June 7, 2013
Transparency in Government
By Rabbi Mark Borovitz
Here we go again! It is like 1964 all over again! We find the rhetoric of the Republicans (at that time Barry Goldwater) distasteful and the Democratic President (at that time LBJ) doing exactly the same things! This latest disclosure about Verizon and Internet spying on any and all Americans shows President Obama to be a hider and, a person who is unwilling to speak "The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God!” What is going on?
It is especially noteworthy to me that 69 years after D-Day, the war against fascism and hatred and secrets, we learn of this latest betrayal of transparency, openness and commitment. Barack Obama, the candidate, railed against abuses of power and hiding. Barack Obama, the President, relishes in the abuses of power and hiding. I am most upset at his arrogance. President Obama, you are a leader "by the people, of the people and for the people" as Abraham Lincoln so poetically taught us some 150 years ago. In today's vernacular, I ask WTF???
I also am aghast at this latest betrayal because President Obama presented himself as a Democrat in the style of John and Bobby Kennedy. Oh, Mr. Obama, you are so far from having the soul, style, caring and compassion of Robert Kennedy. You are so far from having the advisors those two men had. You are so far from the sense of justice, the search for Truth, the openness, the kindness and the love of people of Robert Kennedy. It is, of course, ironic that this latest disclosure of betrayal of promises, transparency and truth came on the 45th anniversary of Bobby Kennedy's murder.
Ultimately, I have to take my part of the responsibility for these transgressions as I bought President Obama's lies; I bought candidate Obama's lies. I haven't asked enough questions and shouted loud enough about these lies. Neither, my friends and enemies, have you. This is not the shouting of the Republicans who are hiding and lying themselves. This is the shouting of decent people of faith who believe that without Truth, we are not alive. This is the shouting of faithful people who hold all of our governments and leaders to the same standards as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and Buddah, the standard of God—take care of the poor, the widow, the orphan and the stranger. Do not hide from others, as each person is a reminder of God, ergo hiding from us is hiding from God, Mr. President.
I ask you all to join me in being open and transparent. I ask everyone to join me in demanding the same of our government and leaders. I ask everyone to remember what our fathers, grandfathers, mothers, grandmothers, relatives, siblings, etc. fought and some died for 69 years ago on D-Day. I ask everyone to remember that the Kennedy's and Martin Luther King Jr. were killed for their championing of workers, poor, widows, orphans and strangers. I ask everyone to join me in making sure that these men and women who fought and died for our ideals, our way of life, our faith in humanity and God's Principles and God's Will have not fought and died in vain!