What did the Buddha say about politics?
From Thich Nhat Hanh’s Old Path White Cloud
The Buddha used this occasion to speak about applying the Way to political life. He said the Way could illuminate the realm of politics, assisting those involved in governing the kingdom to bring about social equality and justice. He said, “If you practice the Way, you will increase your understanding and compassion and better serve the people. You will find ways to bring about peace and happiness without depending upon violence at all.” …
“When a politician possesses enough understanding and love, he sees the truth about poverty, misery, and oppression. Such a person can find the means to reform the government in order to reduce the gap between rich and poor, and cease the use of force against others.”
“My friends, political leaders and rulers must set an example. Don’t live in the lap of luxury because wealth only creates a greater barrier between you and the people. Live a simple, wholesome life, using your time to serve the people rather than pursuing idle pleasures. A leader cannot earn the trust and respect of his people if he does not set a good example. If you love and respect the people they will love and respect you in return. Rule by virtue differs from rule by law and order. Rule by virtue does not depend on punishment. According to the Way of Awakening, true happiness can only be attained by the path of virtue.”
Please consider the Buddha’s advice and vote for leaders who come closest to these ideals.
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