Friday, October 31, 2008

To Help You Decide VI

Distortions, Distractions, Characters and Character

Character matters. I want my President to be a person of character and judgment as well as of ability and vision. And one measure of the character of a candidate is to look at the company that candidate keeps. But this is not always a reliable measure. Ask Jesus.

And in this campaign a particularly insidious pattern of character assassination by distortion and association has emerged. The pattern:

1. Scour the Candidate’s biography to find every person he has ever associated with; whether the association is significant or tenuous doesn’t matter. Choose public servants, public services agencies, or men of God whom most Americans have never heard of. Make sure that, despite their public anonymity, they have done significant good for the American people, their local communities, and/or the Kingdom of God.

2. Scour the servants' histories, records and biographies. Ignore the significant good they have done through secular or spiritual means. Look only for their sins, perceived sins, or acts attributed to them as sins.

3. Tell the American people of those sins (or perceived or attributed sins) Define this person or agency by the sins. Be sure that Americans can never think of this person or agency without focusing on their sins (or perceive or attributed sins). Assure that the simple mention of their name calls to mind their sins.

4. Remember that most Americans are too lazy to assess the whole picture. Lazy Americans believe the first thing we hear. Not-so-lazy Americans verify the bad, but don’t bother to explore the good, or the timing (this happened a long time ago), the interpretation, the misunderstanding, or even the reason for the bad.

This is the recipe for the perfect feast of smear politics. Anyone who wants to can wallow in the scum and let it confuse them.

The last step (5) is to tell the voters that the Candidate’s association with this public servant, man of God, or service agency reflects bad judgment and character.

In the end, these folks assassinate the character, not only of the targeted Candidate, but of others who are actually working for good.

If you are truly trying to decide, I ask that you not believe the first thing you hear. I encourage to research who these people are, how God has worked in and through them, and what their intentions are for the good of this nation. Don’t assume that the first thing you hear about them is the truth.

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