Today I received an interesting phone call from my wife. During it, she told me that one of her friends voted for Pres.-Elect Obama, although professing Christ.
During the run-up to the election, many of us were baffled on how this could be the case. Surely anyone that was pro-life could not vote for someone that was ok with infants that were born alive being killed—and that was just the beginning of our problems with the Senator from Illinois.
It’s not easy to be a leader. To some extent, I’m not sure it’s something you can train someone to be. It comes from the inside, and though discipline can sometimes mimic leadership, a true leader is someone who brings people along with him/her, not someone that has to call rank or try to entice the followers to come along.
This is why there was conventional wisdom during the summer that Sen. McCain was in trouble in the polls because the conversation was all about Sen. Obama. When you’re simply running on “don’t vote for that guy” you aren’t presenting a case why to vote for you.
In any relationship it’s the same way. When you’re a leader, people follow you—they seek your advice, they look to you for vision, and they want your judgment. When you simply have the position, they overrun you, they are not inspired by you, and the leave.
For quite a while I’ve decried the current voting system. The idea that we can have a person for elected office chosen by a group of people that can choose any quality they want as a basis for a vote is prone to have dire results on a nation. When I can choose a candidate because of how I feel about him/her, or what color their skin is or their party affiliation, we erode the system that was designed for people of character to choose someone of character to lead them.
Freedom is something that has to be protected. It’s something that is fought for, and it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’ll always have it. Like most things, freedom can be traded for profit, and some on the lower end of the spectrum are doing just that.
I’ve spoken before about changing the election system. Using computers to make someone go through the issues, eliminating the party affiliations from the ballots, etc. as a way to combat an uninformed electorate from voting based on the color of tie the person wore during the first debate, but it wasn’t until today that I thought more about Leadership and Pres. Reagan.
It’s Not About What You Believe
Unfortunately. I say this because it should be. It should be about policy. It should be about character. Unfortunately it’s about popularity and leadership. If you have a person who is a leader, people will follow. If you have a leader, you don’t have to worry about pleasing every part of your big tent—the tent will follow.
The leader (especially the popular leader) will inspire, will direct, and will attract. And that was one of the big differences in this election. Pres.-Elect Obama inspired, even though people disagreed with his policies. Pres. Reagan inspired. It was more than conservatism. It was more than popularity. It was leadership.
A Leader Stays True to Convictions and Takes Responsibility
You can believe what a leader says, because they will weather the storm and take responsibility. This is something that Pres. Bush does well. Even though the Iraq War tanked his popularity, he stayed firm. He was a leader. This helps explain him winning in 2004—Sen. Kerry wasn’t a leader, Pres. Bush was. You could trust what he said.
In any case, I believe that more than getting the right policies and the right convictions, in order for the right to gain momentum and reclaim the Presidency in four years, they need to find someone who is a natural leader. They need someone that people want to follow, that can be bigger than the small issues, and focuses on a vision.
The next leader has to know where he wants America to go, not just what policies he wants to enact or what things he wants to change. A leader that can call us to be something bigger than we are and can show us the way will triumph every time.