I freely admit that at this moment I don’t know whether or not I support the Iranian nuclear deal. After all, it is an extremely complex and nuanced 100 page document. Before making my decision I will need to read the agreement, perhaps more than once, as well as additional explanatory and opinion material. This is not an issue to be taken lightly as it impacts the security of our country, as well as Israel and the rest of the world. Most importantly, it should not be viewed through a political or partisan prism, but rather the clear lens of honesty and objectivity. This is the kind of decision that requires strength, maturity, intelligence, wisdom, experience, perspective, knowledge and integrity. Are those in whose hands we have placed this responsibility up to this task? Have they illustrated through their behavior and decision-making that they are capable of reflecting these characteristics as they move through the process?
Ask any Senator, past or present, and they will tell you that they are honored to be a part of the “greatest deliberative body” in history. Talk about looking through rose-colored glasses, I don’t know what they are seeing. I see 100 men and women who spend their time raising money, planning their next Sunday show appearance or figuring ways to hinder the other side. I see little or no deliberation and nothing constructive coming from this “great deliberative body”. That is twice as true for the House. When we combine these realities with the fact that we are now in the Presidential primary season, it appears that any hope of keeping the decision-making process regarding the Iranian nuclear deal on track is wishful thinking. We have already heard comments from senators, world leaders and candidates regarding this treaty. Is it really possible that they have given this document the necessary serious study that would enable them to make an informed comment? This isn’t the time for sound bites. It is a time for thoughtful, cautionary and informed remarks. This isn’t a time to score political points. It is a time to take service to our country and all its obligations seriously.
While I have great concern with the way in which the congress will approach this deal, the fact that this is a presidential primary season portends additional problems. Of the candidates that have presented themselves to us, who is capable of true leadership on this issue? Remember, leadership is not a sound bite. It requires more than just bluster and the knowing of which words to use to excite a crowd. It requires strength, maturity intelligence,wisdom, experience, perspective, knowledge and integrity. It is particularly concerning that Mr. Trump, an individual who lacks virtually all of the these characteristics is rapidly moving up the Republican primary polls. He has replaced the hatred symbolized by the Confederate flag with his own brand of xenophobia. However, so far, the other GOP candidates have not shown themselves to be any stronger when it comes to these characteristics. Though it appears that the Iranian deal issue has come at a very inopportune time due to the hyper-political environment created by a presidential campaign, it might, in fact, become somebody’s opportunity.
While I am doing my own “due diligence” on the Iranian nuclear treaty, I will be watching members of the Senate and House as well as the Presidential candidates to see what they do. Will they find it necessary to make uninformed strictly partisan comments, or will they take their time and speak with caution, maturity and wisdom? Will they act in a purely self-serving political way, so typical of what we have seen these past years, or will they adhere to the obligations they swore to in their oath of office? Will they follow the lead of Trump and other hateful self-serving egotists, or will they understand that it is service to nation and not themselves that should be their guiding principle? This is a test. Will any of them pass?