The election of 2010 is barely finished and now we're sizing up candidates for 2012, especially for President of the United States. Every news pundit, commentator, and observer has an opinion about the announced and unannounced candidates. Questions about should they or should they not run, are they qualified, and can they win dominate the coverage. These are all reasonable questions to ask but they really miss the ship of reality that has already sailed off into the future.
The truth is that fancy words and speeches are used as effective bait towards the voters and fond revues by the media tend to set the hook for a majority of us but the real truth emerges after the catch. Here are a couple examples and in no way am I comparing the present group of candidates to any of these.
Ferdinand Marcos was the leader of the Philippines. He was elected initially by a great majority but in his last reelection, he won by stuffing the ballot boxes. He was initially hailed as a great leader when he declared martial law to restore order to his country but in truth, he used the unrest as an excuse to rule as a dictator. His final undoing occurred when his goons gunned down opposition leader Benigno Aquino as he returned to the country in 1983. He was defeated in the next election by the slain leader's wife, Corrizon.
Marcos had been hailed as a leader, was really a deceiver, and to hold on to power, became a habitual cheater. History will only remember him for that and nothing more.
George Washington, our first President and the acclaimed "Father of his country", was indeed a great leader. He led the rag tag Colonial forces through the tough times a Valley Forge and many victories thereafter. He had an impeccable reputation for honesty, so much that a legend grew from this reputation.
I'm sure many of you have heard the story about young George's response to his father when confronted about cutting down the cherry tree. "I cannot tell a lie, father", George is alleged to have said, "I cut down the cherry tree with my new hatchet".
Though the legends are not always true, the circumstances are true that create them. A great leader inspires his followers so that they want him to walk on water. Thus legends follow. Great leaders don't deceive or cheat, they just lead.
In the upcoming elections of 2012, we'll have to ignore the beatification of some candidates by the media and the demonization of others. The media will want their candidate elected and will do all in their power to accomplish this feat. After all, they consider themselves to be the fourth and coequal branch of government. We must ignore their actions and uncover the facts about each candidate ourselves. There will be those who will cheat and deceit but we must chose one who we believe will be a great leader. That is all we can and shall do!
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