There have been leaders among us who have shown how to lead effectively without using rancor and hate speech to demean and vilify their opponents. (i.e. Gandhi, Christ, Lincoln, Martin Luther King, etc.) Booker T. Washington said, “I will not allow another man to damage my soul by making me hate him.”
Benjamin Franklin observed, “Passion governs, but she never governs wisely.” Our current body politic is so caustic, dysfunctional, inflammatory and mean-spirited that presidents get so angry and frustrated at the gridlock and divisiveness in Congress that they say, “If Congress fails to act, I will.” (Obama)
Niebuhr, a Christian ethics teacher, warned of the fallibility of humans and groups to equate their views with truth, or worse, to God’s truth. It often becomes “my view or the highway.” Finding common ground is the prerequisite to achieving a “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
People lose faith in their governments when their leaders aren’t fair, honorable, just and of good report. They need leaders who are role models and set the tone for our civil discourse. Someone said, “I can soon learn how you do it if you let me see it done.”
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Morris Bastian, Boise