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If Arthur were here today

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If Arthur were here today Empty If Arthur were here today

Post by Dean Jacques on Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:52 am

If Arthur were here today

If a modern equivalent of King Arthur were president of the United States today, what would be different?
Such speculation, of course, requires a flight of fantasy. King Arthur, as we know him, is a legendary character, not consistently portrayed throughout the literature. The image we have of him has also been influenced by medieval standards of the perfect monarch, from both a secular and religious perspective.
Nevertheless, much can be gleaned that might be useful. Like the evolved form of chivalry that we call Chivalry-Now, the following rendition shapes King Arthur's traits according to our times.

1) The key to Arthur's political success is not found in political marketing as we know it today. This automatically distinguishes him from all the other candidates, and endears him to the people. No Spin. No deceptions. Just open and honest communication. He is more concerned about the welfare of the people than about himself, and this is apparent in everything he says. He listens politely to lobbyists, weighs the merit of their arguments, but never bases his decisions on contributions or personal gain.

2) He is leader in the finest sense of the word. Not by dictating or micro-managing the way he wants things, but by inspiring the best from everyone. By not seeking credit for himself, he receives praise for the works that others accomplish in his name.

3) He cherishes his allies, and works hard to keep their friendships alive, constantly acknowledging their worth. In this way he earns their loyalty without buying them off. He also tries to understand the world from their perspectives and genuinely respects their concerns. He treats them in such a way that they strive to his level, adding their own personal worth to his global dream of cooperation.

4) Surprisingly, he looks upon his enemies in much the same way. Instead of labeling them as evil, thereby setting the stage for vigorous conflict, he works to change their hearts, to make them worthy to become our allies. He recognizes and challenges their dignity as leaders in order to instill dignity in their acts. He leaves the door open to reconciliation from which both sides benefit. He knows that when all the peoples of the world respect him as president, as a moral leader, and admire his results, errant leaders will no longer benefit by contending with him. Instead, they will try to be more like him. All will benefit. Democracy will become more than just a questionable risk.

5) He would have responded to the events of 9/11 in a wise manner. First of all, he would not have responded in fear, or for revenge, or for ulterior motives. That would be playing into the terrorists' hands. He would have rallied his allies and struck al Qaeda at its heart and stay there until the job was done. Afghanistan might then have become a valuable ally of freedom and sanity in the world. He would have studied the indigenous culture and religion in order to build bridges of understanding and cooperation. He would have won the hearts and minds of the people through his personal qualities. Not buying them off, or bullying them into submission. That creates nothing but distrust, resentment and trouble on ahead. He would have hunted down Bin Laden without mercy, throwing the combined might of the United States and its allies against him until the threat was eradicated. This would have stood as a lesson for our enemies elsewhere.

He would certainly not have invaded Iraq, where sectarian tensions and religious beliefs made the possibility of a peaceful democracy slim if not impossible. He would have had the foresight of knowing that an invasion of Iraq would only make things worse, for the people of Iraq and the world in general. He would have known that he would be playing into al Qaeda's plan, portraying the United States as the evil aggressor that our enemies claim.

6) If Arthur found himself in a situation like we have in Iraq, while simultaneously fighting a war on terror, he would understand that the basis of both conflicts is really a clash of cultures. One does not win such a war with bullets or bombs, or intimidation. Such displays of power from a non-Muslim nation only make things worse. A true leader starts by getting his own house in order. His beliefs, his ideas of freedom, democracy and equal rights, have to be more than rhetoric—not something based on money or power, or hidden agendas. It has to be pure and compelling, rejecting anything that smacks of hypocrisy.

He knows that Capitalism is an economic philosophy and should not be confused with a moral philosophy. We have high ideals in this country. The highest in the world. We need to be inspired by them again. Each one of us needs to make goodness, fairness and concern for all people part of our everyday decisions. We cannot hope to be competent leaders of the world when so many of our own people fall behind, live in poverty, and drop out of school. We cannot proselytize the benefits of freedom when our courts are congested, our prisons filled beyond capacity, and chemical escape remains a strong priority in many people's lives. We cannot speak of family values with so many of our families in crisis. We cannot proclaim democracy as the ideal form of government when our political leaders care only about raising money, catering to special interests, and personal gain.

If we do not repair our own lives, here and now, we lose the war of ideologies, no matter how many people we kill.

Arthur understands that.

7) Arthur knows that not communicating with our enemies only emboldens them. We cannot positively influence a nation we do not communicate with. Cuba, after all these decades, is a prime example. But so is Iran and North Korea. Why should we leave our world image for our enemies to create? History is very clear on this. Our present policy contributes to our problems immeasurably.

Cool Arthur's strength comes from winning people over to his side. One does not do this by ignoring the opposition party. He understands that a voter mandate based on 1 or 2 % is not a mandate at all. By ignoring the wishes of half the population—indeed, by blatantly defying their wishes at every turn—the stage is set for eventual failure. No one profits in the long run by fueling partisan bickering—other than talks show hosts and politician consultants. The people always lose.

9) Arthur, through example and command, works to raise the level of political discourse and cooperation.

10) He responds heroically to the suffering of foreign peoples like those in Darfur. Genocide, poverty, diseases like AIDS, are the metaphorical dragons that the legendary Arthur and his knights always confronted and defeated.

Who would be the equivalent of Arthur's knights today?
Strange as it may sound, that mantle falls on us. All of us who care and are moved by something greater than our own egos. If we fulfilled our responsibilities:

The media would concern itself with truth instead of sensationalism and celebrity.
Businesses would naturally protect the environment we live in.
The economy would no longer measure itself on the unseemly profits of the few, but on the health and contentment of the many.
Religious leaders would care more about saving souls than about biased political agendas.
Neighbors would watch out for one another.
The races and people of various regions would embrace each other as Americans.
Ethnicities would celebrate commonalties, and then find ways of accepting differences.
Political extremists would no longer rudely and selfishly fuel contention.
Free thought would be encouraged.
Courtesy would be part of everything we do.

Unfortunately, Arthur is not in charge of our government. For us, the challenges are that more difficult. If we accept the responsibilities of Chivalry-Now, we have to look to ourselves for leadership and inspiration. All we have to hold onto is our ideals, our vision of a better world, our commitment, our strength and compassion.
When you think of it, what better tools could we have?
Let us work together from where we are, confident of our loose fellowship, until true leaders rise among us and a new Arthur comes our way.
Dean Jacques
Dean Jacques
Council Knight Administrator,
Council Knight Administrator,

Posts : 110
Join date : 2015-12-08
Location : Connecticut, USA

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