Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Here's my Afternoon Rambling Thoughts...You Can Sift Through Them

You know the adage, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely? I've been thinking about that and how true it is, in every aspect of our lives: in friendships, in families, in marriage, in jobs, in city-state-national government.
We recently had a building project, in our town, picketed by unionists. Of course they were protesting because the owners of the building project were not using union workers. Rather than hire outside the town they chose contractors who were local. They wanted to boost the local economy - give jobs to their neighbors rather than outside union laborers.

I've seen the recent youtube videos of SEIU union members attack tea party protestors. It is ugly. I've heard the bullying and threatening techniques the union uses to coerce individuals to hire/join/support various unions.

Now looking back into union history I understand why the unions started. Although I now wonder if some of those history lessons I was taught were revisionist, painting the union as the good guys and the industry captains as the greedy bad guys. But what I learned was the union had a place, in time, to bring fairness in the workplace - not only for safety-sake, but for fair-wages. Overall, the movement was a good thing. But like the adage above - they gained power and became corrupt. Overtime, when one is holding the cards, the likelihood to become sinister and scheming grows. The unions had their place but now they have tainted what they were meant for and corrupted their purpose. They are useless now.

But that's not to say unions are the root of evil. I think power is. I think when power is placed in anyone's hands for too long of time, their usefulness, their good intentions become moldy. I see it in relationships, I see it in the workplace and I see it in the church. It taints everyone. We are not immune.

I think that's why George Washington was our greatest president. He recognized the temptation of power and turned it down. He was asked to take the reins of this country and rule. He served. He stepped down. This is such a contrast to what we see today in politics. Senators, representatives, governors, councilman...they seek life-long careers in power. This does no good for our country and in a way it is a disservice to those people serving. Power is a temptation. It seeps in these positions of leadership and slowly seduces the civil servant into a tyrant - feasting and craving for more. We, as civilians who elect these leaders, do a disservice to us, to the elected and to our children by feeding that lust for power by voting in the incumbent. It's like taking a recovering alcoholic to a bar.

1 comment:

Paul Merrill said...

I think sin is the problem, not power. David, a man that God loved, had a lot of power at various times in his life. But his sin messed him up. That may not have been the reason he had to wander in the wilderness, but his sin did definitely effect Israel, as our leaders' sin effects us all the time.