Richard Exley Ministries

Don't Ever Fall in Love With the Deal
Posted on September 11, 2009

While watching President Obama’s speech on health care reform to the joint houses of Congress on Wednesday evening, I couldn’t help remembering something my friend Jack used to tell me. He was an astute businessman who almost never made a bad deal. Once, while having lunch, I asked him the secret of his success. With a slow smile, he raised his finger and pointed toward the ceiling. When I pressed him for something more definitive than divine help he said, “Never fall in love with the deal.”

“A deal,” he said, “is like a beautiful woman. Once you fall in love with her you lose all objectivity. Passion takes over, distorting your judgment. Now all you can see are the benefits. You maximize the upside while minimizing or ignoring the downside. You turn a blind eye to the risks.”

I suspect this is what happened in the last election, not that we had much of a choice. Barack Obama swept the starry-eyed idealists off their feet. They fell in love with the deal and denigrated anyone who dared to suggest that their idealized version of reality might be tainted by passion. Never mind that Obama’s resume’ was terribly thin and that his campaign rhetoric was heavy on style but short on substance. He was charismatic, he promised to change America and he was saying the things many people wanted to hear. Toss in an unprecedented economic crisis, a less than inspiring opponent, a biased media, and it is easy to see why so many Americans fell in love with the deal.

So where are we now?

Not a few of us are disillusioned.  Not just with the President but with the whole rotten mess in Washington. We realize something has gone terrible wrong and that it’s been going on for a long time. Republicans and Democrats alike share the blame. Instead of serving our country they have been serving themselves. There are individual exceptions to be sure, but they are few and far between.

Our only hope is to return to the principles that made American the greatest nation in the history of the world – faith, family, individual freedom and personal responsibility. The founding fathers designed our republic to be governed by short-term public servants not professional politicians who make a career out of politics. I see no way out of the current morass of corruption and special interests apart from term limits. It is the only way to break the stranglehold politicians have on our nation. I would suggest one term for United States Senators and two terms for Representatives.  In addition we must rescind the “special perks” our elected officials have voted for themselves. There can be no real reform without it. For instance, their health insurance and retirement benefits should be no different than what is provided for the average American. Let them live with what they have provided for the rest of us.

It has been said that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Whether we are talking about the White House, Congress, Wall Street, big business, or the unions, whoever has the power abuses it. In the case of our elected officials I see a tragic trend. They begin by accepting the perks that come with their office, then they expect them, then they demand them and finally they abuse them.  Term limits is just one way of protecting politicians from themselves and protecting our Republic from their abuse of the public trust.

I can only imagine how an abused wife must feel. The man she fell in love with turned out to be an illusion. During courtship he was charming, attentive to her every need but once they were married he revealed his true character. Oh he can still be charming, especially in public, but underneath he is controlling and manipulative. And what shames her the most is that she did this to herself. 

The ever-expanding Federal Government feels like an abusive husband to me and the worst thing about it is that we did it to ourselves – we fell in love with the deal.

As bad as things appear, it may be God’s answer to our prayers. Things may have to get so bad that we have no other hope before American will return to God. Remember the resurgence of spiritual passion following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It was short lived because things returned to “normal” fairly quickly but it might have taken root if the fearful uncertainty that characterized the days immediately after the attack had continued indefinitely. I’m not praying for hard times but that may be what it takes to bring our nation back to God.

“If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

This is Richard Exley straight from the heart.

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Category: Politics

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