Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Era of Statesmen

1. A man who is a leader in national or international affairs.
2. A male political leader regarded as a disinterested promoter of the public good.
3. A man who is a respected leader in a given field.

The Presidential elections are forthcoming in the United States. Many people are reflecting on the character of the two men who are seeking that highest of public offices. Whatever may come after the voter turnout in November, it brings to mind those traits that we all value and trust in man.

George Washington. Benjamin Franklin. John Hancock. Paul Revere. These names, just a few among so many iconic Americans, represent the guiding light and spirit of Freemasonry. Though flawed as all men are, they represent true patriots, soldiers, rennaissance men of their times.

These men were Statesmen.

A man does not have to be an American to be a great man of his country. There have been heroes and patriots of every nation on earth...and in all times. Hearken to Caesar, Marcus Aurelius and Alexander.

In this modern era much has indeed changed. Still, the value of character remains the same. This is the value instilled in countless generations of Freemasons. After all, Freemasonry "makes good men, better men."

Regrettably, the politics of the times owes much of its power to greed driven bureaucrats and all too many others who readily shovel human rights into the jaws of the waiting corporate maw. Whatever challenges that may come with the future, we cannot lend our interests to men of questionable principles or character. This is not simply a matter to be taken in light of Presidential or partisan politics. These ideals must be considered in every corner of the electorate and in every bastion of governmental or corporate power.

Who is the man fit for the job of leading other men, his country or his organization? I daresay he is a man of heart who is willing to sacrifice his own needs for those whom he obligates himself to protect. He must be an ear to the cries of the persecuted. He must be a steady hand, a watchful eye and a man whose purpose is to serve the greater good of all.

When a man ventures to the solemn doors of Freemasonry, he comes humbly to knock. He knows then he must serve the cause to serve his brothers. No man is a Mason without his willing Obligation to serve something higher than himself.

We cannot be haters of any man for conscience must be our guide even in adversarial times. Rather, we must transcend and so stand above prejudices...be they against politics, race, age or any creed or faith not so well understood as our own.

A man of character is a humble man...tried, tested and forged through experience. He is a man of patience, passing judgment without ill passion and only in fairness. A man of character is a man of service and honor, a man who believes first in the good in others but who is resolute in defense against evils he may find instead.

Still, any man is only...a man. We are all prone to personal failings and the weaknesses of our human nature. Forgive such men, as we are obligated to help our Brothers and Fellows find their way back to the Light lest they be lost. For, at last, our true Obligation as Masons is to humanity.

Perhaps no single man must be the Statesman of the future. This is the Age of accountability when all free men must rise to meet their fullest human potential, each acting as any true man of character should.

The country, the world...we are all in this together.

All men of Obligation...stand up! Look to the bell tower and steady yourself for the ride ahead. There is no enemy but that you do nothing. At home, at work, in your Lodge and for your Country...be a man of character and act for the common good.

Freemasons! Never forget what you have sworn to do. And do not forget the men who have served before you. Honor yourselves and honor them...with your service to the Greater Good of All.


Kurt said...

I hope you don't mind, but I borrowed this post on my blog at kurtskommentaries.blogspot.com

Don't worry, brothers, I gave you full credit.

'Twas an excellent post.

Freestyle said...

Our pleasure Brother! And thanks. ;)

Justa Mason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justa Mason said...

I've always considered a statesman as a politician who rises above politics.

Such a breed is as extinct as the nickle beer.


P.S.: We just finished a federal election in Canada. Looking over the list of more than a dozen local ridings, I could see only one Mason who was running for office. He won. A Lodge will have to look for a new Sr. Warden.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

A Statesman?
How about Brother Henry Clay:

It is February 22, 1810, and a 33-year-old freshman Senator from Kentucky, Henry Clay, takes the floor of that chamber. He has arrived in Washington in a period of profound crisis for this nation. For nearly ten years, under the policies of free trade advocate and Swiss spy Albert Gallatin as Secretary of the Treasury, the nation's economy has been wrecked, its army dismantled, its navy crippled. Britain, which had never ceased to wage war against the young American republic since its victory in the American War for Independence, has carried out a policy of depredations against the United States which, in all but name, are a declaration of war.

What Henry Clay--who would become the most important public proponent of the policies of the American System of economics from the death of Alexander Hamilton until the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln--said then, has a very immediate significance for Americans today.

``When the regular troops of this house, disciplined as they are in the great affairs of this nation, are inactive at their posts, it becomes the duty of its raw militia, however lately enlisted, to step forth in defense of honor and independence of the country.''

That is precisely what Clay preceeded to accomplish. Within a year, he became the primary spokesman for a new leadership that swept away the old, ineffective factions and combinations. Never in American history had so many incumbents lost seats in the U.S. Congress, to be replaced by a grouping which so quickly changed the course of this nation's policies.

