Surely you agree that there is a difference between us and politicians. We ordinary folks are all the politicians can talk about during a campaign but do they really relate to us and our hopes, dreams and wants. The one who can do the best job of making us think that they do is the one who usually wins the election. We have had many close elections over the years because it was hard to figure who best represented the hopes of the folks on Main Street. To read the media you would think that the only close election we have ever had was 2000. Close elections go back much farther than that. Remember Jefferson and Aaron Burr? That election went to the House for resolution and it took many votes there to break the deadlock. In 1960 the election of Kennedy was extremely close. The Illinois vote put him over the top. There was very credible evidence that the vote in Cooke County Illinois (Chicago) was rigged and fraudulent. Nixon was advised by many to file a court challenge to the election. After a few days Nixon declined to sue and said that the nation could not afford months of uncertainty about who was President. It was probably his high water mark in displaying personal integrity and truly putting the country first rather than his personal ambition. That is a small incident in our history that is almost totally forgotten. You can check the facts for yourself. In 1992 you might recall that Clinton won with a plurality, not a majority of the vote–the Perot factor.
King David had a son called Absolom. David loved him greatly. Absolom was not loyal to his father. In fact he lead a rebellion against his own father and plotted his death and wanted to be King himself. The treachery of Absolom broke David’s heart. But the rebellion was real and threatened Israel and David’s own life. David dropped hints to his trusted lieutentants that his son should be killed. Some of David’s loyal followers took him at his word and they did indeed slay Absolom and came to inform David that his enemy was dead. The reaction of David was not one of joy. He lamented in one of the famous quotes from the Bible, “Oh, Absolom, oh Absolom, my son”. He was tormented with grief at the death of his son even though he was a traitor. His grief was so strong that he secluded himself from everyone. A leader does not have that luxury though. You can’t just abandon your post when things are terrible. Indeed, that is when a leader is needed the most. Samuel the prophet came to King David and told him the people needed to see him, to know he was alright and still in charge. The King mustarded the courage to go out to the gate so all could see him and know he was well. The people rejoiced. Leadership can be so powerful but it is a burden that requires sacrifice. That mantle should only be assumed by those brave enough to endure the heartaches that go with it. Our troubled times in the US often came when the leader could not deal with the onus of setting the example by sacrifice. There is a lesson in that story for every leader and parent and the siblings of those errant children. Who would you be in that story? McCain or Obama, who has the courage to lead regardless of the price?
When David fought Goliath it was mostly his courage that prevailed not physical abilities. You will recall that Saul tried to get David to wear his armor but David declined after trying it on. It was too bulky, too heavy, too ornate; it was not him. David decided it was best to be himself in his battle with Goliath. He won through the hubris of Goliath and his own courage and skill. He was himself, not an “image” that someone else created. Like the old Woody Allen comment, success is 90% just showing up. That was true here. No one else would even show up to do battle with Goliath except David. He tried. By trying he won. If you won’t even go to the batter’s box you will never hit the ball for sure. In this election we have a gimpy old man against a vibrate young fellow. Saul you could equate to the old Republican standards. Will McCain be the David? Time will tell. At least he has done the first part and shown up.
Lastly, you are reminded of Jesus when he chased the money lenders from the Temple. They supposedly were there to help folks with their worship by providing money to buy scarifices for the temple but the real purpose was just to make money. How many of the politicians today are there just to make the money, or more aptly to retain the power? Earmarks?. Are they the modern day equivalent of the moneylender business? You answer that one as you please.
The peach trees are beginning to show a hint of brown on the leaves. The next full moon will be the harvest moon and the pumpkins will be arrayed at all the stores. My grandsons asked me what I was going to dress as for Halloween. I admit I was stumped with that one. They are already planning their outfits. Be a good man, it is very hard sometimes, very. Your reward though comes when you can lay your head down with a clean conscience at night.