He said that over eighty years ago. His statement has never been truer than it is now.
With every new election cycle we lament new lows in our country’s political rhetoric and campaigning. This year’s presidential election has been the most cringe-worthy ever. It seems surreal – like a juvenile parody of real election.
There can be a silver-lining in all of it. I pray that people will grow so tired of their politicians that they take matters into their own hands. I have long since believed that if we leave our most important issues and concerns in the hands of politicians and courts, then we have already lost the battle.
President Harry S. Truman in 1947 wrote in a letter to his sister, “All the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.” Our country’s founders never intended the president to hold so much power. The power belongs to the people – if only we just do what we are supposed to do anyway.
Maybe this mockery of a presidential campaign can help us all to focus locally. When the politicians are not getting things done you and I need to redouble our efforts. Instead of asking what the highest elected public officials are doing, we need to ask, “What are we doing?”
How are we promoting the dignity of life in our homes, our neighborhoods, and in our parish? How are we lifting up the oppressed and the needy? What are the life lessons and morals that we are teaching to our children? How economically responsible are we? On what do we spend our funds? How much do we invest so that the next generations (and not just our own family) can be strong? How well are we combatting the forces that most threaten us? It’s time for us to stop giving our power away.
We get the leaders we deserve. Things won’t get better on top until things get better here. This just might be the best presidential election ever if it reminds us of that. Vote well, especially locally, but know that is the least you should do.