Monday, March 7, 2016

You Can Set The Tone

Yes. Sometimes I read for fun.
Over the last week and a half or so, I've seen three GOP candidates dominate political discussion in my newsfeed. Trump, Cruz, and Rubio seem to be locked in deadly combat and their supporters seem to have lost their sense of perspective.

"Can we call a truce and talk? We can always go back to killing each other later.” - Magnus Chase (The Sword of Summer, by Rick Riordan)

Yes, sometimes even children's books can teach us a valuable lesson in political discourse.

The discussion, of course, is about who should lead our party. Some appeal to making America great again and sticking it to the man. Some appeal to the Buckley Rule saying that we need to vote for the most conservative candidate who can win.

Of course we want to believe in the greatness of our country. Indeed (at least I believe) conservative issues are supreme and are the most important thing to look at in a candidate. Obviously the ability to win is vital.
Jeremiah Lorrig (me)

But I submit that we must look beyond those things. I have a long history of supporting candidates who lose. The first candidate that I really cared about was a friend of mine who ran for Congress. When Jeff Crank ran he had a chance of winning. He believed in America. He and I agreed on issues. But while those things were good there were other candidates in the race that would have met those minimum requirements. What that race taught me was that character, leadership, and honor matter. And they matter more than winning.

Jeff stood out by refusing to use some pretty damaging info that someone gave him about his opponent’s son in the campaign. Jeff’s leadership was clear when countless people he had worked with over the years (including many who served with his opponents in elected office) endorsed him and worked hard to help him out. He lost with honor even though nasty campaign tactics were deployed against him falsely claiming that he was a squish on important issues. Now, I don't have any illusions that Jeff is perfect or that any candidate is. Candidates, even our favorites, are human and will let us down.

Jeff Crank

And while today, Jeff will say that he now sees that God had better plans for him than Congress, I remember going to his “victory party” and feeling the agony of loss. But in that moment when the loss was so real, I looked back and realized that I was still proud to support him because it was worth it to support those things because they matter.

So, no matter who you support I want to ask you to also take into account character, leadership, and honor. Don't ever abandon your core issues. Also understand that winning does matter. Dream for your country’s future. But also weigh integrity, honesty, love of neighbor. Look at their accomplishments, their record, their ability to build trust with and work with those they disagree with. And evaluate how they conduct themselves with their friends, their family, and their enemies. And do this honestly, knowing that even your favorite people will not hold up entirely under this kind of analysis.

And once you are done evaluating them, look at yourself. You, my friends, can do better. Walk in integrity, honesty, and love of neighbor. Build trust. Respect those you disagree with. Fight hard, but fight with honor. No candidate is worth you losing your honor for.

I write this to myself as much as to you. Honestly, the fact that Trump is leading nationwide has me deeply troubled. The venom that I see thrown at my candidate, Rubio, makes me mad. But I cannot let that rule me. I know it is better to lose with honor than to win at the cost of your soul.

The tone of political discourse in our country is fairly bitter today, and everyone says it needs to improve. Change has to start somewhere. A new tone of political discourse can begin with us. Because a higher standard can begin with us.

- Jeremiah Lorrig

The views appearing on this blog are not necessarily the views of Generation Joshua or HSLDA and should not be construed as positions of either. Generation Joshua and HSLDA have not endorsed a candidate for President. 

No comments:

Post a Comment