When there is national insecurity, it creates a toxic condition that polarizes a nation. What voters expect from leadership in a time of trouble.

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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.Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated. Within hours, civil unrest had spread to every major city in the country. Burning. Looting. Rioting. Violence everywhere. Protesters assaulting police. Police beating protesters.

Senator Robert Kennedy happened to be in the City of Indianapolis that evening. He was asked by the Mayor to remain in his hotel room, telling Kennedy that the police could not guarantee his safety. Kennedy instead instructed his aides to take him to what was then the ghetto of Indianapolis. He mounted the back of a flatbed truck, and gave the speech you are about to hear.

Because of that speech, there was no violence in Indianapolis that night, the only major city in America where there was none.

To watch it is to see the raw power of words, a speech that forever altered the course of a city, and a shining example of leadership in a troubled time. May it inspire you to help heal a nation in pain.

For serious candidates, future candidates, and those who want to help good people win an election, here is a video for you: 5 Strategic Steps to Victory in a political campaign. THE 5 steps all candidates must take on their route to power.

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.

How to win an election:

Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

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