Lookin’ For A Special Kind of Hero
No Need For A Cape
I am looking for a special kind of hero, not a super hero or someone who wears a cape; I am looking for someone courageous enough to risk his or her political career by saying and doing the right thing.
America is the home of the brave. Many of our citizens are brave, but many of our political leaders are not. They lack the consistency that comes from being driven by principle. Instead, they alter their rhetoric based on their audience or maintain a particular stance because they want their base to know they are not far from their minds. They are panderers instead a principled.
I appreciate the recent candor of Senators Flake and Corker, but it takes little courage for a politician to speak out when there is no substantial political risk. (Both senators have declared they will not run for another term of office.) Probably the bravest politician in America today is Senator John McCain. There are principles driving him, and therefore he is a voice to heed and someone to emulate.
A Choice To Make
Contrary to current belief, the heart of political life is not votes; it is service. The politician cries out, “If I don’t have the votes, I can’t serve.” To which I answer, “If votes are what you value most, you will not serve the people even if elected. The need for votes will shape what you say and do rather than what you say and do being shaped by principle.”
Being vote-driven makes a politician a coward.
The political parties are without principled direction. They wonder what will get them the votes to put them in power, so they can enact their agenda. The truth is there is no real agenda, no firm direction other than grasping for votes. And the agenda that is pursued is short lived.
Political parties need a vision that will take us decades into the future, not into the next election cycle.
I have a feeling that if Republicans and Democrats asked themselves what they stand for rather than how to get the votes to become the party in power, we would all benefit.
More Than Heroes
We need more than heroes. We need leaders. Real leaders are brave and principled. Their lives are grounded in principles, and the principles are a touchstone they reach for during challenging times. They touch it, and remember what is most important. Then they speak and act.
Without principles or a touchstone, there is no direction.
Remember What Is Important
One thing the American people forgot during the last presidential election was the primary quality of a president. The president of the United States must be a leader. I have been in leadership positions all my life. It began when I was a patrol leader in the Boy Scouts, and it continues to this day. And I have been privileged to follow leaders and observe the way they live and the things they do. I think I know the qualities of a leader. Mr. Trump does not possess these qualities, and so we are in for a wild ride for the next three years.
Leadership is paramount during times of crisis. A leader instills confidence and a willingness to follow the vision that will move the nation through and beyond the challenge the nation faces.
Let us not complain and blame and bemoan the choice made by the collective consciousness of our country. Let us use this time to remember what is important. Let us be vigilant and look for the brave, people who are principled and willing to risk their careers to remind us of who and what we are. Let us find these people, encourage them to step forward to lead us out of these times of partisanship and conflict. Let us support them when we find them. Let us rise above our own self-interests in the same way that we want our leaders to rise above the need for votes.
You see, heroes are not driven by self-interests. Heroes forget themselves and say and do the right thing regardless of the risks. This is the way it is on the battlefield. This is the way it must be in the political arena. Not self-interests, but self-forgetting.
These leaders don’t wear a cape; their mantle is principle. I’m looking for a special kind of hero. Are you?