On 28 Sep 2018, conservative Christian leader Jerry Falwell Jr. stated the following via Twitter:
“Conservatives & Christians need to stop electing ‘nice guys’. They might make great Christian leaders but the US needs street fighters … at every level of government … because many Republican leaders are a bunch of wimps.”
This is a paraphrased excerpt from his full statement, which also suggests our current President is a perfect role model and example of the kind of political leaders we need across the country at all levels of government. Think about that for a moment. Falwell isn’t alone. There are Democrats who want more aggressive leaders to take on the current President.
Falwell’s comments are undoubtedly a reflection of the frustration he and others have with Republicans like Jeff Flake who seek to accommodate others and make inclusive collaborative compromises rather than having a combative ‘winner take all’ approach to politics. Apparently millions of Republicans feel that tougher leaders are needed.
Yesterday Jeff Flake was approached by two women who shared an emotional appeal. Some Republicans believed that Flake made a mistake by listening to the women and allowing their appeals to influence his heart and emotions. Flake allowed emotions like empathy, concern, and compassion to influence his leadership decisions causing him to request further investigation into the SCOTUS nomination. Some Republicans would have desired a more authoritarian and emotionless robotic response from Flake. In other words, there’s a belief that a true leader forces things through even when people are resisting and saying “no” to whatever is being done to them legislatively.
UPDATE: On 1 Oct 2018, a day after this article was sent to Falwell, he tweeted the following:
“That video of @JeffFlake in the elevator cowering and nearly crying as liberals screamed at him and then acquiescing to their demands for FBI investigation (hopefully not led by Comey/Strzok types) is the best illustration I’ve seen of what is wrong with the Republican Party!”
There are other high-profile conservative Republicans who at times defy the majority and speak in opposition to the President: Bob Corker of Tennessee, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and until recently, John McCain of Arizona. At times Lindsey Graham has been critical of the President. Former President George W. Bush has also been an independent voice at a time when independent voices are rare. Another example would be Anthony Scaramucci who during interviews expresses his support of the President and then launches into a lengthy criticism of whatever the President is currently doing wrong.
There is great pressure to eliminate and replace anyone who questions the President or doesn’t go along with the majority. These people are seen as weak and poor leaders.
What’s really unfortunate and troubling about Falwell’s comment above is that it’s the exact opposite of what we need in our leaders. It’s the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches about leadership and governance. It’s the exact opposite of what will bring about a better world.
Values and virtues we should look for in a leader would include: compassion, empathy, kindness, compromise, cooperation, and the list goes on. For more visit ResourcesForLife.com/values. In our own lives we should seek to exemplify these values, and we should put people in leadership who demonstrate these values.
For an example of an exceptional and historic leadership moment, watch the video below of a then very different Jerry Falwell Jr. who gathered every member of Liberty University in a huge stadium to have them listen to Bernie Sanders for about an hour. Falwell’s introduction of Sanders is so complementary it sounds like an endorsement. The speech given by Bernie Sanders was one of his best. This is the kind of thinking, cooperation, respect, and behavior we need from our leaders. It’s the kind of behavior we need to seek in our own lives. Perhaps there’s a parallel universe where Bernie Sanders is President, and people of different political alliances and religions continue to respect one another and work together for a better world. If anyone knows how to get there let me know.
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Negative Outcomes of Aggressive Politicians
The video below shows what we can expect if we elect ‘street fighters’ rather than diplomats, statesmen/women, and compassionate mediators as political leaders.