When are we going to learn to respect our nation’s leaders?
I’ll be the first to admit that some elected officials are occasionally “caught out” with abuses of power, but let us not forget that there are many who do indeed strive to do an honourable job of governing.
There seems to be no limit on our prerogative to abuse our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
This week a woman received national press time to air her complaints about a note she’d received from him. Apparently her son had recently died fighting in Afghanistan and Mr. Brown opted to send her a hand written note of condolence.
She complained that his handwriting was poor and that he’d misspelled the family name. The actual letter was displayed on national television and she was given air time on BBC news to vent her feelings.
Mr. Brown was put to task by the same press for his “failings.”
Granted, it did appear that his handwriting was less than perfect, but let us not forget that the man is blind in one eye and may not have a regular habit of writing his own letters. Who among us does?
Why was this ignorant woman given so much attention? Why was the Prime Minister of Great Britain humiliated and forced to apologize on national television for an act of private and gracious sympathy towards a family he’d never met?
What’s going on here?
President Obama has also been targeted for his personal failings. It seems the press was unhappy with his demeanour at a recent press conference to report the details of the massacre at Fort Hood.
He was apparently too cavalier, and most “un-presidential.”
Have we forgotten that these people are human beings subject to the same weaknesses as you and me?
A leader depends on the public perception of his character. When his character is brought into question his ability to lead is gravely compromised and even his best efforts become subject to suspicion if not outright hostility. Mr. Brown is a case in point. His character has been so compromised that he is now almost entirely ineffective as a leader. He has become a lame duck and there is nothing he can do to restore the public confidence, not even by sending a hand-written note to a grieving mother.
An organization or, in this case, a nation, ought to do everything in its power to guard a leader’s character. When it has nothing better to do than chuck spears at a man, it is only bringing shame on itself. As we try to teach our children, a child who is always making fun of others often suffers from his own poor self-esteem. I think the same is true of a nation.
A leader ought to have a strong moral character and they are, like us, accountable to God and to their loved ones for their failings. But, let us allow them the privilege of sorting out personal matters privately, not in the national press.
Should a leader be above the law? No, but when did letter writing become illegal?