Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Words and photo by F LoBuono

Strength of Character:

A term we hear all of the time. Three brief words (well, two, really) that have great significance. But, have you ever given any thought as to their actual meaning?

I have.

A lot.
  • It is having the audacity to say NO when everyone around you is saying YES, YES, YES!
  • It is never to violate your core principles.
  • It is always taking the moral high ground as you know it to be in your heart.
  • It is listening to your soul when it whispers "caution".
  • It  is having faith in your ability to judge what is right and wrong.
  • It is understanding the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
  • It is standing up for those who lack the strength or resources to defend themselves.
  • It is hearing and then speaking the voice of reason.
  • It is being fearless of consequence in the light of what is right.
  • It is never to yield to greed or avarice.
  • It is rising every time you get knocked down.
  • It is to speak truth, even if it should prove to be unpopular or dangerous.
  • It is to persevere against all odds in the pursuit of equality for all.
  • It is to deny all forms of bigotry, racism, sexism, and hatred.
  • It is having respect for all things, including yourself.
  • It is acknowledgement of the flaws in all things, including yourself.
  • It is acknowledgement of the good in all things, including yourself.
  • It is the willingness to die anonymously if necessary for the greater good.
I was taught these things by my parents who were given them by their parents, and so on. They have been reinforced by own life experiences. So far, they have served me well. These are the ideals that I gravitate towards and, fortunately, have found in my closest friends.

I would expect no less in those who lead us.

This is why I was so shocked and disappointed by the outcome of the Presidential election.

I am not a political scientist and have never claimed to be. I have a brain and I use it to make informed decisions as to the direction I would like to see our Country move in, i.e. I am opinionated and not afraid to express it. However, at some point, I'm no expert and, after time, it all becomes just so much palaver to me - all political expediency and phony promises. So, I look for Strength of Character in a leader - or, more accurately, ask if they even posses it before I make my ultimate choice.

Certainly, we are all different and, therefore, may have slightly different values. However, at the core, we are more similar than we are different. So, I look to see if a person posses enough of my basic principals to consider them at least a "good person". That is the individual I will choose to follow.

Arguably, Hillary Clinton may have been seen as the most qualified candidate. But, she was also perceived by many as flawed if not downright shady! It was a strong enough perception to cost her the election. And, THIS, I simply do not understand.

When I analyzed the characteristics of each candidate I found that Ms. Clinton possessed at least SOME of the characteristics I would define as admirable. In Mr. Trump I found NONE. I did not see one redeeming quality in his character. I never believed in his policies (or LACK of them) in the first place. Then, to not stand for ONE thing I see as admirable was just too much for me to overcome. I would never support a person of his moral fiber.

But, as I have written, that is water under the bridge.

What concerns me now is that Mr. Trump continues to demonstrate his lack of character by appointing Cabinet members who are as devoid of good conscious as he is! In fact, it's deplorable. It's almost as if he is doing it for spite. Choice after choice, with rare exception, has been another poke in the eye of anyone who had the temerity to oppose him! That is unless they "repent" and kowtow to his rule. Then they get rewarded with a job. Furthermore, they are not only mostly unqualified, they stand in direct opposition to the very agencies they were chosen to represent. Despite GOP claims to the contrary, this can only create mass confusion and discord at a time when we need unity and cooperation more than ever.

Simply put, they don't even seem like good people. Certainly, from their behavior, they share little, if any, of the characteristics I would consider admirable. I could name many but, in the interest of time, allow me to use former Texas Governor and GOP Presidential candidate, Rick Perry, as just one example. During the campaign, he knocked Mr. Trump in the strongest terms possible, basically calling him unfit for office. I know that during campaigns candidates can attack each other in strong terms. But, this was personal and visceral. THEN, during a debate, Mr. Perry suggested eliminating certain Governmental agencies, INCLUDING the one Mr. Trump has now nominated him to run (Energy). And, if this were not bad enough, during that same debate, Mr. Perry badly fumbled his attempt to even present it as a platform, finally ending his embarrassment with an "oops"! Now, he's kissing the President-elect's ass to get a job.

The hypocrisy is simply appalling.


You can't make this shit up.

Folks, in the final analysis, I try to keep things simple. It keeps my head from exploding. I am no expert on foreign policy or economics. But, I DO know good people. And, unfortunately, I don't see very many in the future running our Country. So, we must remain vigilant and, like never before, hold our leaders accountable for their actions. You said that's what you voted for - well act like it. Don't let him (them) get away with turning the United States of America in his (their) personal fiefdom.

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