Lyndon LaRouche has declared his candidacy for Congress from the 10th Congressional District in Northern Virginia. He has, both in his initial campaign statement and in subsequent interviews, made the point that this candidacy will be modeled on that of Henry Clay's first campaign for Congress in 1810. LaRouche has quite often elaborated the basis for his policies and program, one which he himself has described as being in the tradition of Clay and the American System Whigs of the period from the War of 1812 until the founding of the Republican Party just before the Civil War.

However, the historical context and the lessons to be learned from it are not so clear, but are of some importance in understanding the political processes that can be unleashed today, and that must be brought into motion, if this nation is to survive as we wish it to.

Lyndon LaRouche is currently a political prisoner, serving a fifteen-year sentence in a federal penitentiary, as a result of a politically rigged conviction. Some might ask, how a campaign from a prison cell could possibly have any impact on American politics? If one understands what Clay and his War Hawk allies accomplished in the period of 1810-1812, then the answer to that question does not seem so difficult to comprehend.

Just as James Madison was faced with the choice of becoming a political irrelevancy or adopting the policies of Clay and his allies, so today we must, understanding the lessons of the period immediately before the War of 1812, ensure that the same becomes true of the administration of George Bush. The issue is a very simple one. Clay, at the time a figure of little more than regional importance, became the most powerful political figure in America.

This was a result of his leadership in championing the only policies to fill a vacuum in a period of extraordinary crisis. It is just such a vacuum that exists today, and with very much the same implications for the future of this nation and Western civilization. It is that vacuum that Lyndon LaRouche's campaign for Congress is directed at filling, changing dramatically the policies of this nation.

The similarities of today to the case of Henry Clay and the War Hawks of 1812 are striking. In 1812, the United States had been a nation for less than 25 years. On the basis of the policies of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and their international collaborators, a war for independence had been won against the then-mightiest power in the world, Great Britain. The instrument of the British empire's oligarchical power, the British East India Company, and its bankrupt and immoral policies of slave-trading, dope-pushing, and the free trade of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Jeremy Bentham, had been defeated, so that a nation based on the principles and policies of republicanism could be created. That event sparked hope, and laid the basis for creation of similar developments across the globe.

During the presidencies of George Washington and John Quincy Adams, the economic policies of Alexander Hamilton reorganized the debts of the new nation, created credit, fostered internal improvements, spurred manufacturing and scientific and technological advance, and led to the eventual development of the western territories. The North American colonies had been transformed from a looting ground for British oligarchical interests, hopelessly indebted, with no sound currency, and no means for credit, into the fastest-developing nation in the world.

He stood up for America while Britain and its agents were destroying America from within.

I am sure our forefathers are jumping up and down celebrating sarah palin's nomination?
Same class as Washington and Jefferson

Freestyle said...

It certainly puts things into perspective when we take a look back over our shoulder. Just how much are leaders 'selling out' to win the favor of pundits and voters?

We cannot be the whores of self-aggrandizement. We must be the servants of the overall good.

No doubt that men have always looked to 'ins' as Freemasonry was once regarded in order to rise among their peers. Today, these in-roads to greatness are bought and sold on the common market by lobbiests, corporations and the wallets of special interests.

Character is no longer the key. Power and position is the end now as well as the means. The man who turns his back on his supporters for matters of principle is too often swept aside.

This being the case...who are our leaders really?

Matthew Siegmann said...

As I've said before, and probably the reason why some of my friends what me to run for some public office, is air all of your dirty laundry the moment you make the public announcment. You now have nothing hidden. No one can blackmail you now. Anytime anyone wishes to bring up something from your past you can now say, "I already talked about that, now it's time to talk about the voters and what they want. End of story."

Not only is it time to take away the other politictians punches, but it's also time to put the media in their place. For too long the media has be whoring themselves out to find the most sensational thing ever.

Granted they have exposed many issues that needed to be brought public but if you already told all at the beginning then there's no point in bringing it up a million times like the media is apt to do.

The last thing I'll say is, if you bare all in the beginning, you have nothing left to hide. This makes your opponent vulnerable. However tempting it is to expose his crimes and skeletons, it would go against every teaching we hold dear in Freemasonry if we do so. If our opponent is brought down by someone else, we must be there to help him up. If we lose because we cared for our opponent, we'll be remembered for this act of kindess in the next race. Sometimes it takes time to sew a good reputation, especially if you're an unknown.

Freestyle said...

Some splendid ideas there Matt. There is much to be said about building a track record and solidifying a good reputation.

Of course, I can readily attest to the painful fact that people can say about anything that they want to...and a lot of people will believe it.

Our characters, our images...they all take some cultivation and tending to.

As for the media...Like many modern 'frankenstein's monsters'... their ignoble motivations of monetary gain and punditry make them better interpreters of truth than reporters of it.

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