It is important I think, that we remind ourselves what these words truly mean, as we see all to often see the difference between the two, being so blurred by those in Washington and our Government in General, and by the Media which has traded in their position as "watch dogs" of the people, for something that now more commonly reminds one of the "position" more akin to that of a lap dancer. ( No disrespect meant here to the Nation's many fine and lovely Lap dancers! )
This last week in particular, we were privy to several very visible displays and examples of both of these applications from our so called "Political leaders". Examples which on one hand can cause a feeling of pride and assurance, that the right people have been put into place at this critical time for our Nation, while at the same time and on the other hand, have you pulling your hair out by the roots and screaming out to the heavens, wondering - ' What the Hell Has Happened To Our Country?"
We saw Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a man who many are asking to run for President in 2012, ( though He has stated fervently that he has no desire or even the experience yet for such a post ), stand up at a Washington D.C. event and say what no other in Washington seems to have the courage to say. That our Country is now at an economic point whereas We will have to Raise the Retirement Age and Reform or Fix Medicare!
He said this boldly, joking - " There I've said it! And I haven't disintegrated into the carpet! and I haven't been struck down by Lightning! " Mocking those who fear even raising these issues, because of the possible damage to their political careers, as the other parties would surely jump on the chance to demagogue this issue, and true to their playbooks, try and scare voters by eluding to loss of benefits or some other misrepresentation of the facts and statements.
This example, a stark contrast to President Obama, who after giving lip service to America concerning our Debt and Deficits, presented his budget for the year 2012. A budget that not only didn't mention the necessary reforms needed to the Entitlements which are the driving force of the crisis of unmanageable debt that is threatening our Nation's very existence, but which adds a further 5-7 Trillion dollars of additional debt over the next decade, through his "Winning the Future" Investments in such needed entities as 35 mph High speed Rails and Green initiatives. Winning the Future?
This bad budget offering is in itself a travesty, but it is the thought process behind this move that I further call into question. A thought process so typical of most "Politicians", where He refuses to even mention the most serious issue of Entitlement Reform, reform that was even suggested by HIS OWN Debt Commission, deferring this to the Republicans in the House, in an attempt to bait them into being the first to suggest such a thing, and affording his 2012 Campaign and those of others Democrats, the ability to tell Americans that it is the Republicans who want to starve Granny and take away all of your medicare benefits.( Again using the politics of FEAR! )
This "Failure to Lead" is the epitome of COWARDICE, ( gently sprinkled with political sleaze ), and a prime reason the Gov. Christie and a few other bold " LEADERS ", although knee deep in tumult, are enjoying approval ratings in the mid to high 70's, while Mr. Obama and those in Washington in general, are near " Orgasmic " if they can even break the 50% approval point on any given day, even in polls taken by their minions in the supportive lap-dancing press.
This is nothing new really from Mr. Obama. A President who had deferred his "Leadership" role to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid during the first two years of his administration, allowing them and their special interest lobbyists to conceive and construct his Stimulus, ObamaCare and every other piece of dribble that they forced though with Congressional Majority upon us all. His COWARDICE in this current situation may be disheartening, but it is anything but " Unexpected ".
Conversely, the Republicans in Washington are at a critical point a well. They need to know that with each and every day that does not see them walk up to the podium and in Christie-like manner, speak real truth to the American People about the " absolute and unavoidable " reform and cuts needed to our Entitlement and Defense Spending, ( along with the cuts already proposed to our discretionary budgets ), they too risk being branded with the " COWARDICE " label and an almost assured resentment from the American Voters.
Another highly visible example of the true difference between LEADERSHIP and COWARDICE, can also be seen in the current situation in Wisconsin, where we are seeing that State's Governor - Scott Walker, who himself finds his State facing multi-billion dollar budget deficits, taking the bold steps in attempting to solve their problems by standing up to the very strong UNIONS in his state, reforming their pension and healthcare structures and asking them to kick in a small percentage towards these benefits, rather than face huge layoffs. ( While still remaining below the National Average I might add. )
The Unions have taken to the streets and flooded the Capital in response. The Democrats, who are so heavily supported and overwhelmingly FUNDED by such UNIONS, have themselves decided to take the other route, the COWARD'S way out, and have left the City, in fact the whole STATE!, in an attempt to avoid being forced to do their JOBS, to debate, amend and subsequently VOTE on their Governor's budget saving reform measures. Ask yourself, are these LEADERS? or COWARDS?
Adding insult to injury in all of this, is the fact that by acting in this way, by failing to speak directly and HONESTLY to the American People about just how fiscally damaging "their" past actions have been to our Nation's future, and preferring to continue to utilize class and race warfare, along with using the typical politics of FEAR as their primary tools, our elected officials, these so called "LEADERS", are not only treating us as children, sheep, or unintelligent Nimrods, incapable of understanding the complexities of life, but are in fact themselves, setting Us and our Nation up for eventual and certain collapse.
Leadership and Cowardice! The difference between these two words and two Governing techniques, can be best described by reminding you all that Our "Founding Father" Patrick Henry's' great and historical quote that helped birth our nation was - " Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! " It was NOT - Give Me Liberty or Some Reasonable Facsimile, and Re-elect me in the fall! Leadership is not always Fearless - But It can never be Cowardly!
Russell is an Author, Inventor, Retired Comedian and Citizen Activist. Check out and stay updated to all of his other ARTICLES, his available BOOKS and INVENTIONS by visiting russellhebert.com and subscribing. Follow him on TWITTER @ hebert1218, E-mail Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper.