by Walter E. Jacobson · Filed Under: building self esteem
Times change. There was a time when we could look at Supreme Court Justices with great respect and admiration. They were people who had a high standard of right action, a commitment to the Constitution of the United States, with no bias favoring specific political parties or agendas. They supported ethical behavior and the ideals of democracy.
Not anymore. The Supreme Court has been corrupted by inferior elements.
As we wave goodbye to democracy and accept the fact that powerful corporations loyal to stockholders and money above integrity, liberty, fairness and decency are running our country, we are left with the sad fact that there is no one we can turn to for help.
Our country’s leaders, Democrats and Republicans alike, are damaged goods. They are a collective body of wealthy liars and thieves with little interest in patriotism, democracy or justice except when they can use the words and symbols of these ideals to fool us into thinking they care about us.
As we’ve watched the descent of our country into immorality and decay, most of us seem to think it’s one party’s fault or the other. It’s not. It’s our fault.
It’s our fault for tolerating the lies. It’s our fault for not even knowing when we’re being lied to.
It’s our fault for placing people we have decided to trust for emotional reasons (because they have seduced us with their rhetoric and passion) on pedestals, and taking everything they say at face value as the gospel truth without caring to look at the evidence and discover the truth for ourselves.
It’s our fault for putting our faith in these people and institutions, accepting their inconsistencies, hypocrisies and outright lies and propaganda simply because we trust them, despite their being no real basis for the trust.
It’s out fault for not insisting that they be held accountable for the things they say and do.
It’s our fault for choosing to stop thinking for ourselves and allowing them to think for us.
Bottom line: The politicians and corporations have not sold us out. We have sold ourselves out. We have betrayed ourselves. We have failed this country. As a result of the choices we’ve made to give up our responsibility as caretakers of our liberty and democracy, we are now on a sinking ship.
So what can we learn from the Supreme Court? That it’s time to wake up, start thinking for ourselves, and begin a new policy of only electing people who tell the truth.
As soon as we catch anybody in a lie during their election campaigning, we decide they won’t get our vote and we let them know it.
It doesn’t matter who they are, how much they’ve accomplished, or how wonderful their reputation is, because truth be told: If someone lies to us one time we cannot trust that they won’t lie to us again. If we can’t trust them, we shouldn’t elect them to an office that is going to dramatically impact our lives and affect the well-being of our families.
If we do this, if we reject every political candidate we catch in a lie, big or small, over time we will most likely replace just about everyone currently holding office with honest people who say what they mean and will do what they say.
Martin Luther King once said, “A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.”
He also said, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
We are now officially the oppressed, living in a pseudo-democracy that has frightening fascist elements growing stronger everyday, as the recent Supreme Court decision demonstrates.
Only we, the people, can stem this tide over time.
Martin Luther King made reference to a dream that people “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
We must now apply this concept to the politicians we elect to public office, in the sense that we not judge them by the facade they have constructed about themselves but by the integrity of their being.
If we catch anybody in a lie on the campaign trail, they’re out. Case closed. On to the next guy until the politicians get the message that nothing less than honesty and ethical behavior will be tolerated.
There can be no other way. The lies must stop if this democracy is to survive and prosper.
So what can the Supreme Court and Martin Luther King teach us about relationships?
When we are in the courtship phase of a relationship, if we catch the one we’re courting in a lie, we bail out immediately, rather than look the other way and get entrenched in a relationship which will one day either fail and/or cause us great emotional suffering because the foundation of the relationship was flawed from the start.
When we have the courage to walk away from shiny objects that offer great promise but are actually composed of paper mache covered by glossy paint, we will spare ourselves a great deal of grief and give ourselves the opportunity to find real value and meaning in this very strange world we now inhabit.