For a journalist, humorist, essayist, and probably more than a few lobbyists, nothing provides more fodder for commentary or jokes than the presidential elections. People who pushed each other under every bus they could find just weeks ago are suddenly “credible” supporters for the survivor after throwing in the towel on their own bid for the toughest job in the world.
This is all well and good unless you are a voter in this great nation who’s seeking a leader with integrity. But then, would someone with real integrity even want to be the president? I’m not talking male or female, here; I’m talking about an intelligent, educated, service-minded, morally courageous person.
Why would anyone want to be President? To be a target? To expose self and family to the hardiest mud-slinging contest in the world? To be second-guessed and ridiculed and featured on Leno and Letterman’s Top 10 Baffoon lists?
I’ve got a good friend who is the woman I want to be when I grow up. She’s not perfect, but her integrity is solid and her commitment to God, family, friends, her students, and her community is so strong that she juggles church, husband and daughter, teaching full time and serving as a town council-woman seemingly without effort.
When she announced in a hoarse and exhausted voice this past summer that she was running for reelection, I should have said, “Good for you and good luck!” but instead, I said, “Why in the world are you doing that? Have you lost your mind? Your fellow committee persons have spread horrible rumors, told lies about you to the newspapers, sniped at you in and out of session and you still want to play in that cesspool?” She chuckled a while and then simply replied, “There’s more to do.”
I want to protect her from the filth that I see in politics. She wants to contribute courage, morality, and integrity to a world that has a hard time supporting those things. She’s doing it for her daughter and all daughters. She’s doing it because she believes that every kindness, every compassionate decision, every chance to reach out and make things better is like a pebble in a pool; even a small splash creates a ripple that goes on and on until it has touched every blade of grass along the shore.
I think that the men who signed our Constitution of the United States had those qualities in mind for our leaders; people who, for a term or two, dedicate themselves to serving an entire body of people with a passion to make life better. Be it in a town, a county, a state, or Washington, D.C.
So, because this honorable woman who will never be Prime Minister of England or Secretary of State for the USA is in essence, a politician, I am willing to believe there are others like her. Some might even be in Congress or the Senate already. And I’ll believe there must be a fine someone running for President who is humble, that has integrity, courage and the desire to serve the people for just a term or two. After all, just like in a good novel, it’s all about the motivation.
Be well and don’t forget to exercise your right to vote! Your country needs you!