Fundamental differences in leadership

Fundamental differences in leadership

Spring has arrived in an odd non-election year which means the major political parties in this, the most conservative stretch of Old Route 66, are preparing for County Convention in each of the Sooner State’s 77 counties. Being a civic minded soul and an officer in my local precinct, I have begun to think deeply about what I and my chosen political party truly stand for. As important as what it is we stand for is what it is we DON’T stand for.

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It seems to never fail when I am engaged in any sort of political discourse either in an online politics forum or in small talk with the local townsfolk while out and about, I hear someone use the cop-out phrase “There is no difference between Republicans or Democrats. Both political parties are just alike.” Often, regardless of whatever political stripe if any the asserter may be, they pile on the elected class with multiple charges of crookedness, ineptitude or criminal greed and incompetence. This usually brings us to an agreement on one major point; governing is a results based endeavor.

National party leadership is a perfect way to illustrate my point. Because so many high profile celebrities happen also to be Democrats they tend to stand out a little more.  Sure, the Jane Fondas, the Barbra Streisands, the Alec Baldwins as members of the Democratic Party may embrace some perceived extreme positions on some issues.  None of those Democrats happen to be elected to Congress or any position within the Democratic Party or hold any elected office for that matter.  In fact I can name no elected Democrat who promotes extreme positions or exhorts their staff read cult literature.  If someone can then speak up.  Senator Al Franken (D-MN) comes to mind as a successfully elected Democratic celebrity. Franken, a Saturday Night Live and 40 year show business veteran, can hardly be described as extreme. He cruised to reelection with relative ease in 2014, hardly a banner year for his party. If you look at the names of the Congressional Democratic leadership, other than their political careers they are otherwise mostly unknown individuals. I know of none who are actively pushing extreme measures like the repeal of the 2nd Amendment or banning of the practice of Christianity in churches or waging a war on Christmas or Easter contrary to what I have heard on so many infotainment broadcasts.

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 On the other side of the aisle it is a different story. Chairman of the House Budget Committee and 2012 candidate for Vice President is Paul Ryan (R-WI). This is the guy who gave all his staff members a copy of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged as required reading.  Reading assignments of something so obtuse is not something seen on Capitol Hill as a matter of routine. For all rhetoric and bravado surrounding it, I have yet to hear of any sitting Democrat giving copies of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to their staffers.

The only declared candidate for President in 2016 thus far is the junior senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. This is the man who was behind the US government shutdown of 2013 and who filibustered a bill to fund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by reading Dr. Suess’ Green Eggs and Ham.  Senator Cruz has a track record for making over the top claims.  It is almost as if what comes out his mouth passes through an ideology filter.  In doing so he seems to cater to the extremist factions of the GOP base first.  Is it even conceivable that he could fairly represent the GOP let alone the entire nation?

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That brings us to the current Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Oklahoma’s own James Mountain Inhofe. This is the man who authored the book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future. He has also been known to refer to the Environmental Protection Agency as “Gestapo” bureaucracy. There is no Democrat that I know of who refutes the opinion of 97% of climate scientists. 

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I am sure there are some who will read the above paragraphs and not be swayed by my assertion that these three members of Congress are extreme. Such is what the norm has become but this is a mere example of my aforementioned fundamental difference between the two major parties.  These three members of Congress represent the leadership of the GOP.  Perhaps Ted Cruz is not officially a GOP leader in the appointed sense but I do not hear a lot of senior members of his party calling him out on his extreme rhetoric, but that is politics.  The other two are leaders of the majority party.  True, the Democratic Party attracts its fair share of extremists and whack jobs.  The difference is the Democrats do not let their crazies run the show!  With that sentiment in mind please remember that we get the government we elect.  This is a message that must be circulated far and wide before Election Day 2016.

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1 Comment

  1. Carl Alexander
    Apr 11, 2015

    The only fundamental >similarity< in leadership these guys have is that they are all demagogues… not to mention political opportunists!