization and taxation of the marijuana industry, and more.

Look at the list of stories and what do you see. Battles to gain or retain power, increase the wealth of some at the expense of many, ... Who is on what side of the issues? Who is battling for the rights and needs of all our citizens, e.g. Pensions, healthcare for all, fairness, equality, justice.

Think carefully about the issues and the values of the people on each side? Too often leaders in the public and private sector push the 'hot button' issues, run slick ads and slogans, and divert you from the truth about their real values and interests. If you get led astray by those leaders who put their self serving interests in gaining noteriety, personal power and wealth ahead of the people, America will unfortunately suffer tremendously over the long term.

Again, for those of us who believe in God and universal principles like love, justice, righteousness - and that's the vast majority of us - we must publically stand up and challenge those leaders who are obsessed with power and wealth and have become the cause of so much evil in this world.

So, having said all that, what else do we all need to do to keep America strong? What tangible things can we do to keep our government, economic system, and way of life safe from those who are currently putting it at risk? We must do better.

1 comment:

  1. Millionaire business leader proposes wealthy should have more votes. Look at his comments about the wealthy being treated like Jews in Nazi Germany. What do you think? Other American political and business leaders have similar attitudes and values. We must do better. See