Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who Will I Vote For...

Wow, It would appear that Benjamin Franklin was rightly concerned when he warned that "high salaries for government offices are the best way to attract scoundrels and drive from the halls of public office those who possess true merit and virtue."

I believe Franklin felt so strong about this subject of payment in public office after the years he spent in Europe where offices are bought or given for a favored person, or even sought after because of the prestige and wealth involved.

He also said that there is a natural inclination in mankind towards kingly government! Ouch. I don't think I feel this way. I hope I never do. This reminds me of the king-men in the Book of Alma 51st chapter, of the Book of Mormon. It is unvirtuous people who seek to have someone rule over them physically as well as spiritually. Essentially, Satan can rule you spiritually and a monarch can rule you physically. Thus you then ignore natural law and God's law and end up unhappy.

This reminds me of the lesson I read this morning in preparation for Relief Society. It's chapter 13 of the Joseph Smith manual. Basically, it said it doesn't matter what nation you live in or government you must abide by. You will be a happier person when you obey the commandments of God. Yet, obeying the commandments is more then just believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

Man is that he might have joy. I'm sensing my joy is related to my understanding of natural law, all laws of God, and following through with obedience to those laws.

Today I learned about the virtue of moral leaders within our society.

Principle Three:
The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders.

If I were ever to participate in an office within our local government, I would do good to remember these words spoken by Samuel Adams. He said that public officials should NOT be chosen if they are lacking in experience, training, proven virtue, and demonstrated wisdom.

How do you get experience and training? I have not thought before that I need to do my own leg work when I am preparing to vote. Frankly I have not voted since the last national election. I am not going to set aside my responsibility to vote locally any longer. I've decided I want my grandchildren voting and so I must show my children the importance of the procedure. Plus I have personal responsibility to participate. What do I do when I don't find either candidate worthy? Do I choose one of the lessor evils?

Jefferson said there was a "natural aristocracy". Jefferson felt it should be the goal of the whole nation to use education to stimulate and encourage citizens who exhibit s special talent for public service. The other aristocracy, he said, was founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents.

The following quote has been my way of thinking up until recent weeks. "The natural tendency of nearly all people is to encourage others to run for office, but not get involved themselves."

Well, I have miles to travel and years to make-up. I'm going to try. Little by little, I can learn more about my government and I can begin to participate at a lower level; maybe the library.

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