21 May 2012

Election 2012: Character

What is wrong with character attacks, if and only if, they are honest and factual?

I'll add that this would be the only way to justify character attacks. Further, I believe that we should fully investigate a person's character if they are putting themselves forward to be in a position of leadership. I don't care whether they are a Sunday School teacher, Scout Troop leader, HOA president, Congressman, or US President.

When you decide to become a public leader, you take on a huge responsibility because the people you are promising to protect and to help have entrusted on you their livelihood. This is why I get rather upset when media talking heads start complaining about "dirty campaigns" and "character attacks". In most cases, they are only upset because their guy is getting criticized. In the case of the US Presidential elections, or any country leadership election for that matter, everyone should be hyper critical of the person they are considering to vote for.

Character matters. When it comes to our leaders, it is the most important trait, and one that we should be keen to understand. Character is commonly defined as "what you do when no one is looking". Here it is from dictionary.com:
char·ac·ter [kar-ik-ter] noun
1. the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
2. one such feature or trait; characteristic.
3. moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
4. qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
5. reputation: a stain on one's character.
Going into the 2012 election, we have some serious items that need to be brought to light. Barack Obama was practically an unknown when he was elected. For 2008, we knew he was a junior congressman who voted "present"129 times out of four thousand. He was a regular attender at Rev. Wright's church in Chicago. He is a married father. There were a few other details, such as some associations with Bill Ayers and his "Chicago Politics", but that was it. No one really tried to find out who he was in his heart. No one really seemed to care about his character.

He won 2008 because he was not Bush, McCain had a horrible campaign, we were at the start of a severe economic turn down, Iraq, and because he is African American (which prompted the single greatest black voter turnout).

But, now we have a much greater understanding of Mr. Obama's character, and it is particularly gray. He will deny accusations readily, especially if they put him in a negative light. Any opposition is referred to with insult, such as people who want to cling to their guns and their religion, flat earthers, tea baggers, etc. Or he will very openly say that his opponents want to destroy the earth and let the elderly die. Or he will claim to have the most transparent administration in history (+1100 days and still no budget!). Or that his health care reform will be the end-all cure to the financial issues we are facing in providing medical aid to the country (see some real research that isn't regurgitated talking points). He even likes to claim that we are drilling for more oil than ever (see flat earthers link)... any increases in drilling has nothing to do with Obama (they haven't approved drilling permits in the gulf region since the BP spill) and everything to do with private land owners finding new ways to access the natural resources beneath them!

Obama's lack of character should be reason enough to evict him from the post of president. We will likely only have one choice - Romney - and Romney does have a few things going for him. He appears to be remarkably humble. I hope we can learn more about Romney's character, his moral beliefs, what defines him on the inside. I doubt that we will experience another great debacle such as the 2008 election, so even by voting against Obama, I think we are safe. However, from what I know so far, Romney is a step far above Obama.

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