In the mind of some seeking to understand people running for high public office, the discussion of carat count as it applies to diamonds might be an apt analogy when considering a choice for office. The 5 Cs of diamonds are: Certification, Carat count, Clarity, Color and Cut. They have equivalencies in the sense of a candidate’s 5C’s: Character, Conscience, Courage, Competence and Compassion. So let’s take a look at the comparisons.
Each GOP Candidate and Barack Obama is certifiable as politicians. They have career trajectories measurable (in some cases) in numbers approaching dog years: 7 to 1 or more. The career element of these men is a major defining aspect as it applies to their experience in the jobs they’ve held. None of them barring Barack Obama has less than ten years in the political realm. Obama was a first term Senator when he chose to run. Gingrich is a former Speaker of the House. Romney is a former Governor and Santorum was a Senator. Ron Paul has been in the House of Representatives since John Jay was a law clerk. There’s that much experience there to judge.
Next we must consider Clarity which is in correspondence in some ways to Courage. These people must show a certain courageous willingness to stand on their principles and to advertise them as acceptable and necessary for the advancement of their agendas. It takes courage to take a stand and adhere to it. Romney has a problem in that he has a glaring history of flipping after flopping on so many issues he’s been described as a weathervane with ADHD. Gingrich has a history of waffling on issues and is believed by some to be an opportunistic dilettante moving whichever way he sees fit to assure his personal course stays intact. Santorum doesn’t have the checkered history of Romney or Gingrich but he doesn’t have the longevity of either of them. Ron Paul, though a perennial candidate has seemingly stood fast by his ethics and platform for years.
Then there’s the issue of character. Gingrich has the tediously described “baggage” of past marital issues. Is he somebody with the character necessary to best represent America? Simply saying you asked God for forgiveness doesn’t mean you got it or deserve it from the people you’re asking to vote for you. Does Romney deserve it in light of his ability to change his position based on what looks best for him at the moment? What’s that say about his character? Santorum has, so far stuck by his conservative rhetoric and Paul is still hanging in on his stated beliefs.
Competence is a really important element of the program. How many of these people have actually tried to run a country before? Being governor of a state is close but no cigar is given because it’s just not the same. There’s NO foreign policy element to consider on the basis of state’s public relations. Issues of budget and international relations don’t equate to Speaker, Representative or Senator. They’re only peripherally part of the participatory act of the individual; not the full time job. Anybody can kibbutz and Monday morning quarterback.
Next comes compassion and there the element takes a turn. Compassion applies to more than feeling for those less fortunate. It also involves the concepts of ethics, moral codes and definitions of morality. When does expedience take precedence over truth and the steadfast adherence to a recognizable standard of behavior? Where does expedience supersede telling the truth and doing what’s right as opposed to what you can get away with? The moral aspect defines the character of the person being scrutinized. Conscience draws down the parameters of a person’s social contract and his/her willingness to remain ethical over self-serving. How soon can a person sell-out Americans to advance a political position?
Americans place a high value on the character of their candidates. If there is a candidate says he’s born again, many accept it outright. Who would lie about such a thing?
Politicians would; in a heartbeat.
That’s why we need to quantify and inspect the 5Cs of the candidates. Some are paste masquerading as jewels.
Thanks for listening.