I have been listening to our politicians for many years now and something seems to be lacking in the delivery of their thoughts…I’ve concluded it’s intelligence.
Our forefathers would be turning over in their graves if they could hear the things that come out of our nation’s leaders. Remember the eloquence of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence? And, John Adams who said, “Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” And the endless quotes of a wise Ben Franklin who said, “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.” I could go on and on. Their words were meaningful, moving, eloquent, and intelligent. But what about today’s leaders?
I’ve been comparing a few of today’s illustrious quotes with those of the past…
George W. Bush was president for 8 years and has filled volumes with quotes such as, “"There is some who say that perhaps freedom is not universal. Maybe it's only Western people that can self-govern. Maybe it's only, you know, white-guy Methodists who are capable of self-government. I reject that notion."
Richard Nixon: "When the Catholic Church went to hell in, I don't know, three or four centuries ago, it was the homosexuals. Now, that's what happened to Britain. It happened earlier to France. And let's look at the strong societies. The Russians. God damn it, they root them out, they don't let 'em hang around at all. You know what I mean? I don't know what they do with them."
Ronald Reagan: “We are trying to get unemployment to go up, and I think we're going to succeed."
Sarah Palin: "I didn't really had a good answer, as so often -- is me. But then somebody sent me the other day, Isaiah 49:16*, and you need to go home and look it up. Before you look it up, I'll tell you what it says though. It says, hey, if it was good enough for God, scribbling on the palm of his hand, it's good enough for me, for us. He says, in that passage, 'I wrote your name on the palm of my hand to remember you,' and I'm like, 'Okay, I'm in good company.’”
Joe Biden: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'“**
I’m sure you get my point. Nothing I’ve heard in the last 40 years is inspiring me to get out and vote with confidence. Maybe we should require that today’s politicians go and study a little history, get a dictionary, and have an English teacher go over their work?
* The exact quote from the Bible is: “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”
** There were no televisions in 1929 and FDR was not President until 1932.