Monday, August 21, 2006

Looking for a Leader

I spent this past weekend in the Boston area. While there I had the opportunity to visit the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. As I watched films, saw pictures and read his words on many issues of the day, three things struck me. One was how much things he said then still apply today on threats, how to deal with friends and foes and how to work with political rivals, among many other things. The second thing I noticed was how many monumental things his administration accomplished or put in motion in 3 short years, half the time Bush has had.

The final and most significant thing was how when he spoke, the pure confidence, passion and trust he inspired is unlike anything we have seen since. He exuded wisdom, strength, humor and honesty in his words and demeanor.

I thought a lot about this on my trip home. I know he was one of a kind, but where are the leaders like that today. What was it that made him so different when he spoke? But then I realized there were so many throughout history. Most of us have heard speeches by men like Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and yes Robert F. Kennedy.

When was the last time a candidate for President or any office for that matter, inspired us, motivated us, brought out the passion and pride within us. Do these people still exist? Where are the People who lead us to action, purpose and right? People that want to lead us to achieve national and world goals. People who want to accomplish something not just look good or win elections or increase their wealth.

I must believe they exist. I do believe they exist. For the good of our nation and our world we as citizens must find them. We cannot depend on the Party bosses, or the corporate donors to choose whom our candidates will be. We must find them, we must encourage them, and we must get the word out about them.

I watched the Bush’s press conference today and I see how we as a nation have settled for less then we deserve in leadership. We have allowed our politics to be all about the “game” that wins red or blue. It’s not about the game. It’s about our future. It’s about what we can and should accomplish as the great nation we are. It is about being the shining example to the world once again.

What is different between the speeches of John F. Kennedy and what we hear today, it is summed up by the words of Lord Rosebury when he said “It is not merely the thing that is said but the man who says it that counts, the character that breathes through the sentences.”1

Soon we will be looking toward 2008. As the words of Neil Young’s song say. We are “Looking for a Leader.” We must look hard, far and wide, and most of all, we must not settle for less then we the citizens of this country deserve.

1. Let the Word Go Forth, Theodore C. Sorensen, page 6


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