Leaders command respect

I am a 52-year-old Republican who, as of this fall, will have voted in nine presidential elections. My chosen candidate has not always become president, but during my lifetime the elected leadership has governed our great nation with respect and dignity.

 

This was true until 2008. In the past three-plus years I have been frustrated with the lack of leadership from our elected officials. We are not a nation of “us” and “them.” We are the United States of America. Instead of building consensus around clearly communicated and developed plans for reforming health care and immigration, the federal government ends up in lawsuits trying to defend its actions. International relations seem to be in a state of flux. Media bias and fiscal neglect begins to numb the nation into no longer believing our problems can be solved. This is not the case!

We have some of the greatest minds in the world and we can formulate solutions to our fiscal issues that, when clearly defined and communicated to the public in a dignified manner, will be supported. The American people will embrace this change if they believe in their leaders and their ability to execute the plan.

One common trait among successful leaders is that they must be respected. This respect must be earned. Our government leaders need to command this respect both from their constituents and the international community. We cannot mistake popularity with respect. They are not the same thing. Talk show appearances and photo ops with celebrities do not build the respect of a nation. Drawing lines in the sand that cannot be crossed is a good ploy in kindergarten, but not a productive tactic in governing the greatest nation in the world.

We are facing a difficult choice in November. We will steer the course of this nation over the next four or eight years. Make sure your vote supports those candidates who truly command your respect and can make a positive difference in the future of our great nation!

Tom Thirkell

North Augusta, S.C.

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