Leadership And The Will Of The People
Harry Truman risked the permanent division of the Democratic Party, watching Dixiecrats walk out of the convention to form their own party in 1948. He stood by his convictions on desegregation with his own reelection at stake.
In an act of politicallly suicidal patriotism, Gerald Ford knowingly threw away his chances to be elected President in his own right when he pardoned Richard Nixon to help the country heal after Watergate.
Recently Barack Obama put his political capital on the line to push through a publicly unpopular Health Care bill, knowing a majority opposed it and that it would likely cost his party seats in the mid term elections. In the process he went from having been elected to the presidency to being the President. Some in congress voted with him knowing it could spell doom for their political careers. Whether you agree with HCR as some do, or disagree with many of its provisions as others do, political courage and leadership were on display.
Change is often a winning slogan, but is almost never popular in its execution. Leadership involves the courage to push forward with change in the face of strongly voiced opposition, understanding the unpredictability of the new world you are creating and the risks that attend those decisions.
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