It is clearly election season again. We certainly have all seen our mailboxes filled with countless flyers and pamphlets. Many of us have also experienced the seemingly endless phone messages. When I read or listen to the rhetoric (read spin) of the messages, I can’t help but wonder if we are getting what we need from our political leaders.
In all times, but especially in times like these, we must have people that are willing to lead regardless of the personal cost. We don’t need people who tell us what we WANT to hear. Rather, we need leaders who tell us what we NEED to hear. A timely example may be Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France. Despite the lack of popularity of his position and the protestations of the French people, he continues to insist that France must change its retirement age from 60 to 62 because it is the right thing to do for the country and its finances.
Telling the electorate what they NEED to hear may mean not getting elected or re-elected. Leaders, however, understand that there are consequences to doing the right things. Those consequences make doing the right thing not always the easiest path to follow. An example closer to home may be the passage of the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt plan by the Scottsdale City Council many years ago. That, too, was an unpopular decision which caused the majority of the Council to lose their seats. However, time has proven those leaders right and today Scottsdale citizens enjoy the Greenbelt and its development has been a model for cities around the world.
It is often difficult to determine who the true leaders are who are running for public office. One litmus test might be to identify those who are telling you what you NEED to hear, even though it may be unpopular. Those politicians are the real leaders.
I want to know, are you getting what you need from our political leaders?