The image of a servant is that of a lowly person who takes care of the petty needs of people with much higher status. But a real servant is a person of any status who serves other people whether it is simply by helping someone in the neighborhood get food or by devoting their life to charity. What if a servant had all of the powers of the president of the United States and was able to use those powers to help our nation and our people back to greatness?
A powerful servant could resist the forces of corruption and work in the best interest of the people and the Constitution. It would be a hard fight, but one worth fighting and one for which rewards for the results would not be seen until later when everyone could look back and see that it worked. A powerful servant would use the power to turn our country around and, yes, rock some boats in the process. But we as a nation will be better off for it. We will turn from our high spending ways. We will remove the bureaucratic burden of the federal government. And, we will liberate people from the slavery of entitlement programs.
Across the political spectrum, we have seen good people consumed by the elixir of power. The corrupting forces of power don’t manifest themselves in a handshake with the devil before taking office and lavishing yourself with the trappings that come from one’s position. They start with a little deal. They start with agreeing to give a friend’s family member a job with the highway department because the friend supports a morally upright objective one may have.
Yes, it may seem harmless that you can get a school built or create jobs because you zoned a particular area the right way with a little reward to friends that doesn’t really hurt anybody. But this multiplies exponentially and eventually corrupts into cronyism. Human nature can be good, but it is easily corruptible by forces that hide in our blind spots or by things that we’re simply not aware of. Satan doesn’t knock on your door and do a sales presentation so he can get your soul. He hides in the existential fact that human beings don’t have a crystal ball that sees into the future so we can determine what the consequences of our actions may be.
Although we can never have enough information when making decisions to be 100% sure that there will be no collateral damage from action taken, the most virtuous among us work hard at gathering the most information they can so that, with reliance on history and Divine Providence as their guide, they can execute their decisions most effectively. The least virtuous among us take the easy way out and apply complex solutions to simple problems to cover up this shortcoming. Those in the middle between virtue and lack thereof usually become politicians.
Many politicians are good people. Some of these good people get caught up in bad situations. But the reason why the world’s second oldest profession closely resembles the first is because we have collectively accepted a false notion that it always has to be that way. We have been conditioned by our society to not rock the boat. We often hear the platitude “people don’t like change.” We are operating on false assumptions.
Success requires that we think outside the box and look for solutions and strategies that we often cast aside or neglect out of ignorance or fear. We would rather take the safe way and borrow a few trillion dollars to keep our government afloat than risk an outcome that is unknown. The theory that reducing government services would cast people into poverty is a myth. We fear that myth and are frozen into inaction or gridlocked by disagreement because of it.
The stimulus program was designed to save jobs. It did, in 2009. Now that the stimulus money is gone, states are cutting everything they can. The Federal Government gave them methadone and now they’ve run out. Government payrolls decreased by 24,000 last month. Last year, state and local governments lost over 100,000 jobs. That’s hundreds of billions of dollars flushed down the toilet to delay the inevitable. That's bad government. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Since 2008, we have been taking a drug addict and trying to ease it off the drugs by giving it more drugs. That patient needed to go cold turkey then. We’d probably already be headed into recovery by now if we let the market clean things up instead of using big dollar bailout and stimulus programs that have done nothing but drain our treasury and lead us toward insolvency.
The time is now that we elect a leader who will be a powerful servant, not a servant of the powerful. Our Constitution protects individual liberties. It doesn’t promote cronyism, it promotes the general welfare. The general welfare is promoted when we are self regulated and not government regulated. The general welfare is promoted when our leaders give us a hand up instead of a hand out.
If we have social services and federal programs that are designed for the so called good but have no basis in the Constitution, it means those programs are supposed to be handled by the states and the people. Massive government cuts would end the redistribution of wealth and create a redistribution of responsibilities. It would create vacuums where the private sector, the states and the individuals could step up and take more local control over solving their problems. If we reform Social Security and Medicare, the same can happen.
Only a powerful servant can make this happen. If someone is beholden to the Washington way, it will never work. We will go bankrupt. America as we know it would be gone.
Normally, one shouldn't need a title or a high position in government to be successful or powerful in a free society and a free market. But for this one time, we will need someone to have the title of Madame President in order to fix it to the way it should be. We will need someone with the power of a president and the heart of a servant. Then we can get to being exceptional and free again.
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This article by John Nolte of Big Journalism is so dead on the money!