Tomorrow night, my kids will return home from a week-long Boy Scout summer camp. I’ve missed them (some of the time), though I have enjoyed the increased quiet and better productivity both for my job and for household maintenance. The boys will come home tired and dirty, and regale us with stories of games, merit badges, new friendships, and whatever else crosses their minds.
The next morning, I’ll open the newspaper and read about economics, politics, real estate, and similar realities. As one of the nation’s top mortgage note buyers, I spend a great deal of time keeping abreast of the news so that I can speak intelligently and invest wisely. Whether I am speaking with someone who wants to sell their mortgage note, it is important that I know what I am talking about.
Sometimes, I think about the realities of the economy and real estate on the one hand, and Boy Scouts on the other. Politicians, in particular, don’t often demonstrate the values taught in scouting. It is refreshing for me to be part of Boy Scouts, as the kids and adult leaders are usually trying to do the right thing and uphold the values that they cherish.
As a test, I wondered how politicians would rate for each of the 12 laws of Boy Scout –laws that even the youngest Scouts have to memorize and understand. So, I graded the average politician on an A through F system, like we all had in school. Of course, this is purely my opinion and I know that there are many politicians at either end of the scale who could be better or worse. Here is what I came up with:
1. Trustworthy – F. HaHa, that’s a good one to start with. The politician who says the right thing and then does what he says on a consistent basis is rare.
2. Loyal – C. While many politicians are loyal to certain interest groups who support and give them money, I am speaking of those who are loyal to the needs of states and the nation above the objective of just getting reelected.
3. Helpful – C. For politics, this ties in with #2. So, are they helping our country or hurting it?
4. Friendly – B. Many will have a smile on their face right before raking you over the coals. But I’ll be generous here.
5. Courteous – C. The politicians frequently go between acting professionally versus attacking those who disagree with them. Come to think of it, I know a few other people who act that way!
6. Kind – B. It’s not exactly the same as “friendly”, but close enough for this instance.
7. Obedient – C. I tie this in with loyalty for politicians. The question becomes whether one should be obedient to political contributors or to the needs of Average Joe Taxpayer. I think the latter.
8. Cheerful – A. Okay, we can toss them a bone and at least say that they are cheerful.
9. Thrifty – F-. One need only glance through my previous blogs to see how politicians spend and tax other people’s money.
10. Brave – D. It is tough to be brave enough to do the right thing despite powerful political pressures, so most politicians don’t bother.
11. Clean – A. Well, they dress nicely and presumably have good personal hygiene, so why not.
12. Reverent – No score. Far be it from me to judge others’ religions or adherence to those religions.
The grades above wouldn’t come close to making the honor roll in any school, yet the general public doesn’t keep a close enough eye on these men and women to realize what is going on. The current financial fiasco shows just how poorly this has turned out, and it doesn’t show any signs of improving. Stay tuned.