Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Our Next President

Wow! The race is already on! Everywhere you turn, the buzz is all about one presidential candidate or another, isn't it? Of course, it's still very early, so none of them are really saying anything yet. They're just prattling on about how the country needs "a new direction" and they're the only one who can provide it. Yeah, right!

But, if you're following the race as avidly as I am, here's the question I think you need to ask yourself about our next chief of state:

Do you want a leader or a follower?

When you hear a candidate say: "I'm listening to the people, and I'm going to give them what they want," that's a follower. That's someone who just sticks a wet finger in the air, sees which way the wind is blowing, then heads off in that direction. That's no leader. That's no visionary. That's just a tumbleweed! That's just a jerk who wants an easy path to power. We've already got way too many of those running the country!

A leader is going to say: "You may not like what I'm about to tell you, but please hear me out. I'm going to ask you to sacrifice, to do things that are difficult and unpopular, to do things that won't make your life easier in the short run, but it's ultimately going to take us to a better place. Here's the plan ..." Now that's a leader! And if you have any sense, that's who you'll vote for.

If we're lucky, a true leader will emerge among the candidates. It's not real likely, because it's difficult for a real leader to get elected when all the other candidates are giving false promises of easy solutions and more free goodies for everyone. There are no simple or easy solutions. And there's no such thing as a free lunch (or health care). In fact, the only way we're going to get a real leader is if we force one to emerge!

We need to stop listening to and contributing to candidates who just make more empty promises and vague references to a "new direction" and a better world. We need to tell those people to shut up and go home! The best thing we could do is boycott their public appearances until they start saying something of substance. Empty auditoriums would send a powerful message to our candidates that it's time for them to show some real leadership.

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