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?
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.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Don't judge a book...
Dear Editor: Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when state representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
NOW HEAR THIS: The blessing of memories
Many years ago, shortly after I retired from the navy, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with my brother David, when he remarked that he regretted never serving in the military and experiencing the things I had seen. Like most of our farmer ancestors, he spent his entire life within five miles of where he grew up. Not unlike our parents, he could also count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he had even been out of the state of Texas and probably have digits to spare.
KELLY: What do you think?
Immigration: Wow! Where are all these illegal boys and girls coming from, and why? The “why” is a big question! I’m sure 5-year-olds are not coming for a better life and income.
TISCIONE: Signs and seals
God gave the church signs and seals. These are called sacraments or holy ordinances. They are both holy and commanded. There are two sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ. They are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These sacraments are often referred to as “secondary doctrine.” They are secondary not because they are unimportant. They are secondary because they are not necessary for salvation.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Response to 'Blame game'
Dear Editor: It’s not drug cartels telling Central Americans their children won’t be turned away at the border, it is the actions of this administration with its refusal to secure the border and its unilateral rewriting of immigration law. As has been shown, this president and his administration have for some time lied about the security of the border and immigration enforcement.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Sick and tired
Do you remember hearing Hillary Clinton screaming, “I am sick and tired of people who say if you debate or disagree with this administration somehow you are not patriotic. We should stand up and say, we are Americans and we have a right to disagree with any administration.” Nancy Pelosi said that the swamp needed to be drained and I agree, but I see she and Senator Reid are still splashing around in the slime.
NOW HEAR THIS: Paradise Lost
During this past Fourth of July weekend, I did what I frequently do. I sat in my workshop enjoying a cool breeze, doing absolutely nothing except for trying to stay awake. As I looked to the south toward my shiny aluminum flagpole with Old Glory fluttering in that breeze, I did not feel the great patriotic sense of pride I normally have on this anniversary of the birth of our nation. Instead, I came very close to going out to the pole and lowering our national standard to half-mast to mourn the passing of our once great nation.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Our officials care
I take serious exception to Mr. Jay Cloward’s letter, “Big city, no care” (7/8/14) in which he states that it almost looks like the city wants to become a for-profit company and Weatherford has “become a city too big to care.”
PASTOR POPHIN: Joy in external conflict
Do you get the sense that Christians today face increasing opposition from our government concerning our faith and practice? Such issues include: 1) Prayer in school and at other public gatherings are being banned and looked down on; 2) the removal of the 10 Commandments from courthouses throughout our country; and 3) the challenges to the words “one nation under God” appearing in our Pledge of Allegiance. Therefore, we are seeing increased conflict between churches and our government.
- More Viewpoints Headlines
- PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church