An Open Letter to Dennis Prager

Dear Mr. Prager,

I have a philosophical question that I would like you to consider. You are a deep thinker, and a Godly man, so you may have thoughts that will help resolve it. The question became clear to me after the election.

I think it is fair to say that the victory of President Elect Obama was achieved primarily through a two efforts. One was an ongoing effort of ginning up hatred for President Bush. Much of this effort involved rather despicable behavior on the part of Democrats, and most the people reveled in it. The other effort was to portray candidate Obama as a unifying moderate. He was, and is, just the opposite, and most people embraced the deception.

You, I, and others value civility, honesty, and honor. I believe, based on my observations, that generally the electorate does not share these values.

So the question is: Are we being arrogant when we insist on expressing, through word and deed, these values in political campaigns?

Here is an analogy. If the electorate were a customer, and a campaign were a product, would it not be arrogant to suggest that the customer should buy what we want, and not what he wants?

Here’s another one. Most adults see war as a horror, yet they understand that there are worse things, and are willing to engage in it when necessary. Many juveniles see war as a horror, but their understanding stops there. They conclude that all war is bad without further inquiry. This idea is reflected in slogans like “War is the enemy”, and “War is not healthy for children and other living things.” They refuse to live life on life’s terms. So, are we not being juvenile when we insist on maintaining a high level of decorum in political campaigns?

Spiritually speaking, have we lost our humility when we reject the values of those whom we endeavor to serve? I understand that our values come from a source higher than our egos, but in the role of public servants (emphasis on “servants”), should we not show respect for the electorate by embracing them as they are – on their terms?

It is my hope that even if you reject some of my premises, that you will address the question anyway, since it is an interesting philosophical/ethical problem.

Thank you.