Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

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Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Friday, October 26, 2012

Citizens Who Lead vs. Politicians Who Don't - Bucks County Courier Times October 17, 2012

     There seem to be two types of elected officials - “politicians” and “citizens”.  Politicians suffer from some sort of ego disorder while citizens are just trying to do the right thing.  I first noticed this phenomenon while serving in the Marine Corps.  On rare occasion I’d observe a peer or senior officer who was more concerned with his or her career than with demonstrating the leadership entrusted to provide.
     We’d all just look at one another, shake our head, shrug our shoulders and move on.  What’s the point of being in a leadership position with no intent of being a leader?  Out here in the real world it seems like the roles are reversed.  Real leaders are the anomaly and I’m trying to figure out why.
     Maybe we just don’t know what leadership is.  My own awareness of leadership began as a Student Platoon Commander when I didn’t make sure that everyone had the proper cold weather gear on a really cold day.  For the next two weeks I was the personal target of every Instructor in all of Officer Candidate School. 
     They drove the message home so hard that several years later I gave a young Enlisted Marine my cold weather boots during an exercise 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.  I still almost start to hyperventilate when I don’t put the needs of others before my own.  That’s just how leadership works.  It’s nothing new, but the results are consistently magical. 
     We have one of those Citizen elected officials of our very own in Congressman Fitzpatrick.  This can be demonstrated with almost any issue.  The two that immediately jump out are Health Care and Israel.  There’s “political” positions on each and “doing the right thing” positions.
     We’re stuck in the middle of the correct health care solution and it can/will go one way or the other.  Why some wish to put even more bureaucracy and inefficient government intervention between them and their physician is one of life’s many mysteries.  The other answer is to put the patient in charge of his or her own health care with all of the associated choice, availability and efficiency for EVERYONE.  Imagine a health care system where the entire $2 trillion annual expense goes to actual health care (although that figure would likely decrease due to greater efficiency). 
     Doing the right thing is very easy, but for some reason we continue to make it more difficult than it needs to be.  Congressman Fitzpatrick understands all of this with extraordinary clarity and behaves accordingly.  I would put him in the good leadership category on this one.
     As a Jew who, like Congressman Fitzpatrick, has recently been to Israel I can tell you that our very Jewish identity is at stake if we continue to fall prey to dishonesty and distraction from the real issues.  There’s a swirling negative perception of Israel born out of the typical propaganda that accuses them of violating those things that they value most.  You’d think that after 5,000 years we’d get a break from being blamed for the failures of others.  I guess not.
     No nation in the region (or almost anywhere else, for that matter) is more open and liberal than Israel.  Not only do Arab Israelis have all the rights of non-Arab Israelis in Israel, but they can even freely advance anti-Israeli policies inside the Knesset (the Israeli legislature).  Try that here, even, and it might not go well.
     Congressman Fitzpatrick is well aware (from two trips to Israel) of the history and reality of the region and is one of those elected officials who puts intellectual honesty and Judaism itself ahead of politics.
     I’d just like to thank Mike Fitzpatrick for stepping forward as a citizen of Bucks County representing us all in Washington regardless of party affiliation and thank everyone out there who values people over politics.  If you’re paying attention you know that we’re at a critical crossroads on many issues that will either be resolved by citizens or made worse by politicians. 
     The choice is yours.  That’s how leadership works.

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