Monday, February 19, 2018

Principles Above Personalities

They taught me well… I’ve seen candidates’ websites where they highlight or suggest themselves to be “leaders.” It angers me because it seems like such a “politician” thing to say, especially by those who claim, like me, not to be politicians. To me, it seems as arrogant a phrase to use as that same claim so many career politicians have used over the years when it’s time to campaign for election, or re-election.

We’ve elected, and re-elected, many “leaders” over the years; so, how’s that been going for us? Apparently not well according to the consistently very low Congressional Approval Rating. I find those “proven leadership” remarks arrogant because the meaning is quite clear to me: “Elect me and I will be your LEADER because YOU NEED ME to LEAD YOU because you’re not smart enough to figure this stuff out on your own!!” 

Regardless of my personal views on any issue, I believe my mission as a Representative in the United States House of Representatives is not to lead you to my own point of view. I must instead follow and literally represent the Will of The People I am elected - by The People - to serve; I would be compelled by law to do that even when The People’s Will is different than mine.

But before that can happen, before your Will on any issue can be known to me, it would be my solemn responsibility to communicate fairly and honestly all the information about any issue that comes before The House.  I cannot and will not assume to know what your Will is, and frankly, I think it’s rather arrogant when others do that. I am insulted when a politician acts on an assumption of what I think is a mirror image of what he/she or his/her party thinks, instead of simply asking me first what I think. One of my Daddy’s lessons guides me as much now as it ever did and ever will: “Never assume to know what you only think you know. Only God can read minds.”

Mom had a lot of lessons for me as well. Of particular note with profound application, these “Mom Lessons” have become very focused in my mind and always there for quick access:

“Always place principles above personality.”

Thy Will, not my will.”

and this, the most serious…

“Pride goeth before destruction.”

I’m a literal thinker; I speak and write in literal terms. I interpret what I read and hear in very literal terms. And what the Founding Fathers wrote regarding the role of Congress does not jive with what I’ve seen going on in Washington for decades. That just doesn’t set well with me at all, and I rather think that it doesn’t set well for most of “We The People” Ordinary Americans; Republican or Democrat or established third-arty members alike, and especially those of us who choose to be Independents. The Party (personality) above the people (principles) must stop; otherwise, the destruction will most assuredly happen if the personalities in Congress don’t find a way to get rid of all that pride.

“Rewind and Reaffirm!”  -  that’s why I’m seeking office in Congress... to diligently and faithfully enforce one of Mom’s lessons above: “Let Thy Will, not mine, be done.” And if by the time you go to your precincts to vote you find me trustworthy enough to hire me to represent you in Washington, as an Independent I can’t fall victim like mainstream party representatives to the bullying and cajoling and bribery tactics of party leadership and special interest groups to vote along any party line. When my name is called to cast a vote on any issue, I’ll stand - at attention - and shout without a microphone: “I join The People of Georgia’s Seventh District who instruct me to vote…”

Today’s issues are being fought over now in Congress and may very well be solved one way or the other by the time Congress convenes in 2019 following next year’s election. That’s why I’m not going to insult you by assuming we’re on the same page regarding the current issues, and I won’t appeal to your emotions to get on board with me just because we may share the same opinions about today’s events. Like I’ve said, a Representative’s job is to literally represent the Will of The People, not his own, all of the time and not just during an election cycle.

Sure, I’m passionate about a lot of issues and what’s happening now. All you have to do is ask me. I’ve got a lot of ideas circling around in my head that I’ll talk about when we get together (in actual, in-person Town Hall Meetings, not typical “stump speech” rallies – and NEVER “telephone town hall meetings”) or as additional pages here from time to time. But rest assured, my ideas are not and never will be meant to lead you to my way of thinking; only to say out loud what a lot of folks are probably already thinking anyway. After all, I am another Ordinary American… just like you.

Daddy had some other great life lessons that keep me focused:

“Measure twice – cut once.”

“Be kind to animals.”

“Don’t be afraid to march to a different drummer.”

“Everything worthwhile is worth doing right. There can’t be any short-cuts.”

And this, the one that keeps me going lately…

“Take my hand, my Son, and all will be well when the day is done.”

In constant, loving memory of the two greatest people I ever knew...
Katherine M. Lentz, 1929 - 1999
Tommy H. Lentz, 1931 - 2012

Yes indeed, they taught me well.