Candidate Don Quixote

Miguel de Cerrvantes

Miguel de Cerrvantes

Reading time – 44 seconds  .  .  .

Miguel de Cervantes told the tale of Don Quixote, an old man, perhaps with dementia, who did things that looked crazy to more able-brained observers. In a peasant hag he saw a lady – his lady – a woman of the highest order and worthy of his adoration and of his defense of her honor. She was inspiration to his knightly duty.

To him, the flea-bitten mule he rode was a great and noble steed and he tilted at windmills, seeing instead dragons that must be slain to protect the people. These and more are metaphors for the dignity, honor and duty to do what is right, not because of an expected reward, but simply because it is the right thing to do. It was, for Don Quixote, an honor and an imperative, irrespective of the scoffing and judgments of others or the cost to himself. Don Quixote stands as a fine and lasting metaphor for a life of service and it is a primary reason for the enduring popularity of Cervantes’ tale.

To our candidates for public office at all levels of government:

If you cannot see the duty of service in the way of Don Quixote, if you cannot do what is right simply because it is right, regardless of what is in it for you – some reward of power or money or fame that you imagine should be yours – then you are unfit to hold office. If you are not in service of what is right you haven’t the stuff to be a leader of the people. Stand down before you confuse and degrade things still more.

I want to know who is stepping up to do what is right.


Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

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2 Responses to Candidate Don Quixote
  1. Dominick Reply

    Jack, if you want to know who is stepping up to do what is right I have provided a way to do this. We as voters must stop basing our election decisions on the promises of politicians and begin electing representatives who are accountable to us when they are in office. To do this we must vet election candidates with the simple plan I suggest to identify who will actually listen and respond to us.

    Getting people to understand the concept of true accountability is quite a daunting task. Our politicians have successfully convinced people that voting is somehow a form of accountability. That is, every few years we can retain or vote them out of office. In the meantime, we will have no control over the decisions they make for us. This political definition of accountability is just one example of political propaganda indoctrination accepted by smart and educated voters.

    Just ask the people in the audience of your next presentation how they hold their representatives accountable. Then ask them, where is the proof of their accountability. Do their representatives hold regular town hall meetings? Do they have a forum on their web site to invite discussions of their issues? Has any one of their representatives ever polled them for their opinions – before they made a decision to pass or reject a law? The suggestion of polling is a main theme in my web site for creating political accountability. We have readily available technologies to do this now.

    This is the kind of discussion I believe will create political reform. We cannot have real political reform just by describing the symptoms of a financially corrupted political system. Then telling people to go out and vote for people who have no obligation to respond to them. We need to focus on the people who run the system, and show voters how to hold them accountable to us – not their political party or wealthy donors.

  2. Jim Altschuler Reply

    In the pragmatic (instead of the metaphoric) we still have a great many Don Quixotes — the are the service men and women serving daily in our various armed forces. They don’t receive much money, they rarely acquire power, and they even more rarely gain notoriety or glory.

    What they DO do is their duty, serving their country in whatever capacity is requested of them, even sometimes more than what is requested of them. The metaphor turned into practical application.

    “The Donald” finally said something true and right — CNN should donate their advertising profits from the next debate session to Veterans benefits. I can’t agree with anything else he has said or the way he acts, but on this point I have to agree.