Loss of Character


“Character is formed on the stormy billows of the world.”

Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

+ + +

Want to find a leader? Then find a person of character. How do you find a person of character? Look for a modest person who has demonstrated they are a very hard worker, have faced adversity multiple times and never lost his or her honesty, his or her good nature, hopefulness and faith, his or her care for others more than self.

It is hard to find character in high places today and among those with authority and title. I think particularly of Washington, D.C. and its institutions and of politics and many of those who govern cities, states and sadly reign in the judiciary or are among the affluent at the top of the income pile.

The recent election with its broad-based corruption and our institutional disinterest in seeing what the citizens see as corruption and fraud in the election says very plainly that those who have authority are seen to lack character – hence have shown they are unable to be neutral and impartial umpires of our public affairs.

Yes, character is missing and it is quite troubling for a nation cannot survive and prosper when character is absent among its populace and especially among those chosen to be sentinels of honesty and fairness in matters apt to bring to light differing views and stir in partisans the temptation to cheat.

We have had a disturbing harvest of dishonesty of late: the IRS scandal which had conservatives mis-treated in their attempts to secure charitable status under existing law. Likewise the inertia and lies associated with Benghazi was a disgrace as was the Bill Clinton’s “accidental” tarmac meeting with the Attorney General several days before his wife was to undergo questioning about her use of an unauthorized computer server and the destruction of 30,000 emails that were subject to subpoena.

The shameful lawlessness surrounding FISA court submissions, the entire Trump impeachment fiasco and reckless allegations about his collusion with the Russians put to question one simple and critical concern upon which a free society and law depends and that is character. And now we have the prospect of a man in the White House who is under the shadow of a fraudulent election.

Character matters and where it is absent governance is doubtless suspect and a populace loses trust in government and law – and authority is more doubted than believed. Cynics and lawlessness follow when character is seen to be absent, “honored” in the breech.

Sadly this seems to be where we are today.