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Lead By Example

 

A great American First Lady once said: “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” That woman was Eleanor Roosevelt. She stood by her husband during one of our nations most trying times. Yet, she was able to speak to the masses about the power of dreams. The dreams we all share, but are too afraid to act on in times of trouble. Her inspiring words served to compliment her husband’s First Inaugural Address he made in 1933, at a time the depression had reached its depth.

Allow me to share the first paragraph of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address with you: “I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

It took courage on the part of our then President Roosevelt to speak truthfully to a nation in the throws of the Great Depression. For he knew that if he had been anything but honest the people would not trust him. He knew it was a time Americans needed to have faith in their leaders. The hurting, huddled masses needed to be inspired by words of hope and understanding, said by someone with the steadfast conviction to meet the challenges that threatened our nation.

Well, America is once again a nation in turmoil, in the midst of a Great Recession and fearful of an enemy that has announced to the world that we are the Great Satan … and must be destroyed. Once more we must rise to the challenge. However, in order for America to once again  be victorious, so we can again entertain great dreams, we must have great leadership. Leaders who are unwavering in their commitment to protect our beliefs and liberties, honest and courageous leaders who are ready to do whatever it takes to allow us to rise from the depths of despair and terror. However, we are now a nation groping for direction, while our lame leaders flounder like a boatload of failed fishermen struggling to put a good face on our national sense of failure.

In closing, may I again quote the late Franklin D. Roosevelt: “We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it. In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every on of us. May He guide me in the days to come.”

Alas, it is with a heavy heart that I beseech our leaders to take vigorous action to prevent another 9/11 type calamity. We need to show our enemies that the United States will  face any threat with abundant force, without hesitation. This is a time for honesty, not politics as usual. We don’t need politicians who pander to the voters in order to get reelected, or make decisions based on political polls. We need bold leaders, men and women of courage to stand up for what they believe.

I hope the time comes again when we, the people, can dare to believe in the beauty of our dreams. We are a country with a great heritage and a can-do spirit. We are leaders, not followers. Just as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt traveled around the world among the troops during the Second World War, since it was too hard for Franklin Roosevelt to travel because of his disability, we must go the extra mile to do whatever it takes to defeat our adversaries. This is an exceptional nation with a singular purpose to lead by example. Let’s set a worthy example for the world to follow…

 

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