Friday, February 10, 2017

Political Leadership

The cliché stating that politics and religion are not considered polite conversations topics is rooted in the fact that such topics often result in fights. Going a bit further into the reasons why discussions end up in fights is due to the mental inflexibility of the involved. Simply put, the conversations quickly end up in absolute statements or what is known in negotiation speak as ultimate hammers or more commonly my way or the highway type of language. If we are to progress in society each of us has to expand our tactics of discussions. This is the political leadership we need. For those that can remember chat rooms, message boards, and now facebook posts, the type of language being referenced is clearly exhibited in those formats. These formats are then defended with freedoms of expression laws and human rights law. What is often missed is the fact that laws are the lowest bar of common decency not the highest level of expectation. If you have to use a law to defend your actions you have already crept towards the minimum of expectations. As many political parties around the world are looking for new leadership there is and will continue to be a tremendous amount of rhetoric. This is where the communication tool called the internet is used to perfection. We have all seen the videos of a ranting Hitler, the interview of Mexican laughing, the baby making a fist and many others. Each will have captions and words dubbed in. These are wdiley used and can be transferred to point a finger at anyone. What is most disturbing about such tactics is that it is a well documented indication of racism. Next we often will hear such statements as “This is the only person who has the intelligence to lead” or “This is the only person who can understand the complexities of international trade” or “this is the only person who whatever”, fill in the blanks. Such statements are completely ignorant of fact. The truth is that every society is filled with people who have the intelligence and capacity to accomplish any task needed. Furthermore, no leader is greater than the people/staff/citizenry they are surrounded by. Building society truly rests upon each of us – the individual. Over the last thousand years we have come to understand that the best way to have peace is to be peaceful. The best economies are those that have the most peaceful societies. The best trading partners are those that seek to improve every aspect of life. The best people to deal with are those that seek to understand first and then find a common path forward. In short the best leaders are those that have a calm resolve to peacefully work with whoever they may find themselves amongst. As we hear leaders debate there are tell tale words and phrases which must be noted as characteristics of poor leadership which have been noted above. Of course there are a great deal more. Ultimately there is no replacing the leadership that each of us is responsible for when engaging with others.

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