Our democracy will soon face a test tougher than the civil war, tougher than the great depression. The language of leadership…what it is, what it isn’t…and why our democracy is at stake.
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Today I paraphrase something Ronald Reagan once said—that this great democracy we call America, the longest living democracy on earth, is never more than one generation away from extinction.
I raise the issue because the preservation of our democracy depends on the cooperation of the governed, and the leadership skills of those who govern. Ours will soon face a test tougher than the civil war, tougher than the great depression.
The Wall Street Journal says that by the end of April we will have lost 10 million jobs; that unemployment will hit double digits. The fed predicts the unemployment rate will ultimately reach 32%, higher than it was in the great depression. It will take a long time to recover from the self-induced economic coma necessitated by the pandemic.
It is going to severely strain the capacity of all levels of government. There will be people with unmet needs. Not every decision made will be fair. Not everyone is going to be happy with what they get, or the way they are treated.
We risk becoming even more polarized as those without rebel against those who have.
Office holders and those who are running for office will be tempted to incite, to germinate discord, to further polarize, if they believe such is a route to power. You’ll see it in their tone, the rawness of their rhetoric, and scapegoats they blame for every imaginable ill or inconvenience.
Those who do that are putting our democracy at risk. History will not remember them well.
It will honor those who summon the better angles of our spirit, who seek to heal in times of pain, offer hope to those in despair, and solutions that contribute to the preservation of this great and grand experiment called America.
If you are a voter this year, I hope you will reward those who offer the language of leadership. If you are running for office this year, you may have noticed it is now in great demand.
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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