America was founded as a “Republic”, as Jefferson said in the founding document, “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. The founding document further tells us that we all have the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; however, for far too many, these words are still elusive.
Life is a semipermeable membrane with a one way flow. Few get through the screen; it closes for too many.
Many shackles remain; prejudice, waste, greed, corruption, profligacy, sloth, and indifference. To take up the true mantle of leadership is to work to remove the shackles that continue to hold us back as a nation. Leadership is more than being elected to office, or being called “the honorable” this, that, or the other.
It’s one thing to rhapsodize in memory of the contributions of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, or Martin Luther King, Jr., but, as I noted in Son of Virginia, simply venerating these leaders does nothing to re-dig the wells that they have dug. It’s quite another thing to demand what is right and criticize what’s wrong and that is sorely needed.
The issues have NEVER changed.
I entered public office because I wanted to be a voice for all of the people, not for any benefit that I might accrue. I spent much of my time engaging with the people, talking to and learning from the public at all levels. I’ve always known the people were much smarter than elected officials.
If our elected leaders are not effective, listening and working for us in ways that can be measured, then they should be held accountable, elections are one way of doing this of course, but as someone on my Facebook post pointed out, so are term limits. I appreciate the dialogue and demonstration of support.
Leadership is also more than offering “thoughts and prayers”, and ritualistic singing with solemn vows of “reconciliation”.
When a group of faith leaders, along with the mayor, were gathered in a church directing the people to support an ill-fated plan to build a $1.5 billion dollar coliseum, in response to a legitimate questioner relative to the immediate and neglected issues of education, health care, housing, etc., they were told “that ship has sailed”.
That confounding view was joined in by ALL of the “leaders”; those who reaped benefit from paid study, consulting, special contracts, or were placed on “boards”, or leadership positions in exchange for their blind support.
Many commented on my recent post, “Enough Is Enough” relative to Virginia voting to appoint a commission to a two year “study of slavery” so its members might one day understand the effects of slavery, reinforcing my calls for transparency and accountability.
The people are sick and tired of their tax dollars being wasted, and their legitimate concerns being ignored. That is a feeling relative to both parties and all groups.
I am tired, unto distraction, of hearing our “leaders” address this immutable lingering cancer on our society by simplistic sloganeering.
Frequently, and at all levels, we hear, “Well, we can have a conversation on this…”
You mean you haven’t even TALKED about it?
“At the end of the day…”
Well, when will that day manifest?
“We see light at the end of the tunnel…”.
What tunnel are they in, and what does light mean?
This pandemic shows we’re all in this together, but disproportionately so, yet who speaks for those who feel they’ve never had a voice nor been heard?