On Leaders | Teen Ink

On Leaders

August 27, 2011
By Demosthenes BRONZE, Schenectady, New York
Demosthenes BRONZE, Schenectady, New York
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

These are ominous times. The night sky always rises darker, and the day comes gloomier. In this terrible age, we need a leader. A leader that will bring hope to our nation. A leader to guide us out of recession and back on track. A leader that will promote education and help the poor and hungry. We need a leader, selfless and altruistic, one that would give his fame and fortune for the three hundred and twelve million people that live in America, and one that would sacrifice his own beliefs to do what is right for our country. We need a leader that will create jobs for those who have none. We need an uncorrupted, intelligent leader who, instead of involving himself in sex scandals and online relationships (Mr. Weiner), works day by night to once again encourage the American dream. We need a leader that will act, and not sit around and talk like he’s actually going to do something. And I am sure that in our country today we do not have a leader, and it seems no one wants to be a leader, especially one that will act.

Act is something Congress will not do. The main battle is between the Democrats and the Republicans, both of whom will not forgo their own desires as a party to act for America. Both of whom will argue uselessly throughout the day, as if they have infinite amounts of time, but at the end of the day nothing gets accomplished. In fact, throughout the year Congress rarely agrees on a single subject. Take the debt ceiling crisis. We stood at the verge of a financial meltdown that could make the recent recession look like a swim in the pool, and yet instead of sitting down and constructing and hammering out a practical solution, leaders from both parties continue to conflict in ideological demagoguery. Instead of promoting the nation’s—and the people’s—interests over their own, they act like little children fighting over toys in a sandbox. You must remember, Congress, that we are waiting for you to save us. You must remember that you serve your country, not your party. And even so, your party will serve your country. But not today. Instead of creating jobs for the people, you debate over Medicare. You debate over Libya. Perhaps you should put your own nation over others, and let Europe deal with that. Approximately 78% polled show disapproval of the current Congress. Congress needs to stop talking and start acting, and act like a leader, a grown-up leader (as it is) that will give up the beliefs of the party for the needs of the people. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “It is the duty of the President to propose and it is the privilege of the Congress to dispose.” There is a universe of truth in that.

It is true that debate and discussion are essential to making decisions, especially the better ones. It is true that it takes time for resolutions to pass. But in times like these, we need immediately action, leaders that will bring their beliefs down to bring the nation back on its feet. The action could range from as small as creating a homeless shelter in Chicago, to as large as creating thousands of new jobs in New York. We need action, but most of all we need a boost in morale. We need confidence that we can trust our government, confidence that our nation can once again rise to the shining altars of glory. We need to wake up thinking that today will be infinitely better than yesterday, that today will be better than the past, and that tomorrow will be even better than today.

But leadership is not restricted to public officials. Leadership also comes from the average citizen, the honest, hardworking backbone of America. When will somebody stand up and say to the government, “we are done with your endless bickering in Congress and the common intervention in foreign affairs. We are done with our soldiers in Afghanistan and we want them home soon! We are done with your debate on Libya and not your agreements on job increases! We are done with your inconsideration of the people out here who are suffering! Is there a need to fight every day, from Congress to the Middle East?” When will somebody rise, like a leader, and lecture the government in which the First Amendment grants him or her the right?

These are the times, when the lonely citizen needs to rise, when the government to be trusted and trustworthy. These are the times when young adults like us can speak out against the rulings of Congress and the President. These are the times when a leader must emerge, like a rose in the showers of spring, and lead the way to illumination. We need to get this nation back on track, and we can’t do this without a leader. There is no other way, nothing magical or swift, miraculous or sudden. This will take time. But we must start now, with somebody to guide us through the volcanic fumes of depression.

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