The Accountability Shortage Eroding America

The Accountability Shortage Eroding America
ROC Commentary

None of us are saints, most of us could do better, and we are all accountable ultimately for what we say or do, whether others may know of that which we do, or not.

“He’s a man of his word” is a saying which indicates someone can be trusted as honest. “A man’s word is his bond” is another version meaning the same thing. Traditionally we used to know a lot more people who said what they meant, and meant what they said, and some of them where even in politics! Nowadays, we cannot even trust most of our American media to be accountable in providing us the unvarnished truth, especially if there could be political fallout to certain parties in reporting the facts.

Integrity and accountability go hand in hand.  “Keeping them honest” has always meant holding people to account for what they say, and do. People with true integrity seem to have developed the self-discipline to live honestly, whether or not others are watching, even when it is easy to act anonymously or when opportunity to surreptitiously abuse trust presents itself.  We used to think of this as maturing. Not so many years ago this described the majority of our American population.

Popular culture, technology, and the prevailing socializing discourse in our time, have created new circumstances and some hiding zones or enclaves that too many people are using to escape consequences for their actions or words. These areas cultivate unlimited excuses or justifications for unaccountable behavior. Our own government uses the unaccountability by some to impose ridiculous measures for forced accountability on all, while ironically fighting any efforts by the people to require accountability from them. Not only that, depending on the political outcome they desire, they blatantly oscillate between both encouraging irresponsible behavior, and/or punishing it. Using the catch-all excuse of “social justice,” our leaders are classifying us, dividing us, marginalizing our individual worth, and controlling us, all because they can depend on the breakdown of accountability they have engineered or some willingly seek.

Those of us concerned for our country see we have an increasing lack of accountability on display from those who should be held to the very highest standards of conduct.  We see that our media has been corrupted, and are no longer diligent in their roles as guards for the public assigned to watch for signs of the abuse of power.  We also see that too many of our fellow citizens have adopted a mob mentality, and seem to want to be free of any personal accountability. Whether or not we are doing it to ourselves, or having it done to us, our standards for personable accountability are being lowered.

America cannot afford to allow this to continue and still expect to remain free.

We need people of integrity, and people who stick by their principles in our leadership positions.

Everybody is not suited for leadership.  We see the consequences of allowing those without experience, ability, or integrity to make important decisions that affect far more people than themselves. There is a basic truth in the “Peter Principle,” where eventually a person will be promoted to a level of incompetence, but seems especially true with those who lack integrity, honesty, and personal accountability in their lives.

Our institutions built on principles, which formerly created better conditions for people to take their responsibilities to be “men (and women) of their word,” seriously, have been under attack for decades by those seeking more power for themselves and less influence or power from those entities.

Those foundational institutions that reinforce the values we seek from a responsible citizenry begin with the basic family structure, our schools, our churches and our community groups. One aspect that is common about these associations is that they are voluntary.  Another was that they were originally relatively free of government interference, especially from afar. We can no longer claim this trait, just look at our schools now. These traditional relationships were also largely local, and we knew the members, and knew who best to trust among them.

Even as little as a decade ago, it is highly unlikely that a man with the highly questionable and little known background such as Barack Obama had could have been elected as president. The lack of accountability for his past associations and the lack of relevant experience both would have made him unelectable. But that is immaterial now since he was elected.  What is important is that he has now shown that he is not “a man of his word.”  He lies frequently and seemingly very easily, he retreats from accountability or responsibility for his own actions, and blames others or makes excuses, and he has shown little in promoting America or our values. The problems America faces as a nation are worsening, not improving, under his leadership.

An institution which has remained an island for real accountability is our military. The discipline and integrity of the professional men and women in our military have not suffered the same social values slippage the rest of society has, though it seems to be a new target for change by the elitists lately. Our hopes for finding true leaders with demonstrated and known records for achievement and accountability is enhanced with groups like Combat Vets for Congress PAC. Their motto, “Embedded Integrity.” They endorse people like Rep. (Lt. Col.) Allen West.

The previously mentioned traditional community institutions (those whom have managed to resist the culture of corruption in our society) is another great place to look for our needed leaders, and we should encourage those we identify as principled and trustworthy to run for office at all levels.

Yet, it also seems we all might need to take a fresh look at our own personal actions or behaviors in life.  Are we ourselves contributing or participating in the erosion of our society?  Are we staying silent when we should speak up, or putting minimum effort into fighting for what we believe in? Are we making excuses too? If you believe for example that more people need to get involved in your group, do you have a goal to attract a certain number each week or month?  Is there a plan in place for achieving your goal?  Are you truly giving it your best effort?  Isn’t this part of being accountable also?

The lack of accountability is responsible for most of our issues faced by the country; from illegal immigration, to the mortgage market fiasco, to the fight over health care costs, and in just plain dishonest corruption by those holding office.  Our leaders, and we ourselves, better wake up soon and demand a renewed, higher standard of accountability!

Just in case this commentary does not convey the importance of accountability, please carve out a period of time to watch the wisdom found in the MRC-TV video (about an hour) A Call to Accountability.

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