Virtuos leaders?

I have decided to take some time to cover the 28 principles outlined in W. Cleon Skousen’s book “The 5000 Year Leap”. The founders believed these principles to be necessary to establish and maintain the form of government that has made this country the greatest bastion of freedom in the world. In each post we will dissect one of the principles and apply it to problems faced by our country. I hope you will take the time to read “The 5000 Year Leap” and accompany me on this journey of exploration.

The third principle: The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders.

The founders understood completely that if our leaders failed to be virtuous the harm they could inflict on the country and the citizenry would be tremendous. The tried hard to limit the powers of elected officials and to set up a series of checks and balances to limit this damage. They encouraged an educated voting public as another way to ensure that the people elected to public office were of a virtuous nature.

The one avenue of demise they did not plan for was the amorality of the society itself. I think that they founders believed that the general public would not have stood for the corrupt politicians we have now. The founders believed that the public would have been the ultimate safeguard against corruption.

The problem is that society has become tolerant of amoral behavior. moral equivalency has become the rule of the day. No one wants to be judged and therefore no one wants to judge anyone else including public officials. This dilemma is our own. We caused it and we must be the ones to fix it. We have to hold ourselves to a definite and well defined code of conduct and then do the same to out elected officials. They should not be given a free pass but in fact held to a higher standard. No more of “what the meaning of is, is” double talk and blatant hypocrisy.

One thing the founders did understand was that if public offices were to become places of profit the whole system would collapse under the weight of corruption. They understood that you could not have a place where power and money converged. Benjamin Franklin foresaw the problem even in the infancy of our country. I will leave you with his prediction:

Sir, though we may set out in the beginning with moderate salaries, we shall find that such will not be of long continuance. Reasons will never be wanting for proposed augmentations; and there will always be a party for giving more to the rulers, that the rulers may be able in return to give more to them. Hence, as all history informs us, there has been in every state and kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing and the governed, the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the princes or enslaving of the people. Generally, indeed, the ruling power carries its point, and we see revenues of the princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes, the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans, and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance and enable him to plunder at pleasure. (Emphasis added)

How prophetic was Franklin? It is nothing new; what these politicians try. These tricks are as old as civilization they are just repackaged and called Taxes, Stimulus or Welfare. Don’t let them slide these deceptions by us unchallenged. We are the last line of defense.

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