When there is national insecurity, it creates a toxic condition that polarizes a nation. What voters expect from leadership in a time of trouble.
When large portions of a nation are insecure about their money, in danger of being without the means to pay the mortgage, the rent, the utility bill, or groceries for the table, it creates a level of fear that becomes untenable.
When sizable portions of a nation are uncertain about their safety, their health, at risk of catching a deadly disease if they return to work, it creates a heightened level of anxiety that makes fear a constant companion.
Combine the two, and you have a condition that quickly becomes toxic, a nation polarized between those obsessed with risks to their health, and those consumed with concerns about their livelihood.
The solutions are not hard. Produce those long-promised kits needed to test anybody and everybody, so that people don’t live in fear of returning to work or going to the store. Get those long-promised checks to people still waiting for financial help.
Failure to do so breeds anger, unrest, protests, defiance. It germinates a dangerous level of contempt for government institutions.
Bridging the period when solutions are known and the day a remedy arrives requires an extraordinary level of leadership for anyone holding elective office:
- To be a voice of calm in a sea of chaos.
- To be candid and truthful when truth is hard.
- To absorb the blows of critics without responding in kind.
- To lead when leadership is hard.
That is the truest test of leadership. When the eyes of the public are upon you, it is not a test one can afford to fail.
Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
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