2013 | Week of December 30 – #1026
For years the Marines told us they were looking for a few good men. Someone else has said, “Everything rises or falls on leadership.” Thinking about the next few months as we close out this current state legislative session, we might combine and paraphrase those two statements into, “We’re looking for a few good legislators because we know that our state will rise or fall on good leadership.”
Leadership is not necessarily an elected position. Because the Republican majority in the state Assembly elected Robin Vos as Speaker for this legislative session, and because the Republican majority in the state Senate elected Scott Fitzgerald as the majority leader for that house for this session, does not necessarily mean that either of these is a good leader. Leadership requires courage; it requires an ability to convince people to do the right thing at the right time. It means leaders must know what is right. It’s also the ability to motivate people to do what is best and right in any given situation.
True leaders in our state legislature will tackle the tough problems–the issues that will make or break our state because they strike at the heart of who we are as a people. These leaders won’t sit quietly by and wait to see how the political winds are blowing. Real leaders will create the winds. They’ll stand up for what is right and seek to convince others to join them. The real leaders in the legislature won’t just quietly do the right thing. They’ll speak out in their caucuses, on the assembly or senate floor and in the media for the causes they believe in.
Real leaders won’t shy away from the so-called social issues of our day. Rather, they’ll be the ones who recognize that when all is said and done, Wisconsin really is only as strong as her traditional married mom and dad families. Yes, the economy of our state is a major concern. However, while job-related and economic matters certainly must be addressed, real legislative leaders will not allow budgets, tax and regulation reform to so completely dominate that issues dealing with marriage, family, life and religious liberty are kicked to the curb.
Some would like us to believe that the state Republican majority in the senate and the assembly will destroy themselves in the next election if they insist on voting on proposals dealing with contentious issues such as life, common core state standards, or even the Choose Life Wisconsin license plate. I think that is completely wrong. Real leaders smartly take on such matters with wisdom and discretion to be sure, but also with purpose, principle and conviction because they know these are important matters.
Real leaders provide vision, direction, purpose and conviction. They have a strong sense of right and wrong. They aren’t swayed by opinion polls; they know who their true friends are and who they should be listening to. They are not bought; they are not intimidated by those who do not share their values.
Wisconsin Family Council believes the kind of leadership we need in Madison right now is the kind that will be working to persuade, convince and lead in a direction that will protect and preserve marriage, family, life and liberty in the Badger State.
Dealing with some of these issues that we mentioned earlier will not necessarily make a politician popular among his or her peers, or necessarily perhaps even among some of his or her constituents. Nevertheless, it’s the right thing to do, and if we are going to continue to regain ground on these foundational issues, then we must have true leaders step up in the state Assembly and state Senate.
It’s time we ask ourselves if those elected to leadership have shown themselves to be truly pro-family, pro-life and pro-liberty, or have they evidenced a political pragmatism that drives most of their so-called “leadership” efforts, being more concerned about the next election than the next generation?
While they have been elected to leadership positions in the state legislature, this does not necessarily mean they are the leaders we need, nor does it preclude others—be they freshmen or veterans—from stepping up and providing direction on the truly important matters should the elected leadership refuse to shoulder this responsibility. As citizens, especially over the next couple of months, we need to hold the legislators accountable, and we need to seek out and encourage those “few good legislators” who understand that states really do rise or fall on true leadership.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”