Mean-spirited dissent has replaced statesmanship as a guiding principle. The maddening downward spiral of political retribution has become the norm. The madness is magnified and given inertia in direct correlation to the speed of modern communications and the unleashing of vast amounts of money in SuperPacs. There is no time for thoughtful reflection. Every encounter is a duel to the death. Unlike the fabricated economic principle of trickle down dollars – the leadership behavior will trickle down to the general populace.
Civil disobedience was the guiding light of dissent for two hundred years. Disobedient – but civil. Henry David Thoreau and Abe Fortes were eloquent in their presentation. Martin Luther King was eloquent in practice and speech. Where is the nobility of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison? Is Arron Burr the new model of leadership? Slap the scoundrel with your glove and meet with guns drawn in the wallowing meadow of dishonor?
No – nothing so courageous or gallant. Today the Superpac is sent anonymously to do the dirty deed. the Superpac tests the waters of public acceptance for distorted aggression
Those seeking to lead understand the concept of statesmanship as wise, steady, reflective, curious, and willing to negotiate. Statesmanship recognizes that a friend who disappoints is not an enemy to be crushed in the media.
“Newt Goes Nuclear” reads the headline on the Huffington Post. And this is within the confines of a single political party. How bad will this get when the conflict is between parties? Congressman Joe Wilson had the audacity to shout “You Lie!” during the 2011 State of The Union address by President Obama. And people in the GOP actually defended this behavior.
When our leaders demonstrate such poor behavior as Joe Wilson, Newt, and Romney – we fear for the future of our culture in general. With leaders advocating more of this mean spirited dissent we can only imagine what lessons are being learned by our children who are plugged in 24/7.
Values are not just those spoken by parents. Many values are learned by osmosis – absorbing the culture by experience is a fundamental process of maturity and growth by young impressionable minds. Those values become the guiding principles of a person’s life. These are gut-check level principles.
I fear for the future of our country – the children of today will become the leaders of tomorrow. Rather than learning values of Statesmanship by our leaders the children are learning that total destruction of anyone who disagrees with you is not only acceptable but necessary for survival.
Where are we headed?