by Les Weaver
Clash Daily Contributor
Through the second half of my youth, I was a foster child. My foster “dad” became my mentor and moral guide to adulthood. Born into the early part of the 20th century, he had experienced the politics of post-WWI, the great depression and the resultant devastation around the globe. When WWII broke out, he had been a graduate male nurse at a major west coast hospital for more than a decade. His particular faith made him a conscientious objector but he decided to join the defense of our country by joining the Navy as a Corpsman. He refused offer of a commission, instead volunteering to be part of the best. He attached to the U.S. Marines in the Pacific theater; front line island hopping in jungle combat. He became a solid and proud member of The Greatest Generation and only spoke of “facing eternity with both the best and worst of mankind”. It was after the war that he and his wife, also a registered nurse, returned to their farm roots in WA and soon after became my foster parents.
My foster “dad” insisted that I read and among the classics was Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. To review; that story is set in 1625–1628, and recounts the adventures of a young man named D’Artagnan after he leaves home for Paris to join the Musketeers of the Guard. Although D’Artagnan is not able to immediately join this elite corps he befriends the three most formidable musketeers of the age: Athos, Porthos and Aramis and gets involved in affairs of the state and court. D’Artagnan then became the fourth Musketeer.
In 1950, after I had read the story, “dad” brought up, renamed, and discussed the “Three Musketeers of Personal Character” to “the affairs of state and court”. Dad re-identified the original three Musketeers as: Honor, Honesty, Integrity; the forth Musketeer became Knowledge. At the time I didn’t see a direct parallel but dad’s analogy became an imbedded part of me. Then he added: “No one can ever take these from anyone but each person alone has the ability to give away or ignore any and all.” Many times thereafter, dad would angrily state how The Four Musketeers of Character were lacking at many levels of political leadership. I now advance “dad’s banner”.
After Truman and Eisenhower, the Four Musketeers of Character began to disappear from all levels of our government and from both parties. There are exceptions but they are in the minority; (Minority not to be confused with a political party).
Carefully consider the four character attributes: HONOR, HONESTY, INTEGRITY and KNOWLEDGE for ourselves. With one of the most important elections in our country’s history at hand; do each of us individually have the KNOWLEDGE about these four attributes as it applies to everyone on the ballot and also about every issue we will vote for or against? Has the issue and/or candidate been presented honestly or are we the victim of slick commercials? Does the candidate have the attributes of Honor, Honesty, Integrity and Knowledge? Do those that are either seeking return to office or seeking a first term truly have the knowledge required to speak for the people or are they seeking power and riches at the expense of the people?
Weigh these character attributes for the candidates of each party? Briefly:
1. Does the candidate honor the Constitution and all other laws as written? (Intent to change the law is honorable but disobeying existing law is not).
2. Does the candidate have a history of true adherence to their oath of office?
3. Does the candidate honor all constituents equally or cater heavily to those that follow in lock step and/or contribute to their re-election?
4. Does the candidate provide audience to the powerful while not finding time for the weak?
5. Does the candidate have a history of their will superseding the will of the people?
6. Does the candidate display an interest in issue effect to the nation as a whole or direct his/her agenda to a select group for the sake of votes and/or re-election?
7. Does the candidate practice serving the people or commanding them?
1. Does the candidate demand or is favored with immunity from law or regulation that is not available to his/her constituents?
2. Has the candidate even a single history of law violation for which the average citizen would be penalized or be declared unfit for office?
3. Has the candidate always paid all due taxes and can demonstrate being current?
4. Does the candidate take advantage of the perks of office to provide special awards to family, friends or even themselves, (i.e. even including military awards)?
5. Does the candidate circumvent law by bargaining with peers for each to hire the others’ family members, special friends or select individuals at inflated government salaries?
6. Has the candidate become wealthy in the 7 and 8 digits on a six-digit income and cannot explain how other common citizens can do the same, (i.e. insider trading, and/or futures investments up to 1,000% per annum)?
7. Has the candidate received author’s reward by having published a “Best Seller” that after bulk purchase by “friends”, has been warehoused awaiting recycle?
1. Does the candidate display a personal choice to adhere to moral and ethical principles?
2. Does the candidate practice a foundation of fairness and respect in all relationships including with those that may politically disagree?
3. Does the candidate research issues before committing a stand or vote?
4. Does the candidate both have and practice the quality of equal justice for those that are friends, family or political associates even when such equal justice may result in bringing personal injury or setback?
5. Does the candidate practice trading their principals or promises to bribe for a peers’ vote, (i.e., I’ll set aside my principles to vote for your issue if you’ll vote for mine)?
6. When fault is questioned, has the candidate a responsive history of; “It was somebody else” or “The others do it”?
1. Does the candidate display an aura of “know it all”, or listen to others who may be real experts or be adversely effected citizen?
2. Does the candidate have a history of voting on issues without reading or fully understanding what the issue is?
3. Has the candidate ever held a job other than within government?
4. Has the candidate ever held absolute responsibility and decision making for any business whether small or large, service or manufacturing; (i.e. payroll, hire/fire, schedules, financing, staffing, etc.)?
5. Has the candidate ever had to “punch the time clock” for more than a year that was not a “family” owned or managed business?
6. Has the candidate ever experienced hard labor?
Appropriate questions under the Four Musketeers of Character could fill volumes. Add your own but please review them before you cast your ballot.
When this country was founded, the creators of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were merchants, farmers, manufacturers, service providers and other more common folk. Advanced degrees were available in Medicine, Engineering, Business, Law, etc. Now, most politicians have degrees in Political Law and/or Political Science; these along with a devious media are now the bane of a free society. I charge that at this time, our nation is wallowing in barnyard politics.
Wherever we turn, the Four Musketeers of Character are missing. I blame it on We the People that have become lazy and crumbled to carefully designed, political propaganda commercials and a crooked, untruthful, biased media.
Image; By PKM at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia by SreeBotOriginal caption: “Image from http://www.alyon.org/generale/theatre/cinema/affiches_cinema/t/the_th-tin/”, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16557673
Les Weaver: Born into abject poverty in 1934, he spent his teen years on farms as a foster child and was classified as a farm laborer when he joined the Navy in 1952. After that service, he had a short stint at a University but moved on to 35 years associated with the engineering and technical sciences in Aero-Space, retiring from two Aerospace giants in senior positions and a small business. Until retirement, his writing experience was limited to technical occupational reports. His wife is a German immigrant, now a proud American and together they enjoy gardening. Les takes breaks from gardening to express himself to the politicians by phone, email and now thru ClashDaily/DougGiles.