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TEXAS FAITH 86: Do we thirst too much for political leaders?

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Dallas Morning News,

Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

“I have spent the last several days in Colorado, interviewing voters in that very swing state. If predictions hold up, we are down to only a handful of states that matter now to each campaign.

Last week, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama campaigned in Denver. Romney drew 10,000 people at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Obama drew 16,000 in City Park.

By all reports, the crowds were enthusiastic. If you like politics, this is when campaigns turn fun and bubble over with energy.

But as this campaign draws to an end after more than a year of rallies, debates, speeches, ads and strategy sessions, I have also been thinking of something else:

Do we thirst too much for a leader?

I love our democracy as much as the next person. And I really like the thrill of a campaign. But it has been 10 months and many dollars since New

Hampshire and we still haven’t selected the next president. At moments during this marathon, it has felt like we spend too much time and energy searching for a leader, almost like a people who want a king to come fix their problems for them.

What do you think? Is this just democracy-in-action? Or are we too hungry for a leader?”

NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas 

I do not have much faith in our democracy. We do not know what is an ideal leader, so our enthusiasm is misplaced. One proper leader is far better than hundreds of ministerial puppets put into a position in an X Factor-like fashion. A proper leader is toned by training and responsibility, rather being swayed to win the popularity contest.

The working class are like the legs of the social body, the business class the stomach, the political leaders the arms which protect. The best political systems are when the leader takes guidance from morally upstanding spiritual philosophers who are unconcerned with financial gain. Such philosophers are the head of the social body.

To see all responses of the TEXAS Faith panel click here.