A reader responded to my last column on the Gazette's Blog the electronic version of the newsprint McCook Daily Gazette. A person with the appellation "hulapopper" wrote: "Just like requesting a song on the radio, may I request a column? Before the election why don't you do an expose of the mentality of the electorate. (Sic) You know, are we smart or dumb?" In that column I grumbled about the current unrest in the Arab world. I insinuated that I wasn't too proud of the actions taken by our present administration to quell the violence and look out after our national interests in that part of the world.
Suspecting the request of "hulapopper" to be a bit fishy and being unable to request clarification (note "hulapopper" is a fishing lure and not listed in the phone book), I can only assume that his/her intent in throwing down the gauntlet was to get me to cast aspersion on those who will vote contrary to my checkmark.
I propose to rise to the challenge.
Probably since mankind discovered agriculture and learned to live in community, village, city state, country, choosing a leader has been an ongoing exercise in frustration. Our Old Testament speaks to over 4,000 years of great, bad and indifferent leadership. Some like Sampson were doozies, gullible, more interested in women and growing hair than leading his people. His life ended sadly.
Some like Gilead were reluctant but stepped into the role of leader and did it brilliantly.
At times the Priestly class was in charge and other times it was the military generals who called the shots. King David was a ruthless but brilliant guerrilla chief as a young man He became a self-appointed king and successfully warred against his neighbors to eventually rule their small part of the world.
Next, Solomon came along and proved that succession of the throne from father to son can be a bad idea.
First he had to kill all his older brothers to become David's ranking heir. Then during the "wisest man on earth's," reign either by design or happenstance a huge explosion of bureaucratic and royal privilege took place which caused his little country to go broke all within one generation.
Throughout the Jewish history, a thread of logic stresses that the leader of the people must be chosen by God and walk in the way of righteousness and God's grace.
Incidentally the Bible is a great read. You will find romance and military adventure extraordinaire (well it is a little short on aviation but long on combat eye-to-eye). It illustrates human nature at its finest and most raw. Wonder of wonders it also teaches how to treat our fellow man and that is with love in our hearts. I recommend it.
The founders of this great country, those that wrote the constitution, were scholars of the Christian Bible and attempted to set up a method of choosing leaders that would find God's favor. They created a democratic republic where the people could choose by secret ballot those to be appointed over them. Lengths of terms in office were carefully selected and the office holder had to compete with his peers to continue in office. No royal succession here. A whole system of checks and balances were instituted to insure that the three branches of government would become strong enough to negate the other two branches. The founders wanted a government that would walk in the way of righteousness and God's grace. They had faith that an informed electorate would best know the mind of God to fill each elected office.
For 200+ years the informed voters in this country have wisely chosen their own leaders to hold elected office. Sure a few mistakes have been made but over time those "mistakes" in office have been corrected and our republic continues to function as designed. Our founding fathers got it right. It is the informed electorate that is the best earthly way to discern the will of God. Therefore it is incumbent on each of us to study the issues, the aspirants for office, and then vote wisely. Choose poorly and we all will pay the penalty. There is no "smart or dumb" involved.
That is the way I saw it.