Old-fashioned leadership! It must be old fashioned, because we don’t seem to have much of it anymore. When I say this, I’m referring to the type of leadership that pushes aside ego and ambition to embrace country first and genuine patriotism (the kind we had when this nation come together to buy savings bonds and knit blankets for the soldiers during World War II).
I’m not writing to endorse or promote the Democratic Party or the Republican Party or the tea party or the Libertarian Party, but to challenge my fellow Americans to seek the type of leadership that can unite a country, the type of leadership that we deserve as a nation ... not just in these troubling economic times, but always.
Times continue to change! Maybe the time is at had when we should question our tried-and-true method of selecting our leadership. I am referring to our senators, representatives, federal judges and the Supreme Court.
As you know, the leadership authority is vested in the president, both Houses of Congress and the Supreme Court. The president is limited to two terms in office.
Maybe — just maybe — “what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander” and our other elected officials should abide by the same rule.
Our leadership in Congress is being stifled for a number of reasons, and having no term limits ranks first. Without term limits, concern for re-election and keeping their party in power become foremost in their minds, all the while losing concern for their country and constituents back home.
This alone should be enough to question the system that is now employed, but we also must keep in mind that our elected leaders of long tenure are being enabled to accumulate millions of dollars in their “war chests,” thereby discouraging “new blood” challengers. Many times, the new kid on the block doesn’t have a chance of competing against these odds.
Rivaling the first-place reason is the fact that there are no age limits. Some are so old they don’t know their backsides from third base; they don’t have the forethought to step down for the good of the country. The love of power that goes with the office takes precedent over good common sense.
Although the Supreme Court is not elected, they also should abide by term limits and certainly age limits. The lawmakers of our country should not have the privilege of being propped up in order to sit on the bench. Many of us who are enjoying advanced age know that experience can be an advantage, but that most decision making that impacts the multitude is best left to the young, not the young at heart.
We need better representation in this high court of the land.
Maybe now is the time to address another big issue as well. Being “servants of the people,” our elected officials should enjoy all the benefits of the people ... like Social Security and health care. Their lucrative benefits for life are adding to the deficit and taxing the efficiency of our government.
Career politicians should be a thing of the past. These very things, also, are reminiscent of how unions over the years have pushed their agenda and played a large role in the destruction of our economy.
Unions, for the most part, have served their purpose and are now destroying the very people they set out to help, all the while destroying municipalities and corporations and causing the collapse of the jobs they set out to protect.
Our country is in peril and our basic freedoms are at stake. Let’s don’t allow selfishness in government to destroy us.
Keith Henderson, 81, has been a resident of Albany since 1953. He is retired after 20 years as a business broker and 25 years as a hotel executive.