How low must things go? There is a black cloud on the horizon, it’s not Cairo. It’s not Istanbul. It’s not Athens. It’s not even Rome with Nero fiddling away. It’s my country.
The flames of destruction are being fanned by fear, uncertainty, and indifference. Rather than throwing on leadership, moral and ethical behavior, and competence to extinguish the inferno … we’re adding political correctness, incompetence, and corruption in volumes never before seen! And, we are literally frozen in our tracks, stunned and mute, as the smoke engulfs all that we see. Hand wringing and praying for the fire to be put out … brings nothing. Both Republicans and Democrats simply add fuel.
To continue the analogy, to get the main fire under control, perhaps we need to start some “back burning” to give us some standoff space from the main blaze. There can be NO DOUBT that the events causing most Americans to wonder exactly what their government is doing: from “Fast and Furious,” the Benghazi attack, the misuse and abusive behavior at the IRS, the DOJ targeting of new organizations and specifically Fox’s James Rosen, to now having the NSA “spying” on all of us — comes from a failure of leadership. It’s too easy to dump all the woes in Obama’s lap — Washington has been failing us for decades.
Most recently, voters have gotten suckered in, we hoped against hope, twice, that somehow glitz would trump competence and ability. It may seem that way for a while, but when the person that the Nation looks to for: daily leadership, ethical behavior, competent decision-making, and a willingness to work on problems with all stake holders … is instead, flying around the country — at taxpayer expense — from political fundraiser to political fundraiser, and can whip off sports scores or has great golf course photo opportunities — one after another … at what point do we say “ENOUGH”?
When you have the Nation’s senior leader working from the frame of reference that this country’s CONSTITUTION is antiquated … how can anyone not understand that that belief allows its holder to ignore it, to trample it, to think that those not in agreement are somehow misguided and in need of updating to his view?
We NEED to get to the point of saying ENOUGH! We need a Call to Conscience! We need every Federal employee to do a mirror check, whether the most senior of civil servants with a 30-year career behind them, or new hires with only a year under their belts. Even the senior POLITICAL APPOINTEES, regardless of party, need to understand where their allegiance truly belongs.
Being a US government employee used to be an honor, a trust, or at least I thought it was. In 1981, I came upon the “Code of Ethics for Government Service” (adopted in 1958). I thought it to be profound, and that it would even apply to me, a member of the military. The Code is not long, it’s ten little principles, it’s not complex, and it should be enduring. I made a little poster of it, put it in a 9” x 12” frame, and then lugged it around with me for the next 14 years and put it up in every office that I occupied. Here is the first element of the Code, and perhaps in light of the conflagration in in Washington, the most important:
“Put loyalty to the highest moral principles above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department.”
Since its adoption, we have a government that has continued to grow and grow, ethics seem to have become diluted and situational, and government service no longer really seems to be a calling, but “a job.” So, we wind up with things like, “What difference does it make?” — instead of “we failed,” or “we should have done X” — it becomes okay to take license with truth, it becomes okay to view those who would disagree with you as enemies, and it becomes okay to believe that subordinates owe their loyalty to you … instead of to the Nation.
So, here’s the Call to Conscience. I challenge and implore EVERY person who is employed, in any way, in any department, by the Federal government to do the following between now and the 4th of July. Go to the following website link. It’s one page, print it out. Take that page with you to a mirror. Read the page out loud, or at least elements I and II, and IX and X. Then, think about what you, your co-workers, your department or agency have been doing for the last three or four years.
Look yourself in eye, and answer the question, “Have I been
doing/acting for the last three or four years as I ‘SHOULD’?” If you can’t look yourself in the eye, if you sadly have to say “no” — then YOU need to go see your agency’s inspector general or department head, call the FBI and say you want to expose something but you need immunity, TAKE AN ACTION TO FIX THE PROBLEM! Blow the whistle!! Re-earn the public’s trust, regain your faith in the Federal government, make a difference, answer the Call to Conscience.
These are dangerous and difficult times. We sit as a Nation, leaderless, with someone who, if not directly responsible for the corruption, has been so detached, so indifferent, so in love with the sound of his own voice as he gallivants around the country, that his immediate staff have betrayed the Code of Ethics and the American people. The cancer at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue needs to be removed. The buck stops there. It is time to consider impeachment. It is time to send Republican and Democrats home, and elect small government, Constitutionally focused Libertarians. It is time to put out the fires, to clear the smoke, to bring fresh air back to this great Nation.
I write this, a little saddened, but it is my Call to Conscience.