Friday, September 12, 2008

Who's a Patriot and Who Decides?

I am fascinated by the current presidential campaign. Politics has always been interesting to me, but this one has my senses working at high speed and in high gear. I am reading about the race. I am watching speeches. I am listening to analysis. I am a little frustrated at those who try to exaggerate the significance of this election, however. After all, we have had 232 years of being a country with dozens of presidents. In the grand scheme of our history this election will more than likely dim in importance and be remembered like the race between Van Buren and Harrison in 1840.

Let's be sure that we lay one thing to rest. Those who commit to serve the United States in political office are patriots. They have no ulterior motives. They love their country. No one serves the US Government for the money that is involved. In fact, for most political figures, serving in government requires a pay cut. They have a much greater earning potential in the private sector. Closely related to this thought is the truth that often those who contend for national office are independently wealthy. They have no need of the income involved.

A case could be made that candidates are searching for power and influence. In some cases this may be true. There is no more powerful and influential position in the world than that of President of the United States. However, this is a very cynical view. To think that these candidates think in this way is to leave them only a few short steps from Lex Luthor or Darth Vader.

I choose to believe that those who seek high elected office in the United States are patriots. They are men and women who love this country and all it stands for. Their philosophies differ. Their policies are in opposition. Their plans are sometimes vastly different. But these people love America.

So let us have a moratorium on the silly accusation of cowardice or treason. They do not look, act or believe the same, but they are patriots.

No comments: