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2008 Election: Character Bragging Rights

September 5, 2008

A brief study on the importance of real character by E. Manning.

One of the hallmarks of this 2008 Presidential Campaign has been the continual “bragging rights” regarding character. Within any party, the propenants brag endlessly about the marvelous character of the politician running for office.

Being imperfect people in an imperfect world, knocking down character or character assasination is easy to attempt. The electoral process in America claims to be looking for a perfect candidate without any skeletons in the closet, without character flaws and the perfect attitude, many times in candidates from some of the most corrupt and questionable political associations imaginable. The candidate probably has whiter teeth as well, but those teeth are likely mere veneers that we accept as real. Only the dentist really knows.

The basics of character can be defined by trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.  These qualities are dependent upon the person that possesses them, not on the person bragging. In the world of politics, one person’s delight is often another person’s poison. Bragging rights and the ensuing battle are often tantamount to a playground brawl in elementary school and strictly a matter of opinion.

The more accurate definition in this electoral campaign might be the TBS definition of “characters welcome.” Most politicians really become characters, but one that you would trust in the real world. What you see is largely what you get. Bragging about character doesn’t make character better, nor does finding fault make character any worse. Character qualities in a person are what they are and should be left strictly to the American voter to decide.

For example, if you think that John McCain’s lack of perfection in his POW experience is a problem, you might be right because you are the one deciding. One fact most Americans are acutely aware of is that most politicians may have loads of character when they make it into office, but few if any have much left of that character after a few years of rubbing elbows with other corrupt politicians, lobbyists and special interest coups. Anyone that lacks character going in fares much worse.

The insanity of American politics is that Americans are looking for a candidate that ranks with the likes of Jesus Christ or some Biblical character of renown. Yet Americans know that they are fooling only themselves while insisting on doing so. Politicians, while gifted in many ways, are men and women much like the men and women of the nation. The difference is that they have garnered opportunities in securing a rise to power. The moves required to succeed in politics is hardly suggestive of goodness or worth, but usually of compromise and perversity. These are not indicative of good character.

Next time you decide to brag about the statuesque character of your favorite politician or favorite leader, remember that men and women are notoriously bad about exercising decent judgment, yet that is the cornerstone that the nation is built on. Let there be no question about human judgment. If you are honest with yourself, you know why the nation is where it is and you probably had a hand in bringing it to pass based on your last vote. The perception of character has less to do with reality than you probably know. ~ E. Manning



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