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If You Want to Lead a Nation

Mark A. Goldman                                                                 Dated: 8/30/2012


If you want to lead a nation, here are some things you must understand and be able to explain, and by example, demonstrate to your fellow citizens:

1.        Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...  These are God given rights that are to be bestowed on every person who lives in this realm or in any other.  No one is permitted to take another personís life and no one is permitted to deprive another person of his or her liberty.  Every person is entitled to pursue their happiness as they define it for themselves.

2.       There are, however, limitations to each personís right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.  Each person has a responsibility to not infringe on any other personís right to their life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness either directly or indirectly. 

3.       Sometimes it is not clear when one personís right to pursue their happiness must be limited in order to preserve the rights and happiness of others. 

4.       Sometimes the resolution of such conflicts can be difficult to resolve.   In such cases, the rule of law must be invoked.  The proper administration of the rule of law requires that all persons be treated the same and without regard to their position or station in life.  That means justice is to be pursued in all cases.

5.       Most of the time the resolution of conflicts can be resolved using common sense inspired by a commitment to intellectual integrity.  This simply requires being steadfastly honest about how the maximum level of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can readily be preserved for everyone involved.  Here are a few examples:

a.       If you inadvertently make a mess in the process of pursuing your happiness, you are responsible for cleaning up  that mess.  Why? Because the messes people make usually impact other people in some negative way, either directly or indirectly. Sometimes cleaning up the mess you created includes honorably compensating those who have been hurt by your actions.  If you canít pursue your goals or dreams without making a mess that negatively impacts others, you should not pursue those goals or dreams until and unless youíve figured out how to do so without making a mess or until youíve gotten permission to proceed from those who likely would be negatively impacted by what you intend to do.

b.     If you have acquired some wealth, power, or position in life, you have no right to use your resources to influence other people to lie, deceive, cheat, betray the public trust, or to otherwise undermine other people's rights, or the rule of law, or the spirit of doing what's right and honorable.   Why?  Because doing so would be creating a mess.  You have the right to enjoy what you've honestly earned, but you have no right to deprive others of their rights, or freedoms, or equal treatment and justice under the law.

c.      Sometimes a person's liberty, or the pursuit of their goals or happiness needs to be curtailed, such as when that person loses sight of other people's rights and freedoms and causes hurt or damage. But a person's rights and freedoms may only be curtailed after a proper hearing, operating in accordance with the best practices of jurisprudence, has come to such a determination.

6.       For a general recitation of the basic rights and freedoms to which all peoples are entitled, one should refer to the principles enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Any person who would ignore or fail to align him or herself with the principles enumerated therein is not qualified to lead any nation or any other organ of society.  The same is true for any person who does not understand that other people are entitled to all the rights, freedoms, and consideration that he or she would want for themselves or their posterity.

7.       The principles mentioned herein is not meant to be inclusive of all the principles that a leader of people ought to understand and express.

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