What is the matter with you people?
Right now, in this 2nd decade of the Twenty-first Century, Americans are in desperate need of a new kind of leadership. People know, intuitively, that the leadership of the last half century, whether democrat or republican, conservative or liberal is not working. What they do not yet grasp is that the outdated policies of yore are the cause of the problems we face today, not the solution.
The appeal of Donald Trump is an expression of the frustration of the American people and their thirst for a new vision. We can only hope they wake up and recognize that Donald Trump provides only an illusion of new leadership before he actually gets elected to anything.
What we so desperately need is a leader who can articulate a new vision of the future that unites Americans behind a common cause, not leadership that divides us even more than we are already disunited. We need someone who embraces policies of inclusion not exclusion of people who look, think, or worship differently than we do. We need leaders who recognize that our diversity is our greatest strength, not our biggest weakness.
The issue with the county clerk in Kentucky provides a perfect example. While she has an absolute right to her beliefs, she does not have the right to foist those beliefs on others. When one takes the oath of public office, one pledges to abide by the constitution and by the laws of our state and nation, irrespective of one’s faith. If we cannot then we need to exit public life and this principle applies as much to presidents, legislators, judges and governors as it does to county clerks.
The truth is that we cannot turn back the calendar to a simpler time. We must live in today’s world with our eyes on tomorrow.
The world population is exploding and is projected to reach between 10 and 16 billion by the end of this century. Combined with the diversity of the world community; the complexity of its marketplace; the fragility of the ecosystem; and, the speed with which everything is changing we can be certain that the policies of the past will be as ineffectual as first generation antibiotics are in treating the exotic bacterial and viral diseases sweeping the planet.
In the face of the challenges of dealing with international relations, terrorism, hunger and poverty, crumbling infrastructure, civil liberties, immigration, public education, healthcare, overburdened justice system, crime, drugs, violence, the environment, our dependency on fossil fuels, racial and religious discrimination, and the need for unprecedented leaps in technological development people who believe we can solve our problems through cuts in spending are childlike in their naivety.
If we are going to survive the balance of this century as a free and democratic society then we need the absolute best from every single man, woman, and child. We must make enormous investments to bring everyone on board as full and equal partners in the American enterprise and we must forge agreements and partnerships, even if imperfect, with the people from every nation across the globe.
The last thing we need is the kind of encapsulated thinking and uninspired leadership that has been paraded across our television screens in recent debates or that has emanated from our nation’s capitol.
Who knows what the next 80 years will bring but if we cannot elevate our game that future will not be pretty. Most of us will not be here to see what life will be like in the year 2100 but our grandchildren will and they deserve better. Will someone please step up?