"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010

Monday, August 1, 2011

Leadership Series: Standing Alone

Going along to get along. It starts very early in life; in childhood. Children are formed; disciplined and directed. Each society engages in childhood formation. Some in ways and directions different than others but all with a singular purpose. To form the child in the way of the society. In the way that produces a societal participation of acceptance and contribution.

In our country, the early adult years or the late childhood years are usually a time of major desire for acceptance and inclusion. Oh to be one of the pack; to be highly regarded; to be included; to be asked to join; to be called; to be texted; to be popular. Great pressure; from peers; from parents; from politicians; from psychiatrists; from priests, patrons and potentates. But we do, occasionally, hear the valedictorian or the commencement speaker say something about individuality. Know thyself. Follow your dreams.

Sometime, after a while, for some sooner; some later; for some never; a period of questioning begins. Sometimes it is triggered by a revelation. Intellectuals call it an epiphany. Sometimes it is in the person’s nature, their being, but it was covered up by the directions of their childhood. And then the nature begins to exert itself. The old childhood directions are neither dominant nor persuasive any longer. The exterior molts. A new person emerges.

Many just ignore it. Many are not concerned. Many like their positions that grew from their early acceptance. Many worked hard to lead and compromise and put up with nonsense because they were paying their dues and they were going to get to the controls; the acceptance; the head of the pack; the payoff. For many the payoff is more than worth the price.

But there are a few who stop paying the price. And start questioning the process. Those who see and have been involved in something that is not right. Others may see it too but they do not question. They do not speak out. They do not stand alone to say stop; no more; enough. Those who choose to stand alone can find themselves moved out. Pushed aside. The mainstream does not treat them well if they cease to go along. If they question authority. If they question the purpose of authority. If they question funding authority. After all, authority depends on discipline which requires obeisance which get us back to the childhood process of direction and guidance.

Who are these who step outside? Who are they who question and depart? Who are the ones who dare to listen and form positions different from the popular and the group? Are they the heroes of today? Politicians and entertainers and media personalities? Are these the ones who lead? The politically correct? Who question? These who follow the road less traveled. Step to the beat of the different drum.

No, they are not. Those who stand alone are usually unheralded. Dismissed. Shunned. Blasphemed.

Here are twenty two that stood up and said no. Enough with deficits. Enough with borrowing. Enough with debt. If you even know of one; if you even live in a state from whence comes one; if you are fortunate to be able to support one or vote for one or just say thanks to one; you now, at least, know who they are. By the way, you had better do it soon. They will probably not be in their jobs very long. The in group has very little patience with those who stand up to it:

Justin Amash (Mich.)    Jason Chaffetz (Utah)    Tim Huelskamp (Kans.)

Steve King (Iowa)    Tom McClintock (Calif.)    Mick Mulvaney (S.C.)

Tim Johnson (Ill.)    Scott Desjarlais (Tenn.)    Tom Graves (Ga.)

Chip Cravaack (Minn.)    Ron Paul (Texas)    Joe Wilson (S.C.)

Connie Mack (Fla.)    Tim Scott (S.C.)    Paul Broun (Ga.)

Tom Latham (Iowa)    Jim Jordan (Ohio)    Jeff Duncan (S.C.)

Trey Gowdy (S.C.)    Steve Southerland (Fla.)    Joe Walsh (Ill.)

Michele Bachmann (Minn.)

There are 435 congress people who could have said no.  22 did.  None of the "leaders" said no.  Boehner went along with the gang; the in group.  Leaders stand alone. Do they always succeed? Of course not. They fail. Fail frequently. But these twenty two took a position in the arena and they stood for their belief in the face of overwhelming odds against them. They chose to not go along with a fake deal to pretend that something was being done about a very real problem of too much government and way too little private enterprise. Believe it or not, two and one half years ago, the issues behind the stand they took and the positions that they now support were not even being mentioned by the current president except in vague, political campaign code words. Today, Americans are beginning to embrace the knowledge that too much government is destructive; that debt is destructive and that there are businesses operating in very competitive environments in foreign countries that are taking away our wealth creating activities; our economic growth and our good jobs. These twenty two grasp this reality. They took a stand.

Where do you stand?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes as a leader you have to stand alone before others will join you and your cause.