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Guest Opinion

Bad leaders thrive on apathy

The Monroe County Reporter of Forsyth, Georgia

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As I See It...

On April 30, 1789 George Washington was sworn in as our nation's first president. George Washington is viewed as the father of our country and as a person with many good qualities. I believe the qualities he possessed and lived by were important in how our early government was formed and functioned. I remember the story of the cherry tree. His father asked him if he knew what had happened to the cherry tree. George's response, I cannot tell a lie, I cut it down. This story from our first president's youth helped establish how we were to conduct ourselves. Fast forward about 100 years to another president. Abraham Lincoln was also admired for his many good qualities, among them his honesty and desire to do the right thing. There is a story of when he was working as clerk in a store and shortchanged a customer 6 1/4 cents. When he realized what had happened when the store closed, he walked three miles to give the customer the rest of her change. There was another story concerning a customer not receiving the rightful amount of tea. Once again when Lincoln discovered the mistake he walked a long way to correct it. Now we move forward almost another 100 years to another president. Harry Truman came to be the president when FDR died. Truman had a quality which is necessary to being a true leader. On his desk was a sign which said "THE BUCK STOPS HERE". He believed he was responsible for what happened. He didn't pass the buck; he took responsibility.

I went through this history lesson to build the foundation of what over time were qualities admired in our leaders. Honesty was No. 1 and taking responsibility and being responsible was another.

I believe in the 1960s it became more important to win than to have good character. LBJ used two lies to help him win the presidency. Lie No. 1 was about Goldwater and the famous little girl and the daisy commercial which led people to believe Goldwater would lead us into nuclear war. The second lie was he said he wouldn't send American boys to fight an Asian war. When elected he used another lie to ask congress for authority to fight an Asian war. He used the falsehood of a torpedo attack on destroyers Turner Joy and Maddox to justify his request.

Moving on to the next president, Richard M. Nixon was driven out of office because of a lie. Nixon was a Republican and the people who pushed him out of office were Republicans. Republicans could have circled the wagons and protected Nixon. They didn't. They did the right thing.

Where am I headed with this? When a candidate is made out to be a blatant liar on many issues and the candidate passes the buck on security issues, that candidate doesn't have the moral fiber to lead. That candidate has proven numerous times a lack of good, quality character traits. There is nothing I question about the candidate's good character qualities, all doubts have been removed. She has none. What I question is the character of the candidate's supporters. It would seem to me if you support someone like this, you support wrongdoing. Is this the same character traits as someone who lies, cheats or steals for profit or self-enrichment? So if you are supporting a person like this, what does it say about your character? It reminds me of something my dear grandfather would tell me: "If you lay down with dogs you are going to get fleas."

At one time, good character was a requirement. A person's word was their bond. At one time a lie or irresponsibility were character flaws. Now it is admired in Democratic candidates.

People have their different reasons for voting as they do. Some vote in hopes of having an opportunity for self-improvement if the government would get out of the way. Others vote to forego freedoms because they hope in exchange to gain security. Others vote a certain way because they always have and never thought about what they are voting for. Some vote because they have found a sugar teat to latch onto and don't have the ambition or desire to do better. Some vote in an attempt to punish someone else's success. They are usually jealous, envious, lack personal motivation and are looking for someone to blame because they aren't successful. They should be blaming the one they see in the mirror. I believe the worst type of voter is the one which declares I support my party candidate whoever it may be. This demonstrates to me a total lack of desire for what may be best. Their only desire is to support the party. Would or do you consider that type of logic sane and for the best interest of our country? I don't.

What do you want? If you aren't voting, you are letting others decide your future and the future of your children as you sit at home. One day when you wake up and realize you are working to support the leeches and parasites of society and are now a slave to their agenda by producing the fruits which maintain them in power, it may be too late. Get up, get active and protect what you have worked for and your children's future if you don't you will surely lose it. The lock on the safe protecting what you have earned, the American spirit, the American dream and the American way of life is at the ballot box.

Claude Curlee of Forsyth is a Vietnam veteran and a member of the Monroe County GOP.



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Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015



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