Understand How Character Works

If you deal with people who have character you will find one thing is true. They are predictable.

People with high character have a much narrower range of action choices than others without. That is a decided advantage when you are voting to place them in a position where they have power and resources.

John Adams was the second president of the United States. He had many thoughts that still matter today.

  1. This one combines two thoughts. “Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” When you are choosing someone to vote for, do you make “moral authority and character” your first criterion? Probably not. Most people vote for anyone who shows well.
  2.  Do you value words or actions? Do you seek evidence to support their opinions? “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” Vote seeking politicians avoid facts whenever an emotional idea can replace them.
  3. Do they use words clearly or do they use euphemisms? For example, government spending is recharacterized as investment. It is like you investing in the hydro bill. “Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society”  Not so many left to vote for now.
  4. Better candidates might be an answer, “To believe all men honest is folly. To believe none is something worse” Given the nature of corporate media and social media, good people are unlikely to run for high office. Who is capable and feels like putting up with that horror. We have chosen “worse” by default. We cause the problem by paying attention to corporate media and using social media poorly.
  5. Know your own principles. It will make the choices easier but not necessarily winning the vote. “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone.” Most of us do it unconsciously. We vote for the least awful candidate. We should vote more strategically. Most local candidates have no influence. Think how it affects leadership.
  6. Do elections matter or is it a trick? I think Mark Twain may have had it figured better, “If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”  As long as we vote without considering character and ability to govern,  he is likely right.

The takeaway

  1. There may not be honourable people to choose from. Use your conscience as a guide. Know what values you would like to use and look for a someone who can at least contribute something to them.
  2. Leaders and the invisible people behind them matter. You can usually understand the nature of the “back room” by understanding the ideology. Look for people who identify problems that exist only in the future and ignore the present ones. Problems and their imaginary future costs are easy to present in exciting ways. Cost/benefit analysis, honestly done, would derail most of their ideas.
  3. We get the governments we deserve. Most of that deserving arises because we do not vote on character, facts and principles. It begins when we choose candidates with charisma, but lacking who lack wisdom and character.
  4. Likability does not always attach to character, and neither disagreeableness does not always make it absent.
  5. Vote for predictability

I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email don@moneyfyi.com 

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