We humans are an imperfect lot. We do our best to hide our imperfections, but we all have them. No race has any more or less than others. Yet, one of our imperfections is as old as time. Jesus warned us against this with the Golden Rule. The imperfection is to think we are better than another group of people that may look, worship, vote, or love differently than we do. Too often, we feel a group or person is beneath us and should not be given the same rights.

The US Constitution and its various amendments has also tried to provide a set of rules that say we are all created equal. Quite simply, my rights are no important than that of another. The converse is also true. Like Jesus’ words, it is an ideal that we should strive for. And, when we fail, we should feel remorse and do better. Our leaders must represent our better angels. When they don’t, we lose the benefit of their example.

Unfortunately, examples can work in the opposite direction. Bigotry has to be carefully taught. And, when leaders look the other way or grease the skids on bigotry, it festers and becomes more pervasive. Under the guise of populism, we are seeing a greater degree and more pervasive bigotry in the US, Hungary, Poland, Germany to name a few countries. At the heart of this populism is a bigotry that betrays the Golden Rule.

With the current US President, America can no longer claim to be a beacon of democracy. The traits of lying, bullying, demeaning the media and allies, and thinking me first are not conducive to leadership. The current US President occupies the seat of leadership, but I would not use that term to define what he does. A leader unites. A leader accepts responsibility. A leader is accountable. This President could do better in each of these areas.

We must hold him accountable. When he lies, we must say that is unacceptable. When he demeans, we need to let him know children our watching. We are all imperfect, but imperfect people should not throw stones. Jesus said something about that as well. I hope and pray he will do better. We need him to. The same goes for other leaders. And, for us.


14 thoughts on “Imperfections

  1. This is a scary time, and if we think history cannot repeat itself, then we are sorely ignorant. History does repeat without the diligence and attention of the people. Well written, Keith.

    • VJ, you are so right, it can happen again. It is one thing to ignore history, but it is another to take down the “governors” on avoiding the problems. Our military and diplomatic leaders tried to educate the US President as to why NATO, the EU, the G7, WTO, etc are important and he did not want to hear. After one concerted (but insiccessful) effort, Rex Tillerson uttered his “moron” reference regarding the target of their education. Keith

  2. What I do not understand is the now common use of “populist” in the trend away from democracy and towards oligarchic rule.
    “In politics, populism refers to a range of approaches which emphasise the role of “the people” and often juxtapose this group against “the elite”. There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various different things since that time.More at Wikipedia
    I did some research to try to understand the real meaning of the term populism and I found nothing concrete. Perhaps massive hypocrisy would be a better term! Donald Trump, for an extreme example of so-called populism uses abysmal ignorance and endless lies to address “popular thinking” when in fact he’s doing all in his power to enrich and empower the elites against the “popular” fools who insist on supporting him. He’s robbing low income tax payers and allowing the collapse of the country’s infrastructure, which means increased homelessness and cost of living. In these post democracy times the term populism appears to be a complete misnomer.

    • Sha’Tara, you are right the term populism sounds like a good idea. But, what is bastardized to mean is “taking advantage of the broader, less informed population.” The US President is good at selling. Fear, lying and demeaning are keys to his sales process. Keith

      • Trump, so I am told, is a populist “leader”. He may well be the most incompetent person to hold the office of president but he’s got two things going for him: he speaks and tweets the language of the lowest of the vulgar and he steals from the poor to stuff the pockets of the super rich and the military. The rich protect him as a source of free handouts while the crassly ignorant vulgar poor and religious fanatics vote for him. Populist versus popular and populist wins.

      • Sha’Tara, my favorite conservative columnist David Brooks would agree with. He defines the White House as equal parts “chaos and incompetence.” There is a Reuters headline today that is a metaphor for the Trump tariffs and trade policy. Farmers see crops rotting in fields with storage sites full. He and his key economic advisors are lone wolves in this tariff fight going against the grain of almost every economist. Again, this is just one metaphor fit the larger problem you note. Keith

  3. Good post, Keith. You are always so much nicer, kinder than I am. As for hoping that Trump will do better … well, that’s rather like hoping that apple that rotted in the fruit bowl will be better tomorrow. 😉

  4. Note to Readers: One of the key things to managing your imperfections is to know you have them. Ego stands in the way of proper self-reflection. The larger the ego, the less acknowledgement of improvement areas. By itself, it seems most self-inflicted issues concerning the President relate to his narcissistic ego.

  5. Dear Keith,

    The president is indeed a character with numerous flaws but what has allowed him to flourish, has been the GOP Congressional not exercising their oversight duties.

    I’m wondering if the GOP members of the US congress will attempt to block Democrats who are the majority party in the House as the democratic committee chairs subpoena the president;s IRS tax returns and those of his children.

    I do not want to know things which could be embarrassing to the president but I do want to know all of his financial ties/ interests with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

    If those ties exist, Congress should bar him from any policy decisions pertaining to these 3 countries.

    Hugs, Gronda

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