A sign on Ron Paul's desk: Amen, brother

A commenter on one of Capitol Hill Blue’s recent stories noted that GOP presidential contender Ron Paul has more “class” than another challenger — the constantly whiny Michelle Bachmann.

That’s true — and if class had any bearing in presidential elections, Paul would be a frontrunner instead of a second tier contender who has no chance at winning the nomination, much less the presidency.

Sadly, class has nothing to do in determining who becomes a party’s nominee or eventually president of this nation.

Neither, unfortunately, does competence, honesty, ability or morality.

If ability were a determining factor, we would not be suffering under the failed leadership of Barack Obama.

If competence or honesty were a criteria, George W. Bush would not have been in a position to put this nation through eight years of trauma.

If class, morality or honesty determined our presidents, Bill Clinton would still be a cornpone politicians in Arkansas.

We can go back many years, many decades and find sad examples of humanity who made it to the highest office in the land.  Some were honest but incompetent. Others were corrupt, immoral and dishonest.  Some might say Ronald Reagan had class — at least in public — but those who worked with him know that behind the scenes he was an immoral, obscene, back-stabbing son-of-a-bitch.

Nice guys, the old cliche says, finish last. That is not only true in politics but in other walks of life. Steve Jobs, hailed as a technological genius, was a ruthless man who ran roughshod over friends, employees and competitors.  Mark Zuckerberg stole the concept for Facebook from Harvard classmates and betrayed his best friend but is hailed as the father of social networking.

Tiger Woods dominated professional golf and became the world’s most admired athlete while cheating constantly on his wife.  Only after his “sex addiction” became public did he fall from grace with the public.  His golf game went into the crapper as well.

Penn State legend Joe Paterno?  That story is still playing out and it ain’t pretty.

Because we must choose our leaders and heroes from the human race, we cannot achieve or expect perfection but isn’t it sad that we must accept so many flaws in those we elect to office or put on pedestals?

Does our obsession with celebrities, sports heroes and flawed leaders say more about us as a nation than those we idolize?

Instead of cheering the overpaid, steroid-doped athlete who opts for multi-million contracts instead of finishing his education, should we not be honoring the teacher who works at a salaary barely above minimum wage yet finds a way to awaken a desire to learn in our children?

Should we not save our love and respect for those first responders — many of them volunteers — who save our lives in a car wreck or risk their own to pull us from a burning building?

Why haven’t any of them ever shown up on a list of “most admired Americans?”

With so many millions to choose from, why can’t we find one good, honest, competent, moral man or woman to run this nation?

Someone with “class.”

Maybe we can’t because we don’t have the class ourselves…or the honesty…or the integrity…or anything else.

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