A Refresher Course In Leadership

Katy Grimes: It’s painful watching as California Republicans allow the state’s Democratic party to dictate all of the terms in the ongoing budget debate – even on potential reforms. And, many Republicans have allowed Democrats to define the party ideology. They are called moderates.

“It is absurd that a man should rule others, who cannot rule himself. (Absurdum est ut alios regat, qui seipsum regere nescit.) – Latin Proverb

Since 1980 when I first registered to vote, I believed that Republicans were reformers. I was far more correct in 1980 than I am today.

Something has happened to the wherewithal and resolve of California’s elected Republicans. Forgotten are the wise words of warning from Thomas Jefferson:

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

There certainly are some Republican legislators with sincere spirit and fight. But with too many moderates taking up space within the party, much of the courage and decidedness has been chipped away. And there is nothing worse than going into battle with troops who may undermine the plan, or even get peeled off by the opposition.

Republicans are losing membership and it is not just because of the economic crisis – if the party as a whole offered a cohesive, sincere reform message, and opened the doors to all Californians, they may actually grow membership.

Leadership is what is lacking – and leaders are not just elected. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

However, he who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” – Aristotle

Legislators are expected to fight for the people of the state – Fight, and not continually give in or compromise. Citizens expect a fight for reforms, rights and liberties,  as well as in matters of principle, and expect elected leaders to be unwavering. This does not constitute “the party of NO;” this means unwavering from Republican ideology and principle – cut taxes, public pension reform, regualtory reform, and spending cap.

“The art of leadership is saying no, not yes.  It is very easy to say yes.” Tony Blair, the former UK Prime Minister.

But too often lately, legislators are rigid on style issues, and flexible on matters of principle. The party is losing members as the party loses purpose.

Sophocles said, What you cannot enforce, do not command.”

People do not expect leadership from Democrats – the unions provide their direction. And since a measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you, Republicans can and should pay closer attention to voters, and less to the big-monied interests.

“Being a leader is like being a lady, if you have to go around telling people you are one, you aren’t.” – Margaret Thatcher

Republicans have always been expected to lead, clean up the messes and come out ahead ready to plan for the uncertain future. Where is that spirit – where is that fight –  where is that reslove? Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and importance, although difficult, is the high road to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction” – Margaret Thatcher.

Where is that hard work, and sense of purpose? Or are Republicans so desperate to be part of the club, that they will say and do anything just for a seat at the table? And if that is the case, remember that standing in the middle of the road usually gets you knocked over by both sides.

If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” – Margaret Thatcher

MAR. 26, 2011



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