Where has all the intelligent debate gone?

Published 9:33 pm Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It’s all his fault. It’s all her fault. It’s all their fault. It’s never my/our fault. He said, she said, they said, we said.

Trump is the worst president ever. Just ask anyone who doesn’t like him. No, Obama was the worst president ever. Just ask anyone who doesn’t like him.

I recall a woman at a country church telling me that she didn’t really care for her current pastor — that the previous pastor had been the best pastor that God had ever sent to her church or anywhere else. Every Sunday morning she would see him touching the pews and praying for the people who were going to sit in that spot for worship service by name. And he visited her once when she was sick.

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Sure, he was only there five months and quit over an argument with the piano player, but that was immaterial. Apparently he was praying aloud in the sanctuary every Sunday morning and had enough precognition to know exactly who was going to show up. Knowing where they sit wouldn’t have been an issue — they were predictable.

He was the best pastor. Ever.

When I talked with the same woman a few years later — after another pastor had been there and left, and a new pastor had just been hired — she told me how she didn’t really care for her current pastor. The previous pastor was the best pastor that God had ever sent to her church or anywhere else. He was such a good preacher.

She had moved on from the previous pew-praying pastor to the prime-preaching pastor, dethroning one to enthrone the next. Anyone but the new, current pastor, apparently.

It’s a constant problem in politics, churches and elsewhere.

Discontent with “the way things are” leads us to critique our leaders far beyond what is reasonable or justifiable and long for the days of old.

Thanks, Obama.

The United States had eight presidents under the Articles of Confederation before electing our first president under the U.S. Constitution — George Washington. You can bet some people complained throughout Washington’s eight years as president that he wasn’t one of the previous fellows — who did no wrong in their eyes.

Prior to that, history tells us very clearly that many people longed for the merry old days of England under King George III. The Old Testament records that the liberated people of Israel, led out of slavery and oppression in Egypt by Moses, grumbled as they wandered in the wilderness, longing to be back in Egypt because at least then they had plenty to eat (see Exodus 16, Numbers 11, 14). And this was while they were literally being guided day and night by the visible presence of Yahweh, their God.

Some people truly are never satisfied.

Are there problems with Trump? Are you kidding? Of course, there are. Would Oprah be a better president? Are you kidding?

Look back through history at every president this country has ever had. Each accomplished something positive, each failed at something. Each reaped the benefits of positively-received programs, relationships and policies begun before they entered office. Each reaped the whirlwind of the negatively-received trio from before they were sworn in as Commander-in-Chief.

We don’t need to ignore the blatant hypocrisy and incompetence we find in some leaders, nor the amazing integrity and competence we find in others. But let’s not tear down a mountain on top of the imperfect leader in order to build a podium with the rubble to place our own chosen one on its pinnacle.

If I didn’t like the manager or boss under which I worked, it would be foolish — and just plain incorrect — for me to say he/she “is not my boss” because I didn’t choose them.

The first presidential election in which I was eligible to vote resulted in a victory for George H.W. Bush. Bush became my president.

Obama was my president for eight years. Trump has been my president since his inauguration.

It would nice to see intelligent debate again over the issues that plague our country — valuing human life (trafficking, euthanasia, abortion, abuse, equality) — rather than meaningless back-and-forth knee jerking that accomplishes nothing.

We owe it to our country, and we owe it to ourselves.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com or 601-265-5307.