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Friday, January 8, 2016

Betterment of humankind - symbolism or substance?

When something is too hard, should we put the best spin on it by promoting symbolism over substance?

Sometimes in the government, I discovered that meetings that had no useful outcome would end by the leader suggesting that someone write a brochure or produce a video. A videographer on staff would crank out videos by the dozen, and they would sit on shelves gathering dust, having no viewers.

Even more troubling: nuclear agreements or climate-change summits wherein negotiators and dignitaries enjoyed the opulence of five-star hotels and gourmet banquets. The outcome?

Symbolism over substance.

A photo-op complete with smiles and handshakes.

And an agreement devoid of teeth.

Adversaries who inspect themselves.

Grandiose language to save the earth absent any means of enforcement.

Symbolism over substance.

We can do better.

You can do better.

And so can I.

We need courageous, godly leaders with the insight and determination to make things happen, who can create a budget that has immediate results and not just tweaking 10 or 20 years hence, piling onto a staggering national debt.

I'll be dead in 10 or 20 years.

My concern is for my children and grandchildren.

Keep the symbolism.

Give me substance.

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