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Haupt’s Take: Bad leadership creates bad citizens

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Is America experiencing a leadership crisis?

By William Haupt III | Haupt’s Take

“What is it about the government and its agents and employees that they can lie to us with impunity, but we risk being sent to jail if we lie to them?” ~Andrew P. Napolitano

Our republican democracy was established on principles from many sources that our framers found meritorious. These conversant patriots knew what kind of government they did not want, but were not sure what kind of government would work best for our embryonic nation. Our constitution and laws came from a vast myriad of resources such as The Magna Carta, English Common Law, and the Commandments. Many of the theorems and postulates were ordained from Enlightenment thinkers.

But much of the core mechanical structure used in our government was concretized from the Great Periclies, the father of democracy. Classical Athenian governing was the model of choice for our insightful framers. It was this methodical planning that has made us such a great nation!

“Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.”  ~Periclies

Our founders were impressed that Athenian citizens were expected to support their city through military service and financial outlay. They were also given the opportunity to participate in the art of governing and passing laws. They felt these commitments were fundamental to the meaning of citizenship. Obligating citizens to take part in the support and defense of the country was essential to the city’s well-being.

This also made the citizens accountable as participants in the democratic process. This benefited them as well as the government. As long as they felt they were making a contribution to the betterment of the country, Athens was considered an ideal city-state. Since the founding of their democracy followed the cruelty of the Draco regime, capital order was maintained.

Great things are possible when you “You raze the old to raise the new.” ~Justina Chen

But towards the end of Periclies tenure many Athenians became complacent and abused self-governing democracy. There were times when his generals were unable to fully enforce the laws. As people realized his reign was coming to an end many were losing motivation to perform their civic duties. There were allegations some individuals found ways to avoid serving on juries and civic counsels while others evaded the daft.

By the time he left office there was cowardice on the battlefield, and many rebelled against tax paying. Each new leader was less proficient and their citizens permitted the establishment of oligarchic regimes. This turned good citizens into bad ones.

“Nothing has a greater influence on people to break the law than bad leadership.” ~M. Mays

Aristotle stated, “The salvation of the community is the common business of all.” Our republic was once considered the benchmark of world democracies. Our president was considered the leader of free world, and the leader of free men. It takes a principled leader to create principled citizens. But when we continually have bad leadership it reflects in the attitudes and values of every American. If they constantly observe misbehaver by our executive branch, they see little redemption in following the law.

For the last seven years, we have experienced a growing misconception, if we do not like a law we just do not have to follow it. If the president chooses to ignore the law or just does not like it, he changes it though executive order. Therefore, should we follow laws that we don’t like either? It is becoming obvious to us daily that

“Writing laws is easy, but governing is difficult.” ~Leo Tolstoy

Most of us have been taught to respect the laws of our states and federal constitutions. We are a republic; a nation ruled by codified laws not primal tribunal potentates who decide which ones they choose to follow and those they feel privileged to disregard. Respect for our judicial embodiment has been the GPS to keep America on course to assure democratic prosperity for centuries.

It was this that enabled us to remain the land of hope and embodiment of the free. It has been our North Star to reposition our course no matter how often we deviated from our libertarian principles. It was this adoration for constitutional governance that protected our sacred freedom.

“Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.” ~H. Fosdick

Many times in our history we have been challenged to defend and redefine the laws and principles of our founding. The mistakes our founders made in their crafting were only due to lack of sagacity about unpredictable technology with social evolution. But they put a process in place to amend and re-adjudicate our laws to re-adapt our founding documents.

This assured us that our constitution would always reflect American values. It also obligated each citizen to respect and honor all laws within our US and state Constitutions that had been properly vetted and deemed legal by Common Law and the divine Commandments of God.

“There is no higher source of law, than that which has been sanctified by the Constitution and consecrated by the laws of God.” ~Robert Carter

But like the Athenians, over the past decades, we have become obsequious and complacent. This has resulted in the electing of bad politicians. The current progressive control over government has asphyxiated our ability to constitutionally legislate for years. This has fostered a lack of interest in government and an abatement of faith and trust in elected officials. It is inadequate leadership that has fostered a macabre disrespect for the democratic process and the laws that are passed.

As they continue to experience this malfunctioning political system, they abandon civic pride in favor of self-indulgence. Since the executive branch and the Supreme Court now decide what laws they choose to follow or declare non compos mentis, many find little value in trying to pass meaningful legislation.

“Bad politicians pass bad laws that turn good citizens into bad citizens.” ~Tim Morgan

Those who do try and penetrate this new and unimproved culture of governing in Washington are accused of inappropriate interference with the legislative process. Public servants complain their advice and input isn’t appropriate, and dismisses it as unacceptable civil disobedience.

Now, our opinions are ignored and there is little respect for public input on important issues that dramatically effect the direction of our country. This is because they have come to the legislative arena with poker-faced “deals” that have already been negotiated between established members of the two parties and the executive branch. The few rising political stars that try and defend our constitution are quickly dispatched.

“The world’s worse bullies are now members of Congress.” ~Tom Felon

When Athens lost control of their democracy, they were conquered and never regained their status as innovators and protectors of individual rights and liberties. Periclies told us “Make up your minds that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.” If we want our republic to return to what our founders created, we must dismiss the bad leaders who made us bad citizens.

It is time to stand up and hold our politician’s “feet to the fire”! We must regain control of the democratic process before our republic becomes a page in ancient history like the once great Athens State.

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~G. Santayana

Our nation was founded upon values of freedom, liberty and equality by men of honor and virtue. It was crafted to embody the citizens to protect and defend it. By electing bad leaders who foster self ambition over our country, we have abandoned our province to shepherd freedom. Bad citizens electing bad leaders are destroying our republic!

“It is more of a disgrace to not make an attempt to protect what one has obtained, than to be robbed of it though lack of ability to defend it.” ~Periclies

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William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, citizen legislator in California for 40 plus years, and author. He got his start working to approve prop 13.