Chester Arthur was the reform governor of New York before he was (accidentally) President of the United States. His peers feared his staunch corrective tendencies, for he knew no bounds in his straightforwardness.
One of his most ardent admirers referred to Arthur as "Ugly Honest." That is, Chester Arthur was so upright he routinely angered even his friends.
Let us suggest, in this day when media makes it difficult to elect the less photogenic, non-fabricated candidates, if one may even be found, we could use some Ugly Honesty.
The Ugly Honest would have, at least, these attributes:
- A habit of calling men and events by their real name(s). That is, he would call an idiot an idiot and a lunatic a lunatic. An idiot is so because he has a congenital determination to idiocy, so he can not be other. A lunatic is one who was once rational but now more than occasionally acts irrationally. The former is patted kindly, from regret, while the other is watched closely, out of fear. Neither needs the chief seat at the council fire.
- An iron-bound will to serve, rather than advance. He will not see service as a career. The careerist has his place, one assumes, but when the place of service (secular public or sacred) becomes a position, the service aspect becomes secondary. To remain in office is not service. It is a career and all he serves suffer.
- He will hear his own music. He will not fear independence from the party line, for he is not a careerist, and so may risk the title "Maverick." He will lose his sunshine friends but he will not falter for he knows there are rainy days to hold account as well.
- He will recognize legislative acts as an arena of debate and compromise rather than a pit of total warfare. He will want the better for all, not the best for some and nothing for others.
- He will not be a man who trades political favors for pecuniary favors.
Opinions expressed here are mine, not those of the church I serve or any other person.