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Posted: January 10, 2021

Poliwhoreship; at times a leader must stand alone

By David B Savage

Op-Ed Commentary

Viktor Frankl: “It is not freedom from conditions, but it is freedom to take a stand toward the conditions.”

A foundational lesson in leadership was taught once again in Washington, DC this past week.

Destruction, risk, death, blaming, detachment, incredulity and surprise (really?). America and the free world are sickened.

True leaders are courageous enough to be alone.

False prophets and Wanna-Be leaders look for whatever parade they can run in front of.

True leaders are guided by their values, ethics, critical thinking and vision for a better future.

At times, true leaders must stand alone. Because of the strong moral base and integrity, true leaders will not seek to run in front of a parade they are not aligned with. To be a true leader, we must deeply understand our values and be prepared to be very alone in tumultuous times.

For more than four years now, Donald J. Trump struck fear in the souls of many Republican leaders and many Americans. You are either with me or I will crush you and your future seemed to be the power play we have witnessed so many succumb to. Far too many Republican leaders made the deal with the devil that if they seek the Republican nomination in four years, they must align with Donald J. Trump.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 the world witnessed the insurgency at the Capitol Building in Washington. A President who will stop at nothing to hold onto power. A President who, so often, throws his people, his officials and now his far-right activists under the bus.

And we have witnessed a massive shift by politicians (Republican, Democrat, global, community…) strongly react to the violence in Washington this week. And we fear what more may occur before and after the January 20 Inauguration of President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris.

The key point I wish to share in this column is not who is right or wrong or which side we champion.

My key point is that when a leader abandons her or his own values, ethics, critical thinking and independence, they will fail. Ted Cruz and many others have been harshly abused by Donald J. Trump over the past five years. And yet, because the Trump power, fear and base were as powerful as any politician in the world, Ted Cruz and many other Republican leaders attempted to overthrow the votes of the American people and keep the “election was stolen” lie going when 61 lawsuits and many recounts and audits found no support for that claim.

We must hold Facebook, Twitter, the news media and ourselves accountable for the mess democracy has become in the past decade. Banning Trump from social media now is not only too little too late, but it also distracts us from the importance of resetting our communication, methods and social and traditional media to stop hate and “alternative facts” while encouraging free speech.

You, me, Ted Cruz, and all leaders must hold our values, ethics, critical thinking and visionary positive leadership as your strong foundation.

How do you feel when you lie, cheat, steal and lose anyway? How do you feel when you lie, cheat, steal and win? What is your compass? How do you sleep? What is the legacy you leave for your family, your grandchildren?

Many will say power is everything and we must do whatever it takes to gain and stay in control. This week the world has seen clearly how fast the change comes. The powerful on Tuesday are the shamed on Thursday.

I sincerely hope that both the Republican and Democratic parties will now choose to reset their leadership and bases. There are glaring gaps and failures in both parties. As a Canadian, I hope for better for all Americans. And I hope our own Liberal, Conservative, New Democratic and Green parties can reset as well. Our leaders, too often, fail us as they try to run in front of a parade for power.

Wondering about why I titled this “Poliwhoreship; At Times a Leader Must Stand Alone”?

The “At Times a Leader Must Stand Alone” should be clear to you as I invite you to ensure your compass is your values, ethics, critical thinking and vision. Often when your compass is simply power, you will fail and be ashamed of what you have done. True leaders prefer to honour their values even if no one else follows.

Poliwhoreship is a word I coined today. My definition is the act of whoring yourself in the worship of false leaders in the hope that you will be much more powerful. You will gain the King’s favour (and lose your soul).

At times a true leader must stand alone. Today, Donald J. Trump is more alone than he has been in five years. Abandoned like he has abandoned so many and so much.

Be a true leader. Be courageous. Be an example to your family, community, organization, and nation. Re-assess and fortify your own leadership foundation and you will have your own power. When those that you lead base their leadership on values, ethics, critical thinking and vision, that is the gauge of your true leadership strength.

We are saying no to poliwhores and the ones who abuse power. We are saying yes to democracy, leadership and hope. Let’s reinvent politics while we are at a turning point. Let’s bring everyone in. Let’s stop the division and start the engine. Never let a good crisis go to waste (Churchill).

“You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.” John Lennon, Imagine.

– David B Savage is an East Kootenay-based author and owner of Savage Management Ltd.


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