Forget the Village; It Takes an Adult!

According to Hillary Clinton, it takes an entire village to raise a child. In her opinion, parents are just one component – and not always the most important one – required to foster and nurture a child from infancy to adulthood.

I will save my comments about Secretary Clinton’s childrearing philosophy for another day. However, I want to use her analogy to make a broader point about America as we face some of the greatest challenges in our country’s 236-year history.

Simply put, I believe that it takes an adult – or in this case, a whole bunch of them – to properly govern the United States of America. Unfortunately, there seems to be a critical shortage of adults in government today, especially inside the Washington beltway.

My definition of an adult is relatively simple. To me, an adult is someone who views life through the prism of time. In other words, they are far-sighted, willing to forego immediate or short-term gratification for long-term gain.

Contrast that definition with most current office holders. Whether they are serving at the local, county, state or federal level; many politicians are unwilling or incapable of looking that far down the road. Tragically, their vision – or lack thereof – only allows them to see as far as the next election.

Because of their selfishness and short-sightedness, they all-too-often take stands, make policy decisions and even cast votes based on political expediency. From my vantage point, that makes them cowards and unfit for public office.

Reduce spending across the board? Not if it angers a core constituency or worse yet, some deep-pocketed donors. Better to kick the proverbial can down the road and let someone else deal with the ticking time bomb of our national debt.

Republican Governors Meeting at the Aspen Institute.

Reach across the aisle in an effort to find some common meeting ground? Not if it means being called a traitor to the cause and vilified by extremists on both sides.

For the record, I am as conservative as they come, fiscally and socially. However, I was always taught that half a loaf is better than none and that compromise – not on principles, but on policy – is sometimes required.

Call it an art or a necessary evil; I really don’t care. The only thing I care about is solving America’s most pressing problems now instead of passing them along (with interest) to the next generation or the one after that.

At every level of government, we need people with courage and conviction who are willing to do the right thing for the right reason. The time has come for our officeholders to check their egos, personal ambitions and hidden agendas at the door.

Yes, we had better find some men and women who are in public service because – here’s a novel idea – they want to serve the public. And we had better find them soon because America can’t wait much longer.

I don’t know about you, but I have had it “up to here” with political pandering. I simply cannot stomach one more gutless politician who cares more about being re-elected than he does about his oath of office.

Give me instead a public servant with enough resolve and backbone to stand up to the power brokers and special interests. That person – if he exists – will get my vote every time.

Please, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, let’s elect bona fide adults this November and send the rest of the career politicians back to nursery school where they belong. Then let their parents – or the village – take another crack at raising them properly.


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