Leaders change history – sometimes radically. History is not a bunch of random events, unconnected to humans who live in a time, not some abstract pattern or set of sociological cycles. Some think that and consider political leaders overrated – but they are all wrong—leadership matters.
Without Mao, Stalin, and Hitler, hundreds of millions would have been spared torture and death. Without America’s Founders, or Lincoln, Churchill, and Reagan, the world would be far different.
The secret hidden within the secret is that we can all influence history – influence the future – by picking good leaders. If this country preserves self-determination, through representative democracy, remains a working republic – that is, if we can keep leaders principled and elections honest, we can shape things.
The most immediate counterexample is the stumbling Biden Administration and Democratic congressional leadership, seemingly intent on ignoring the basic principles that got us here, from risk-taking, free markets, and avoiding power concentration to fiscal discipline, deterrence, and the law.
A more persuasive example, at the state level, is what has happened in the past three months – in a state like Virginia. Just as good leadership matters and bad leadership stinks, electing a good governor – in this case, a Republican in a Democrat-leaning state – can have immediate consequences.
The incredible part, in that State, is that the people spoke. They were sick of the left dictating to them, and rejection of the left included moderate Democrats and Independents. They were all sick of it.
They did not want to be told that they were “domestic terrorists” for vocally opposing high-handed school boards or State officials pushing Marxist or racist ideas, like “Critical Race Theory.” They did not want to be told lies about the risks and facts about assaults on girls by boys “identifying” as girls, showing up in bathrooms. They did not want girls’ sports eviscerated. They did not want more mandates. They did not want at-birth abortions. They did not want political indoctrination.
So, they elected a Republican and hoped for the best. Bingo! Like Reagan being sworn in after Carter, and the American hostages coming home from Iran within the hour, shipped to avoid his wrath, things have been swiftly changing in Virginia.
Republican Governor Youngkin, within days, signed nine executive orders and two directives – returning rights to the people of his State. Among them, he signed one that “delivers on his Day One promise to restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education.”
Gone in that State is the Marxist, racist CRT political propaganda. The order is a powerful testament to democracy. It reads: “Political indoctrination has no place in our classrooms.”
Why? “Our children deserve far better from their education than to be told what to think. Instead, the foundation of our educational system should be built on teaching our students how to think for themselves.”
Accordingly, “Virginia must renew its commitment to teaching our children the value of freedom of thought and diversity of ideas,” focused on “skills in math, science, history, reading and other areas that should be non-controversial.” No more dumbing down.
He signed another “empowering parents to decide whether their children should wear face masks at school,” another opening an investigation into sexual assaults (by presumptively transgender students against multiple girls).
Yet another order lifted restrictions on businesses to spur employment, investment, and business growth. Another tackled crime, human trafficking, while yet another addressed anti-Semitism. In another push to lower energy costs, another pulled back from regional energy restrictions.
In short, the emergence of a principled political leader, who sees himself as reflecting the best of America, his State, and people of both parties who want freedom back, instantly changed things.
Political leadership does matter. Keeping government in check matters. When leadership is absent, bad things happen. Issues needing decision to linger or get wrongly decided. Money that should not be spent gets wasted. Accountability is missing. Freedoms are curtailed.
By contrast, if we resolve to push our preferences through a credible electoral system, we can get good leaders—a hat tip to Virginia voters, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, who did that with conviction.
They said, as Americans should in November, “Enough doubletalk, spending money we do not have, leftist indoctrination, the concentration of power, canceling of view, false narratives, and trashing of individual liberties and life.” They spoke, and the remarkable part is it worked.
So, when you doubt whether political involvement matters, whether you can make a difference s one voice by speaking up, or whether leadership is important – stop doubting. It matters.
Leadership always matters. We are learning anew that to get this country back on track; we must do our part – put in good leaders. Theodore Roosevelt, epic American leader, wrote a book by that title, “Fear God and Do Your Part.” He was right.
To put things right, we need to step up, speak truth to each other as well as to power, elect good leaders. This is not a shell game; it matters. Virginia proves it. November should prove it, too.
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