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Commentary :: Elections & Legislation

Ghosts from the Past Which Weaken a Leader (pt 1)

Political scandal can be an interesting distraction though fleeting and sometimes momentarily reveals information about political leaders we didn’t already know. At this point to expect leaders to be infallible is something we all still hope for deep down but most of us realize is impossible. This, as they are reflections of ourselves sent out as normal people with the same flaws characteristic of being simply people – not saints, angels or anything higher or really lower. We have pieces of many of those things written about across the ages, in religions and philosophies to greater and lesser extents, within each of us, though none of us considered normal or sane, whatever that means, are anything more than human no matter how pure or imperfect.

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However, there are times when leaders can have their performance hindered by past choices and that can prove sometimes more than problematic for their ability to lead. These leaders are elected to do what’s best for the nation and as such they represent the people who voted for them and even those who didn’t. When elected representatives have things from their past they believe are too embarrassing to them either politically or personally or both and still run for public office they really jeopardize their ability to make decisions in the best interests of all.

For instance, say there are leaders who have a scandal from their past which they are so in fear of becoming public, if threatened with exposure they whither and decide they must cave to pressure to save face. In such an instance their ability to legislate for all has been put in severe danger of being hijacked. Talk about national security threats. Talk about threats to the interests of voters. Talk about threats to the interests of all Americans. Talk about selfish.

Previous to running for elected office, be it high or low, all candidates should do a once over of their personal histories. After that repeat four more times at least. Think of everything and don’t be so arrogant as to say to yourself, “oh nobody will find out about that” or “nobody will tell on me about that,” etc. Because in the shark infested tank that is politics there will always be those who, although human, may be equipped with a less fully developed ability to empathize with another human.

Hence, their lower level of maturity will cause them to have fewer controls on what the rest of us take for granted as compassion, or, if not, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Simply put, there will be people waiting and looking for reps that can be exploited for their own purposes. They will be looking to find ways to have their interests represented in bills and legislation regardless of what that means they have to do to make that happen.

When they find people they can exploit they will. So where a politician may have been willing to take a tough stand there may be an envelope slipped under a door containing materials that will be used to scare them into backing down from any stand they may have been willing to take on behalf of their constituents due to fear of exposure. Once that happens they have been compromised like the pass codes for locks in the most secure military installations.

Worse than being bought they’ve been put in check and rendered impotent. They become a lackey and a flunky. So if the interests be those of wealthy corporations and the representative was once ready to do what’s right for the people they will come to represent money over voters. When they are asked to do things that go against their principles as stated they will be willing to look the other way and move in the other direction.

So with the 2012 elections coming up and names like Bloomberg, Clinton, Obama, Palin, Paul Romney, and who knows who else potentially jumping into the fray, may all candidates from whatever side check themselves over and consider whether their pasts are too much of a liability for them to bear. Try and be people ready to not only make promises, but to keep them. Try and be people who can demonstrate they were brought up as people of character who will not become just characters feigning the role of a person while in the spotlight. If there are things assess them honestly and if a politician has and still is ready to go forward, face the fire, step forward and be ready for the burn of a potentially brutal confrontation with your past. Either way, be better for it.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to


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