Norms, Standards and Behaviors.
We have moved through another election cycle, a time when voters are often asked to choose Ford or Chevy, Republican or Democrat, tuna fish or egg salad. Why they should “buy” a particular candidate over another revolves around the issues our area is concerned with: immigration, health care, trade wars, global warming, jet noise, crime, drug addiction, and taxes to name a few.
Mid-term elections are an opportunity to keep or replace many officials who represent us and is also considered a vote of confidence, or not, for the prevailing party. I’m fine with whomever you voted for, mainly because I’m not going to change your mind or influence your vote.
Let’s step past all that. Let’s have a discussion about norms, standards and behaviors. Let’s have a discussion about character and integrity. We know it when we see it, right? Used car salesmen are stereotyped as sleazy, manipulative and dishonest.
Not really fair to used car salesmen as a group, if you think about it. If you’re going to assess someone’s character, you have to study the person for awhile, listen to them, use your baloney detector, sift through sources that are solid and credible.
I just spent an hour listening to James Clapper and Michael Hayden on CSPAN discussing their concerns about the president, his administration and the Republican Congress.
But don’t take my word about what they said — look up the CSPAN broadcast and hear what they say about the state of our institutions and the tremendous stress these institutions are under when it comes to the rule of law, national policy, diplomacy, and presidential tweets.
Listen to two former secretaries of state, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell, as they give their views about the state of the world today and the difficulties when the president won’t stop insulting people and making fun of them:
Listen very closely to our allies, especially the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, when they voice concerns about a populist president who kicks aside so much of what countless American public servants and career diplomats have worked for since the end of World War II — the spread of democracy, open and fair elections, the rule of law, a free press and the rest of our American rights.
Let’s have a discussion about how America can strengthen its position with the rest of the world via shared norms, standards and behaviors that we know in our guts are the correct values — honesty, cultural respect and justice.
Yes, as Reagan said, we can trust first, then verify.
Let’s keep in mind that The Golden Rule is not a joke — it is what most Americans live by.
Coupeville/ Oak Harbor