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Presidential Motorcade

Posted Monday, June 11, 2012, at 9:05 AM

The good man, the moral man, the man professing Christian ethics waits for the light to change to green when the sign says "NO TURN ON RED." He follows the law not from fear of being caught; but because for most people most of the time obeying the law is what we do, what holds us together as a people and a culture. Laws, and the willingness of people to obey them, are what make driving down National Avenue possible. The person who can justify anything will justify anything, and the person sees no harm in anything he does will do anything.

What, though, if you are President of the United States of America? What does such a person do when waiting at the proverbial light?

Richard Nixon, the only President forced by his own actions to resign, has been described as an amoral man -- among other things. That is, it did not matter whether-so-ever the light was green or red, only how important the driver making the turn. He was quoted as intoning that if the President did it, then it was legal.

President Ronald Reagan, on the other hand, was admired for his reputed morality and put forth as role-model for conservative Christians. Yet it was he who, directly contrary to known law, approved arms sales to Iran to finance covert military operations in Central America.

Presidents, it would seem, become quite accustomed to riding in motorcades.

Now we are engaged in the process of eliminating the least competent, most fallible, most-likely-to-turn-unnecessarily-on-red candidate for President.

It is, of course, doubtful anyone chooses a candidate on such a basis as turning on red. Rather, most Americas will look for the person most likely to give priority to whatever single issue the voter holds most dear. Having no issues of import, and it may well be that some do not, other factors will dictate choice: Do we tolerate Willard, or just hate Barry more? Do we elect him by the content of his character, or just the color of his skin? Such things, all too often, will be the criteria of millions.

We are about to be bombarded with months of propaganda, each side proclaiming the other an embodiment of evil. A bit of it might even be true.

Whether the man would turn right on red when the sign says not to so do, however, is a most telling measure. I'd like to stop and ask:

Will your candidate obey the law in spirit and in truth, or just use it to further some particular agenda? Will he proclaim himself a Reagan, but have the heart of a Nixon? Will he consider the whole picture of "the people's" need, or does the man want to be President in order to pick and choose which are those people? Will he make the turn and laugh, paying the fine out of pocket change while denying there ever was a sign?

Mostly, though, will the man do the right thing when there is no immediate consequence for doing wrong? Will he turn on red when the sign says not to just because he can, and will America be blind-sided driving down National Avenue?



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My view from the back pew
David L. Lewis
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