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Columnists

A Political Article

May 8, 2021
Βy Phyllis ‘Kiki’ Sembos

I much prefer writing humorous articles or about historical figures. But after our presidential elections, I thought about the past and how some of our leaders reacted to certain crises, how history will record the feats and failures of some of them. I don’t recall another period in which anger, prejudice, and fear were so dominant. Almost every day, an example of a breakdown in civility was apparent. Negativity breeds more negativity. The elections are over and now we, the voters, must await the results of our selection. Heads of companies or countries play a critical part in making things happen. Leaders should have a vision. They should have the courage to share those visions, be able to admit mistakes and gain wisdom from those mistakes. Good leaders are selfless, putting the welfare of others before their own, view their position as a huge responsibility, not a privilege – and be genuinely caring when faced with challenging situations. A good leader should be focused on bringing people together with a vision for the right reasons, not money or fame. There should be no exclusion or prejudice.

It is not feasible to me to listen to someone laud or criticize a past president without citing what that president did to earn that praise or accusation. Some presidents receive credit deserved but there are very few presidents who have attempted to correct the evils in our society, like the more than 58,000 homeless in New York alone and too many unemployed, seeing kids seek a college education to better themselves and finding they either don’t have the means for enrolment or those that do, are saddled with insurmountable debts after graduation thereby creating the class of the educated impoverished. It isn’t uncommon to see a college graduate working a second job until they pay up their exorbitant debts.

A good leader should strive to understand rather than condemn and judge, and attempt to bring unity and harmony among communities. Of course there are always many differences of political opinions among us and between leaders. But, those differences should be met with understanding and mutual respect. A good leader tries to inspire you to take part in bringing harmony among ourselves and people in other countries. The many wars of the past and instigated by other presidents did not correct or abolish any evil that existed there. It brought only extreme poverty to the citizens of the country attacked, hatred towards us, mass immigration, and universal upheaval. Here, it created countless disabled, breakups of families, and mental illnesses that will be reflected in the coming generations. We’re asked to support our troops when what we’re really supporting is death and destruction. We have to realize that we, as citizens, have the power to change what happens around us. Lately in the pandemic, I began to see people willing to volunteer and assist in feeding and aiding those who have found themselves in dire situations they did not create. It is so warming a sight, so healing of the stress that had gripped us all for so long. The pandemic, alone, is a war we all must fight. Earth is the only planet we call home. It’s what we will leave to our kids and grandkids. A good leader should be sensitive to how this Earth is treated. Taking care for our air and Earth will, ultimately, take care of our health. The president that considers that aspect will receive high praise and respect. More importantly, the leaders we choose to represent us are an indication and reflection of ourselves.

Who recalls Attila the Hun, Nero, Hitler, Mussolini, or other despots with any admiration or respect? What’s agreed on is they all had one thing in common – they were selfish megalomaniacs. Our choices in leaders really matter, do make a difference in the world – and toward ourselves, especially. Acts of prejudice against other people create hurt and malice, discontent and retaliatory actions. The hater will attack innocent bystanders whose only crime is belonging to the race the hater always resented – or was taught to hate by ignorant, barbaric bullies.

Whether Democrat or Republican, how leaders treat the world affects us. We have some power, too. Whether it’s making a phone call, sending an e-mail or letters to your representative it can give a message that we are watching.

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