Those Who Always Say The Right Thing Have No Convictions Of Their Own

Those who are always on the right side of every issue have no opinions of their own. Those who have no opinions of their own have no integrity. Their positions will switch with the prevailing winds, according to what the public happens to be aware of and what power dictates.

Those unwilling to take an unpopular stand on any issue have no courage, and will not stand on any issue when the going gets rough. And the going is going to get rough if the world is to see meaningful change.

Pete Buttigieg will never express an opinion that might cost him politically. He is good at what he does, no doubt, one of the better ones. He plays his cards close to the vest and is able to speak at length on issues of import without really saying anything. On matters where there is no real risk, he can quite often be eloquent, even compelling. But when he has to pick a side on an issue, one on which his audience and his masters differ, his words will flow like rain from a raincloud that somehow never wets the ground.

I’m not picking on Pete Buttigieg, I only use him as an example because he is better at it than most any of them. I pick on Buttigieg instead of Kamala Harris or Marjorie Taylor Greene only because their flaws are so pronounced there is no need to point out the obvious.

This is all of our politicians. Whether it has always been like this and I am just getting wise to it I cannot say, though I suspect we are at the nadir of American politics. I watch old clips of U.S. politicians speaking, and they were better than this. Their words stand the test of decades better than the words of our current political crop stand the test of days.

How can such people be trusted to keep their word? They cannot. People who have never paid a price for their words will never regard their words as having any value. They are things of the moment to be discarded like greasepaint after a performance. We elect people to lead us who are instead led: by their donors, by their egos, and by the powers that permit them to strut their hour upon the stage. They turn this way and that in the wind of public opinion but they are tied to a mast of power they will never cut ties from.

Who in government is willing to spend political capital on a moral position? They are, all of them surface without depth. They are all sails and no ballast or rudder.

The best of them, the very best, once promised to be different but folded like towels in the hands of the establishment the moment they had the opportunity to demonstrate how they would be different. Don’t feel like you need to defend them, AOC and Bernie Sanders let you down. They promised an alternative and they didn’t deliver. They promised a revolution and gave you status quo. They promised to raise a ruckus, and meekly obeyed the establishment. They promised to work for you, and then tried to shame you when you questioned why nothing has changed. You don’t have to pass moral judgment on them, you just have to admit they failed. You may as well have voted for Nancy Pelosi. In terms of foreign policy, you might as well have voted for Mitch McConnell.

Perhaps the powers that be are too strong to be opposed, perhaps the corruption of Washington is such that no one can enter the halls of government without themselves succumbing to the rot. Whatever the case may be, it is no good pretending that those we elect to serve, serve us. They are indeed servants, but not for us. Not for the working class. The only service they provide us is lip service. Empty words, no matter how sweet. We’ve elected Aspartame politicians. Respect yourself enough to know when someone is lying to you.

How does one work with such empty vessels who cannot in any meaningful way match words to deeds? I’m not asking voters, who are for the most part willing to vote for one side to spite the other. I’m talking about foreign nations. How can any foreign diplomat or government expect to reach an agreement with anyone in our government? Can you imagine signing a peace accord with Joe Biden? Mike Pompeo? Kamala Harris? Who in our government would you expect to sign and live up to any meaningful international agreements? Right, no one. You cannot hope for a peaceful and prosperous world when the words of those who speak for the most powerful nation have no value and no meaning. Chaos will ensue. Chaos is already upon us.

We’ve strayed to far from the ideas that a person’s word was their bond, that a person’s reputation was the most important thing they owned. We’ve entered an era without values, have become a nation where no one is held accountable for lies, excepting perhaps Donald Trump. “More trustworthy than Trump” has become the golden standard by which our elected officials now proudly hold themselves to. Too often, they fall short even in that.

You might feel helpless to change things, but at bare minimum you can still call a lie a lie. That in itself has far more power than you have been led to believe. Holding yourself to account is the first step needed to hold those in power likewise accountable.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store