Sunday, January 16, 2011

Please Show Me the Leaders

This piece was written in the spring of 2008, prior to the Presidential Elections. Remember the hour? Angst at what the Republican party (for one) was not doing. It is now that I post this piece yet I think it's interesting a reflection from over 2 years ago. Perhaps some progress? Perhaps still the same landscape in many ways? But at least it is a picture for you inside the heart and mind of a young Millennial who cares about the direction of her country. 

I am a part of the generation today that was not meant to be born. The leaders at that time believed – and still to today – that personal comforts and agendas reigned higher than the chance of a young baby to live. Or so it feels like at times.

I’m 27. I’ve been raised in a family that took the side of the Republican values, and I too have made that decision for myself. We associate with this party, not because we are die-hard generational Republicans but because they represent the majority of our values. Sure, they miss the mark on many things but there is always room for improvement in any entity. (Perhaps this should be the biggest truth worth clarifying to concerned, yet inactive citizens, no one, nothing, no where is perfect.)

I have worked in politics officially for 5 years now. I am still in the “young” category, but I am also in the “passionate and zealous” category. Even after all these years of exposure to the jaded 'inside' of politics, I have not lost my urgent drive for the values that I care about. I am hopeful that I have not yet been corrupted by power and statute and that I have not lost sight to what is important.

Many of my generation are crying out for good leaders. We, and those that follow, want leaders of good character, principle, morals and integrity that stand boldly in the political world. I think I am safe to say, that I speak for my generation that we are fed up with the conservative “world” lagging behind in creativity and strategy.

Where are the leaders that take charge and run hard for conservative values. Where are those leaders that have tenacity, grit their teeth and say “No matter what the cost I will fight for the preservation of traditional family values – of life, traditional marriage, conservative spending, limited government, quality education (among many other things)”.

Where are the leaders in the conservative arena that say “We will serve alongside those with the Democratic party to enhance their programs and strengths for the American people (i.e. taking care of the poor and helping enable entrepreneurship, individual aspiration and success in those less fortunate.)

My challenge to those in leadership:

Be someone that I – those in my generation and those to follow - want to replicate. Be mighty men and women like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and William Wilberforce, who lead the initiative to legislate new ideas. Who – and this may be dramatic – are willing to put their life and values on the line to fight for issues of conviction, even if it costs them their seat in the next election.

Confront the radical media and enforce that they start to accurately and objectively tell the story and accomplishments of those that represent the conservative side as well as the liberal!

Be brave. Be men and women of conviction and passion. Stop wavering. Stop pandering and playing party politics. Make our country better and stronger. Give the American people hope. Help us feel like our Judeo Christian foundation is not eroding. Encourage involvement. Make it appealing to get involve in the party again.

I recognize the voices: “I’m a leader in my own circles” or “it’s so discouraging the idea of what can one person do” or “How can I make a difference?”

Obviously because you are in elected offices you jumped into the race for your office, because you thought you could make a difference and make your community better. So start the buzz. Introduce new ideas. Challenge your fellow politicians and community leaders to think outside the box. Stop thinking within the framework that we have gotten stuck in for the past years.

You, my friends, regardless of party or ideas, are my generation's leaders. We are watching your example. And many of us, by what we see in you – are not excited, or convinced, to save America, to fight for it, to live for it, to die for it.

I thank you from my heart for your service to our country. But with all my heart, I implore you – be leaders. Not followers. Be a generation of leaders that will be remembered. Don’t take God out of the equation. And give us a will to live to fight another day for the ideas that would make our founding fathers proud. And inspire us to join you in moving our country to a higher level of great.

Amy Hawkins