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Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis
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What’s Wrong with America? Sincerity

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sincerity
sin·cer·i·ty
sinˈseritē
noun
1. the quality of being free from pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy.
“the sincerity of his beliefs is unquestionable”
Synonyms:  honesty, genuineness, truthfulness, integrity, probity, trustworthiness, straightforwardness, openness, candor, candidness

This word is sorely missing in our world.  When someone tells you something these days, do you believe them?  When you hear a politician, do you believe them?  I don’t mean Republican or Democrat.  I MEAN BOTH!!!  If someone makes you a promise, do you think you can count on it?

I would venture to say that your answer is a resounding, “NO!!”

Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe I’m cynical.  But, I don’t think so.

Think about the politicians who have been caught in a lie:

  • Richard Nixon – “I am not a crook”
  • Bill Clinton – “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”
  • John Edwards – lies about affair
  • George H. W. Bush – “Read my lips:  No new taxes”
  • Bob Filner – San Diego Mayor sex scandal
  • Bob McDonnell – Virginia Governor – illegal promotion of Star Scientific
  • Mark Foley – Representative asking for photos of page
  • Larry Craig – Senator – lewd conduct in restroom
  • Eliot Spitzer – prostitute ring
  • Rod Blagojevich – trying to sell Obama’s senate seat
  • Mark Sanford – South Carolina Governor – affair with Argentinian woman
  • William Jefferson – Bribery
  • John Ensign – Nevada Senator Affair
  • David Vitter – Louisiana Senator – call girls
  • Kwame Kilpatrick – Detroit Mayor affair
  • Anthony Weiner – text messages of private parts

I’m sure this list is short, and these are just some notable politicians.  What about people in everyday life?  What about corporations?  Enron, Worldcom, Healthsouth, Bernie Madoff, Tyco, Arthur Andersen, Adelphia Communications, Global Crossing, and Martha Stewart.

So, excuse me if I don’t believe Travelers insurance company has employees’ interests at heart when they develop this program.

Sports?  Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Lance Armstrong, etc.

Actors?  Do I really need to say anything about this group?

Religion?  Can you say Catholic Church scandal?

Who can we trust?  Is anyone blatantly honest anymore, or will people do anything to make a buck?

Yes, there are great organizations who help people.  Magic Moments, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, CARE, YWCA, Salvation Army, and Children’s hospitals to name a few.

But, our leaders are letting us down.  And why not?  We put up with it.  We re-elect them.  People are living on the system and tax dollar, and it’s a system which encourages such behavior.  Apparently, the risk of embarrassment or even imprisonment is not enough to dissuade these actions.

Don’t you just want to see someone get up and say, “I’m real.  This is who I am.  I made my living as an attorney.  Of course, I want the laws to favor my clients so I can do well by them and make more money.  I enjoy a beer or drink or multiple every now and then. I like going to a casino.  If you contribute to my political campaign, I’m going to remember you and lean your way in the future.  If I’m Judge, I won’t rule in favor of one party or another or big business or individuals.  I’m going to rule in favor of the law.  Did I ever smoke pot?  Of course.  I’m a mormon, and this is why.  I’m an atheist, but who cares?  It won’t affect how I operate my business, political office, etc.  I’m gay, so of course I am for gay rights.  I like to hunt so I don’t want any restrictions on guns.”

Instead, we get political speak:  “conservative values”, “family values”, “big government”, “states rights”, “bipartisan”, “left wing”, “right wing”, “pro choice”, “pro life”, “reform”, etc.

What do these terms even mean?  The political system has simply become a form of marketing.

These politicians only care about one thing:  money.  They don’t care about running this country or the state.  They care about winning.  Winning elections and beating the other party.  There is no consensus building.

I had breakfast with a friend the other day.  It’s no secret that I lean to the liberal side of things, and he leans to the conservative side.  We discussed abortion.  He feels, from personal experience, that once there is a heartbeat, there should be no abortion.  I said, “I wouldn’t disagree with that.”  We started from opposite ends, and in the span of 10 minutes, we reached a consensus.

This could happen if we had sincere politicians, and not individuals trying to make a living off the public.