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  • Writer's pictureJG .

The Sins of Others

There is an old saying, “you don’t get to heaven off the sins of others”, meaning, simply because other people are sinning worse than you, doesn’t make you worthy of heaven. This concept came up a lot during my football career. There were times when I was with an NFL team, competing with other players for a spot on the roster, and I found myself focusing on what my “competition” was doing, and not what I was doing. If they played well, that was bad for me, I thought. And if they played poorly, that was good for me. In those moments, I erroneously believed that the competition was between me and the other guy, but that’s not how it works in the NFL, or in any sports competition. Making an NFL roster is not a matter of proving that you are better than the next guy, it is proving that you are worthy of a spot on the team regardless of what the other guy is doing. Every moment I spent focusing on my “competition”, was less time that I was looking at myself, trying to improve myself, trying to make myself worthy of the spot on the roster. So, the competition was not with the other player, the competition was with yourself.

This concept has not taken root in American politics. It is all too commonplace for candidates to believe that they can get the heaven [get elected] off the sins of others. They believe that they don’t have to prove how good they are, they merely need to show how bad their opponent is. Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty. They engage in ad hominem attacks against their opponents, solely about personal destruction. They attack each other during the primaries, and then end up supporting the nominee who they were just trashing weeks before. Vice President Kamala Harris did that to Joe Biden during the 2020 Democrat primary. She called Joe Biden a racist, and now she is his Vice President. How does that work? Someone who preaches about the evils of racism, chose to be second banana to someone she publicly called a ‘racist’? We witnessed this spectacle during the first Republican debate two weeks ago. Eight Republican candidates running for President all took a vow to support the eventual nominee just prior spending the next two hours proving that the other seven candidates would make horrible Presidents. Very little time was spent trying to show how good they would be or how good their policies are, they were focused on showing how bad the other candidates are.

We are witnessing this right now leading up to the 2024 Presidential election. The Democrats have done a masterful job in proving to the world how bad Donald Trump is. That’s why they call him “racist” and have created four fraudulent indictments against him. They are continually trying to smear his name believing that they can get to heaven off the sins of Trump. They know nothing that Joe Biden has done as President has made him worthy of keeping his job. In fact, most of what Biden has done, has made the country irrevocably worse. His record is so bad that they’ve gone to unprecedented lengths to ensure that Biden runs against a candidate who is facing four separate felony indictments during the campaign. Biden’s campaign slogan must be, ‘if you think I’m bad, he’s worse.’

This more than anything else is the reason why our political leaders over the last 20 to 30 years have become increasingly awful. There are very few politicians working in Washington, who are quality human beings, who really want to do what’s best for the country and what’s best for the American people. When you spend the majority of your time, tearing down your opponents, lying about your opponents, and spend very little of your time in self-introspection, trying to improve who you are as a person, who you are as a politician, and who you are as a leader, the end result will look like what we have in Washington, DC, right now. It is embarrassing the people we have leading our country.

Recently on Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked Governor Tim Walz (D-Minn) why “fewer people want Biden to run again than even Trump to run again”? And his completely unaware response was, “I think Donald Trump and the Republican Party have poisoned it [our political system] to people. No one trusts our institutions, no one trusts Congress, no one trusts any of us.” That is the epitome of lack of self-awareness. Someone who has zero ability for self-introspection.

Nothing Donald Trump has ever said has caused me to distrust the government the way I do. The $31.5 trillion of a national debt is what causes me to not trust the politicians in Washington. How can anybody in their right mind who works in Washington, DC as a Congressman can expect the American people to trust you after you’ve just hung $31.5 trillion of debt on their backs. If you gave your 18-year-old child your credit card as they went off to college to be used for necessities and emergencies, and at the end of the semester there were $20,000 worth of charges on that card that went to frivolous and unaccounted for purchases, you would take the card away from him instantly, and tell him that you do not trust him. So, people do not trust our government, our congressmen, not because of what one politician said about them, we don’t trust them because of what they do, and what they don’t do, and what they have failed to produce. $31.5 trillion is $90,000 for every man, woman and child in America. Would you trust anyone who just strapped you with $90,000 of debt without your say so?

We’ve come to a place in American politics, where everybody, politician and voter alike, are looking at the other guy – trying to point out what’s wrong with him as a way to prove that they are worthy. The politicians in Washington know that if they can keep us bickering back and forth with ad hominin attacks that we won’t notice the $31.5 trillion national debt that they, Democrat and Republican alike, ran up. No one is looking at themselves, seeing where they may be wrong or misguided, seeing what changes they need to make, or places where they need to improve. When we have a whole class of politicians, who are only focused on proving how bad their opponents are, and by voting accordingly, we end up with a whole class of politicians, who are not worthy of the job they hold.

Jesus asked, “why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but cannot see the rock in your own eye?” And that is human nature, laser-focusing on the flaws of our neighbor, and ignoring our own flaws. If our politicians held themselves and their party to the same standards, that they apply to the politicians of the opposition party, we might have a chance to live in a country with a functioning government. But that will never happen because American politicians know that they can get to political heaven off of the perceived sins of their opponents. And as long as we continue to vote that way, America is going to get weaker and more corrupt until we don’t have a country anymore.


Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.

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Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach and executive. He is a frequent contributer to the website Real Clear Politics, and has recently published his first novel, No Wind

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