It is no surprise that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney once again has found himself in hot water over comments he made at a fundraiser. As discussed in previous articles (http://leadershipconnection.net/blog/romneys-inauthenticity-doom-defeat-november/) Romney’s propensity to “misstate” his positions comes less from jumbled words and more from a value system that isn’t always in sync with the majority of Americans. It appears this is yet another example.
The troubling part of the current flap is that it reveals a fundamental belief that effective governance is meant only for those who support you electorally. Karl Rove’s legacy is apparently alive and well—and one of the greatest reasons why political leadership is at an abysmal low. Being a leader isn’t about only creating policies, plans and strategies to meet the needs of some of the people, it is having the ability to transcend the divides and create solutions that meet the needs of the majority of people.
Creating real world results is a hallmark of effective leadership and those cannot be achieved if one is only interested in meeting the needs of less than half of his constituents. Further disconcerting is the notion that the “other” half are victims and merely wanting to soak off government. Not only is the representation completely inaccurate, it creates an environment where other opinions and ideas are toxic because the people expressing them have absolutely no “value” in the eyes of this hopeful leader. This will never be the foundation for success.
Which brings us to the truth of the current state of American politics. Between political consultants that dissect the electorate to carve a precarious path to electoral victory and the vitriol spewed on cable “news” that demonizes anyone with values and ideas other than their own, we have become a body politic incapable of talking with one another, let alone create solutions that actually work. And here is what no one is willing to say—that until we learn to talk with one another creating any lasting solutions to our policy challenges is impossible.
So let the mudslinging continue. Allow our candidates to say that nearly half the citizens of this country don’t deserve their leadership and then watch us continually slip into the morass of separate and intolerance.
The only hope is to begin looking for understanding and for leaders willing to stand up and say everyone in this country deserves to have a voice . . . which is what I believe our Founders said to us more than two centuries ago.