Where have all the leaders gone?
The basic premise of being a leader is taking the current status and improving upon it. Unfortunately, the only way to move toward a better future and solve problems is to really understand from where you start and the failure mechanisms of the past. Visionaries aren’t bound by the starting point; I believe leaders are.
Case in point, Rahm Emanuel has stated that he will keep Chick-fil-A out of Chicago...he’ll not let them build a building or open up a business. A leader would preface that position on his ability as mayor to do so.
Having spent most of my life associated with local government as a student in grad school, as a staff member of a couple of Texas cities, as a member and chair of a planning and zoning commission, as a member and vice-chair of a city council, I am convinced Rahm is either totally uninformed or totally misrepresenting the power of the position he holds. I suspect there is something much more sinister at work. He, like many people in government, is not willing to acknowledge the laws that govern the position they hold. In many cases these elected officials regard those laws and rules as immaterial because to have them as a starting point requires logic, thought and guts! It is easy to take the popular, simplistic position because that is what some people want to hear.
Leadership requires understanding multiple viewpoints and positions. Only then is it possible to find rational solutions. Leadership requires acknowledgement that there may not be an easy, simple solution. I’m reminded of a basic investment principle: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” A similar rule may apply to politics: “If it sounds too simple to be true, it probably is.”
Back to Rahm, here is a stumbling point to his simplistic position. Many cities have fought having Sexually Oriented Businesses (SOBs) in their community. However, various courts in the land have determined that each community must provide some area to be zoned for such use. Let me ask a very simple question here based on the most elementary logic. Does this seem logical that a court that required cities to provide a zoning category for SOBs would then accept that there is any rationale to keeping a chicken store out of a city?
Now, mind you this chicken store does not discriminate against any customer — in fact, it has developed a public commitment and long standing written statement to the contrary!
This commentary is not about “gay or straight” anything. This is about why we, as a society, are in trouble. We are in trouble because we are willing to let so called leaders get away with misrepresenting and misleading us all. They seemed to be bound by no rules — rules of law, rules of decorum, standards of conduct and, if their mothers taught them anything, they’ve forgotten that as well. And, they assume we are uninformed and incapable of finding the truth.
Oh yes, there is one more technique we should flush out here also. It is the subtle technique of taking on a persona when giving speeches. I refer here to the now much discussed comment by the President. You know the one he really didn’t make? He said these business people didn’t really build their own businesses or something to that effect. But when it was said in the persona of a Pastor Jeremiah Wright, his audience all knew exactly what he was saying. None of us need spar those words — that is exactly what he wanted his audience to believe he meant. Of course, when called out he ran to the “time out” zone declaring (1) he didn’t say that and (2) if he did, he didn’t mean it. All this is from one of the greatest orators of our time?
This observation applies to politicians of all persuasions. It is not just Democrat or Republican. Although, I personally believe the proclivity seems to be more on one than the other. It also applies to the press when they use the selectivity of facts under the pretense of limited time to misrepresent the facts. Life is complicated and a one minute sound bite will never explain even the high points fairly, much less the real issues.
The primary responsibility of a leader in the free world should be to ensure we all have good information and data to judge their performance. If they can’t be that kind of leader, I want another leader. The best advice I ever received wasn’t what I wanted to hear — it was WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR. That, my friends, is what leadership is. Telling you what you need to hear…not playing to the audience. While on this topic, it is only fair to give Romney credit for doing just that when he spoke to the NAACP. He didn’t give them one speech and someone else another speech. I hope I’m beginning to see a glimmer of hope.
So, what is the antidote to this misrepresentation of the real issues by politicians and the press? I believe the only real antidote is knowledge. It is studying the issues, researching the facts. Watching more than one TV newscast, preferably one you don’t particularly like. What’s the rationale? You begin to sense what truth is and what is hype. Listen long enough and you’ll develop filters such that you can automatically filter out opinion from fact. You’ll see them at their best and at their worst. Then, you’ll decide for yourself. A great democracy requires hard work by everyone. Read, study, listen and compare; then, just use some common sense and logic.
I sincerely hope everyone gets what they deserve. I am afraid most of us will continue to get much less.
The Bible says, “... by their fruits, ye shall know them.”
I sincerely hope that will be true in the upcoming elections.
Where have all the leaders gone?
KELLY: What do you think?
American Profile Magazine pictured Big Tex in its feature about state fairs with the appropriate caption: “Big Tex towers over visitors to the Texas State Fair.” The article also wrote about the many famous wooden roller coasters including the “Classic” wood roller coaster.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: I have been corrected
I was complaining about President Obama making promises that he has not kept, such as taxes will not go up one dime or health care will go down about $2,500 per year for a family of four. He said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He said he would have an immigration plan in place. What he really meant was that if Congress would allow it, we would have open borders.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Concern for your pocketbooks
Dear Editor: My message today is to Democrats out in Parker County and the middle class and moderate-income Republicans in towns and rural areas.
NOW HEAR THIS: Taking care of your tools
For much of my life I’ve heard the saying, “Take care of your tools, and your tools will take care of you.” In our modern “throw away world” this has become much less important than it used to be, but down on the “pore farm,” tools still enjoy a prominent position in my daily life.
PASTOR POPHIN: The greatest joy of all: Jesus
The first part of this week was a joyous one for me. I took 10 youth to Lake Mineral Wells State Park for three days of day camping. Camp Adventure was the name of the camp. We discovered the joy of the One who created us: Jesus. I am sitting at my desk on the day after the camp writing this article. I am overjoyed by the events of the week, and yet I am physically exhausted. The Lord moved powerfully among our youth.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time for all good men...
When man’s greed, desire for riches, power and control of our nation become greater than their love of humanity and our country, by constantly fomenting discord and hate among the citizens, warmongering and constantly talking of wars against other nations - it is putting political ideology before the welfare of citizens and country. It is time for We the People to take a good look at these men involved - no matter their status in our nation, we call the United States of America and decide whether or not they deserve the privilege and sanctuary of our nation.
TISCIONE: Finding a church
God commands His people to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the apostolic church to the first day, Sunday. The church refers to every Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a professing Christian will seek to find a local church in which to invest in the kingdom and worship the King!
NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s your current address?
Shortly after we moved to Weatherford 19 years ago, the old post office (today’s Court Building) that was literally bursting at the seams was replaced by a new, larger facility – our present mail center that sometimes seems outgrown as we stand in line to buy stamps or mail a package.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Good company, better service
We would like to thank Devin’s Handyman Service, Gary Boase, David Schramm and James Reed for the wonderful job they did repainting our front fence, front porch, back porch, patio and deck. Everything looks new and makes such a difference in our home.
PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church
Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church? No matter how you answer, there are some common reasons — or perhaps we would call them conditions — that would cause all of us to truly enjoy going to church.
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