Saturday, May 10, 2008

Choosing Our Political Leaders

Commenter Kyle continues to discuss the torture issue and choosing our politicians. In response to my last post, he commented:

but, and this is not a dig, the 'moral majority' were convinced of the integrity of bush. he was, in the mind of so many, a great christian. certainly he was someone that most of the 'right' looked up to. he said 'jesus' and 'god' at all the right times. _if_ he fooled us (and i leave that up to you) what hope do we have of finding someone who isnt a false messiah?

I think there are a few problems brought up by this. One, the idea that just because someone says they have "found God" or they are "born again" or that they go to church every week automatically means they are a moral person or a worthy leader. We all need to do a better job of critically analyzing people running for office. It is dangerous to assume that just because they say something that makes it true. Politicians and their staff spend much of their waking hours figuring out what to say and to whom to get what they want. Our media needs to do a better job of calling them on their crap when it's not true and every citizen also needs to do a better job of looking beyond the Emperor's clothes.

The other point that your comment brings up is that of looking for someone who "isn't a false messiah." This is dangerous territory. We need to remember that politicians are just as human as the rest of us. We can't assume they are good or evil (okay, Cheney is evil), but right in between like any other human. If we do this, I think we'll be a lot less likely to be taken in by words that sound too good to be true or assume a political opponent is the devil incarnate just because he sits on the other side of the aisle.

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