The Character Deficit
By Steve McCann
When the framers of the United States Constitution completed their work in 1787, they acknowledged that the success and future of the republic as established by that document was dependent on the honor and integrity of its leaders and citizens. As John Adams wrote: “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Today, the Obama administration, the majority of the members of Congress, much of the Judiciary, academia, and the media represent the culmination of the degradation of ethics and character, which has put the United States in the nearly inevitable position of joining the annals of the rise and fall of great nations.
The die was cast in the early part of the 20th century, when Congress and the president discovered that they could bribe the public with the public’s money. The focus of politics began to shift from public service and adherence to the Constitution to seeking, centralizing, and maintaining power, as well as amassing individual wealth.
The seizure and preservation of power was made possible by promising the American people economic security in exchange for their votes. Society and government thus began the long, steady process of compromising the age-old standards of ethics, honesty, and integrity, which are based on Judeo-Christian teachings.
Each step down that road was justified as a moral or societal imperative (such as re-defining a “right”), or else necessary to save people from themselves.
As government became more intrusive and centralized, the heady tonic of near-omnipotent authority and adulation moved many in politics to do or say anything necessary to preserve or achieve elected office.
In the field of education, it became a requisite to teach that there are no absolutes and no moral or ethical guidelines except to do whatever makes one “happy.” Any problems simply create demand for new programs, which furthers the consolidation of authority in the hands of a few. Any mention of God was eliminated, as religious values undermine the process of corrupting and re-making society.
The mainstream media, once the watchdog of government wrongdoing, has been captured by ideology, lifestyle, and the need for celebrity status. Thus, to the vast majority in that profession, it is more important to be in the thrall of whatever is fashionable as established by the media elites than uphold the traditions of honest newsgathering.
To all these groups, truth and facts have become casualties replaced by outright lies or obfuscations euphemistically referred to as “spin.” This gradual degradation of integrity and ethical standards has allowed for the acceptance of a philosophy espoused by despots throughout history, one that forms the underpinning of the character of President Obama, his administration, a majority in Congress, and an unfortunate plurality among the general public.
The doctrine of “the end justifies the means” represents the epitome of corruption in any society and the ultimate demise of that same society. Any leader within government or the national community at large who is captive to this thinking must by necessity be devoid of ethics, integrity, or morals.
Such people must be willing, as was President Obama, to lie to achieve their ends, like with the deliberate falsehoods, obfuscations, and manipulation of data that took place during the passage of health care and other legislation.
They must be willing to flout the rule of law and the Constitution, as President Obama did, in the takeover of General Motors, Chrysler, the banks, insurance companies, and the appointment of numerous “czars” in avoidance of Congressional approval.
They must be willing to use the power of the government, as the president has done, to threaten, blackmail, and intimidate political and media critics, and to shake down private enterprise for support and financial contributions.
They must be willing through inconceivable but deliberate levels of deficit spending to place the country on a collision course with national bankruptcy, as President Obama is doing, in order to advance a radical agenda the citizens do not want or need.
Recently, much has been made of the lack of leadership displayed by the president. Many point to his inexperience in executive management. However, as former President Dwight Eisenhower once said, “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity.” The current occupant of the White House is bereft of that quality.
A national leader without honor and integrity cannot be trusted; he cannot act in the best interest of others, but only of himself. He is captive to ideology and incapable of change as he surrounds himself with sycophantic philosophical soul mates. He cannot abide criticism, constructive or otherwise, as he will always view it through the lens of personal insecurity, thus truth for him becomes a casualty of unrestrained narcissism. He cannot assume responsibility for failure and must look for others to blame. Regardless of whether a person has had executive experience or not, without honor and integrity as the foundation of his character, failure and further erosion of the future of the country will follow in his footsteps.
The United States is staring into an abyss unimagined fifteen, twenty-five or fifty years ago. The possibility that the country as it was founded 225 years ago will cease to exist is no longer the subject of fiction writers. The people of this great nation must understand that they cannot turn to the White House, Congress, academia, or the courts for solutions, as these traditional sources of leadership are not only incapable of providing it, but are the catalyst for the country’s potential demise.
The survival of the Republic is in the hands of the citizens. Their understanding of the future and the steps necessary to avoid disaster is critical. They must not only elect representatives with integrity and character, but recognize the importance of those traits in their own lives and in society as a whole. If they don’t, then the United States will become a permanently indentured and second-tier country.