Enlightened Quotes: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anais Nin
Franklin, NC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/20/2011 --It was Saturday morning and time to head over to Taste of Scotland. Marcia had the 10 to 12 slot at Books Unlimited and was signing her new children’s book, “When I Woke Up the World Was Yellow.”
“Have you thought of anything yet?” Marcia asked Gordon. “Working on it,” Gordon replied. We were supposed to turn our column in on Friday but couldn’t find a topic we were enthused about. Gordon, relishing an excuse to leisurely browse through the bookstore, disappeared. Thankfully the sight and smell of so many books began to kick our minds into gear.
Newt Gingrich recently came under fire in his own party by lecturing the political right and left on social engineering. His dismayed staff resigned. He had diverged from the political correctness of his party. Whatever we may think of some of Newt’s past actions, that remark took courage.
We can do little in life without courage. Courage enables us to move ahead despite criticism and fears. It enables us to take risks and move out of our comfort zone. It means acting on ideas. Without the courage to risk failure, even death; most things we hold dear would be gone.
We are in an age of ideological political machines. Political leaders that propose reform are instantly battered. The two parties have not been able to reach agreement on the debt ceiling, budget cuts or job programs. Large sums are spent in the media by both right and left, to discredit the other side. Studies show those on the far right and far left at times control nominations because they are more likely to participate. People in the center are left without a candidate or representation, even if they are the majority. Carefully reasoned compromise becomes increasingly difficult.
We are optimistic, glass half full kind of people. But, are we in an impossible situation with our leaders unwilling or unable to reach across party lines? Our problems must be dealt with by clear non-ideological thinking that finds common sense solutions.
We need leaders with courage. We need leaders who come together on job creation, the return of made in America, leaders who can agree on a debt ceiling with revenue increases as well as cuts to balance the budget. We need leaders who will address the fact that about half of U. S. households pay no federal income taxes, which places a heavy burden on the rest of us.
One lesson of history is that voters from the silent majority do not speak up until it is too late. Ecclesiastes advises us there is “a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silent and a time to speak.” We need to demand leaders who champion jobs. Job creation may be voters’ top priority but where are the political leaders with the courage to tackle the problem head on? We need leaders who can reach agreement on a debt ceiling before we default on our debt and good credit and cause an even greater economic collapse.
One of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Payne, advised: “The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason.” We need reason and courage from our political leaders.
Gordon Mercer is international president of Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society and is professor emeritus at Western Carolina University. Marcia Mercer is a writer and columnist. Our columns are read in over 36 different nations.