As an independent, I’ve spent the months following the election on the sidelines and in a bubble. Quite frankly, I cannot bear to watch the “news” because of the fighting between Democrats and Republicans, Republicans and Republicans, and Democrats and Democrats. I don’t need to be clued in to every word; the small snippets I get here and there are more than enough. Small, insignificant moments are blown up into distorted monstrous problems. Why? The country slides into increased fear and a paralyzing slowdown of the economy. I have to think that some of these misplaced fights are put in place for a reason.
The fighting and name-calling takes energy away from more constructive pursuits, such as fixing what is broken. Every minute spent on slinging mud takes precious time away from solving the problem.
As an independent, I don’t mind who is in charge, as long as they do the right thing. In the last six months, my opinion of our elected officials and career politicians has soured me on the system. Our leaders are no longer leading; they plunder public coffers for their own benefit. They line their pockets with frills and perks instead of evening the playing field for the people they have been entrusted to care for. They conveniently forgo paying taxes and are given a pass, when the common Joe would have had his house and child’s bank account seized by the IRS. They no longer listen to their constituents, instead relying on lobbyists to prop up their agenda. Or maybe it’s the other way around – the leaders are propping up the lobbyist agenda. Many have taken up celebrity as a cause du jour. Celebrity is fine for Hollywood types or sports players, but it has no place in true leadership.
Perhaps I have an out-of-date notion of what a leader should be and do. For one thing, leaders should possess a few basic values; a moral and ethical character, a fair amount of humility, a workable plan of action and the ability to lead by example. Good leaders are principled, but fair.
From the city offices, to the state and federal government, I see a landscape curiously devoid of true leaders. Instead of sensible and well thought out leadership, we have a motley crew of personalities vying for TV coverage. Instead of embracing strong direction and the ability to curtail bad behavior, our leaders have decided to maintain the status quo and throw nonexistent money on the conflagration. They have forgotten the principle of the common good and instead see only themselves in the equation.
All of this didn’t happen overnight; it has been brewing for some time. America happens to be in the middle of a perfect storm, one that will likely destroy her.