posted 2012-05-12 23:07:16

Lack of Integrity in Politics

Only voters have the ability to make changes

Phyll Pope

Staff Writer

Only adding to his long list of flipped positions on major issues, Mitt Romney celebrated the capture of Osama Bin Laden on the one year anniversary, with former Republican presidential candidate and mayor of New York City, Rudy Giu- liani. Forget for a second your agitation over the fact that he intends on celebrat- ing with a man who had absolutely nothing to do with the actual capture of Osama Bin Laden. Forget that he himself told reporters, during the week of Osama Bin Laden’s capture last May, that he thought that the President was wrong to go into Pakistan and that he’d prefer to “par- ticipate with other nations,” rather than act without their consent. Forget that before that, back when Mitt was a nobody candidate making noise unheard behind McCain and other leading Republicans of the time, he had stated that he wouldn’t “move Heaven and Earth” to get one man, that the money could be put to more vital uses (like giving it to the “job creators” at Bain Capital, I suppose).

Romney, who has been referred to by members of his own campaign as “an Etch-a-Sketch,” a man who has switched positions more times than a secret service agent in an El Salvadoran hotel room, is now one economic collapse or major gaffe on Obama’s part away from the Presi- dency. How? A friend told me once it was because we no longer choose our leaders based upon their moral integrity. I use the phrase moral integrity rather than moral- ity because whereas morality can be some- thing relative to everyone, integrity is the same to all. Whatever it is you believe; let it show in your actions.

Romney is clearly void of any kind of integrity (or any other kind of emotion, it seems at times). So how can we even be considering electing him? It would seem that the problem lies with all of us folks. We’ve become cynical to the point where we perpetuate the very lack of integrity that discourages us in the first place. It’s a selfish mind frame and attitude. If we have bad leaders, the fault is ultimately ours.

The problem lies not solely in our un- willingness to search and accept only the candidates with much integrity, but also in the way we tend to make judgments about the leaders we ultimately decide to settle on. One thing that cannot be taken away from sitting President Barack Obama is that he is one of the greatest campaigners we’ve ever seen. His messages are on point, his speeches inspirational. His actual job as President, though, is less clear. Even his most pronounced supporters have had problems with his decisions. Obama’s policies have been center-right in general. He made many bold claims, it is almost as if he never stopped campaigning. On his policies he hasn’t been one or another way, and though some might say he was practicing the ideas of unification in Washington that he put forward during the 2008 campaign, the truth is he has been trying to get those middle voters the same way Clinton did during the 1996 elections. Mr. Obama has already had more fundraising events this term than the last four Presidents combined.

Obama is doing what he can to survive to a second term. The fact is, who can ever be themselves in today’s world, where there’s such an abundance of information that nobody seems to know everything? But, as Lupe Fiasco says, real recognizes real. Two years into his Presidency, the Tea Party element has grown, and of course Republican leaders, such as John Boehner, never kept them in check. They don’t know what to do with them because these young Tea Party members are sticking to their guns. They overflow with integrity. Their knowledge flow is weak, but they have integrity.

So when election time comes, and you’re sitting on your couch complaining about how dumb America is while you say nothing just remember: The Republicans are being run by a small, vocal sect of their party. We don’t have to settle. Real leaders with real positions on issues exist. People fawned over how authentic Rick Santorum was. Imagine how much they’d fawn over someone who was authentic and NOT crazy. George Carlin once said about politicians “They don’t fall out of the sky... they come from American parents and American families and American homes, American schools, American churches, American business and American uni- versities, and their elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. I think this is the first time I’ve ever disagreed with George Carlin. We can do better.