Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Great question for discussion with no application in real life. A better question for our times is are our times a product of our politicians or are our politicians a product of the times we live in? I believe that the answer is our lousy political leaders are a product of the times we live in, but they reinforce and strengthen the problems of our times. What to do?
Some want to put religious tenets back into American life. That may or may not help, based on the corruption of political life that existed while America was a more religion-observant nation. I think that we must go beyond the forms of religious observance and return (or advance) to practicing the golden rule in our treatment of the less fortunate here at home before we venture abroad to spread “American” values. I would emphasize spreading our values by example, rather than by use of the sword, what we do too often now.
If we start to practice the golden rule here at home with minorities and the less fortunate, we will demand that our political leaders follow suit, or lose office. It will not be a fast process or easy, but as I see it, it is the only way to break out of the vicious cycle we are in where the times produce political leaders who make our problems worse, not better.