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True leadership

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By Ken Begley

Rasmussen Reports survey finds just six percent of likely voters rate the job Congress is doing as good or excellent.
- Survey from April 2012
 
I don’t believe the public’s opinion on our present political leadership has gotten much better since then.
What do you think?
You know, I like to write silly little stories most of the time. My greatest pleasure in life is to watch someone laugh about something I might have said. I love to laugh. I figure smarter people than myself can say it so much better when talking about important subjects.
But, every now and then, I do like to talk about serious matters.
Let me tell you a story about leadership and self-sacrifice in action. It’s something that our elected officials seem to have forgotten. It also seems especially appropriate with the Olympics going on in Great Britain right now.
About a year ago a movie came out called “The King’s Speech.” You might have seen it.  The movie centered on King George VI of Great Britain on the eve of World War II. The movie was interesting enough by itself.
The King of England really has very little power. The government resides in an elected body of representatives just like congress. But the royal family symbolizes their country every bit as much as the American eagle symbolizes our country.
The film centered around the fact that the king had a really bad stammer, which made him detest public speaking. Unfortunately, Germany’s Adolf Hitler was a master orator. He would seemingly hypnotize people when he spoke.
Eventually, King George makes the speech of his life when Great Britain must enter World War II. It was a time when frightened people looked toward their leaders and prayed to God that they would take them in the right direction.
The movie was really good. But the story on this man and his royal family actually goes much further than what was told.
The prime minister of Great Britain at that time was a fellow named Winston Churchill. Churchill was probably the most influential man of the 20th century. He wrote a whole series of  meticulously-detailed and cross-referenced books about World War II after the conflict was over. I read them all.
Churchill told one story about King George that has burned in my mind as to what a leader should be.
World War II started for Great Britain two years before the U.S. entered.  Hitler had steamrolled across all of Europe and North Africa. The shores of France teamed with German armies and an invasion of England seemed eminent. His vast flotillas of bombers flooded the sky and rained living hell down upon the people of England.  German submarines destroyed the very lifeline of ships that brought in food to the country. A noose was tightening about Great Britain’s neck and was slowly, methodically and painfully killing it.
Many people were on the verge of giving up, as Hitler seemed invincible.
King George was approached at that time. It was suggested that his family leave London and go to the safety of Canada. The military felt that they couldn’t protect them against the Germans. It was thought an invasion of the country was a matter of when and not if.  If that happened, then the royal family could end up as prisoners of Adolf Hitler.
What would you do?
I’ll tell you what King George did.
He felt that if he wasn’t willing to share the danger and suffering of the people then he could not ask his people to do so either. How could he ask his subjects to fight if his family ran to safety while they were in danger? He felt that was not leadership.  He thought it would be cowardice.
Not only did King George VI refuse to cut and run, but he and his family stayed in London where the bombing by Germany was heaviest during the war.
I even saw a picture of the royal family practicing with individual firearms for defense.
So the die was cast.
The royal family would fight to the end, side-by-side, with their people.
 East London held most of the factories and shipyards at that time. It was there that the Hitler’s air force concentrated their efforts and over 1,000 people died in the first air raid of the war.
A week later King George and his wife narrowly escaped death themselves when two bombs dropped into the courtyard at Buckingham Palace. The queen declared, “I am glad we have been bombed. It makes me feel we can look the East End in the face.”
According to a Wikipedia entry, during the war, “they were subject to rationing restrictions, and U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt remarked on the rationed food served and the limited bathwater that was permitted during a stay at the unheated and boarded-up Palace. In August 1942, the King’s brother, Prince George, Duke of Kent, was killed on active service.”
Now that is true leadership.
Stereotyping a whole block of people, for good or bad, will always shortchange somebody. There are some good politicians trying to do right.
But it seems to me, at times, that most of our political parties are unconcerned about the country as a whole.
Why?
Well, they give the appearance that they personally will end up rich and safe no matter what happens to the rest of us. This seems to be especially so as our leaders fight over America’s dwindling resources and seem to feel that no matter how poor their leadership is, Old Glory will somehow survive despite them.
Is that right?
I hope not.
It’s only a feeling of frustration that I have with all the blatantly political infighting.
But one thing is for sure.
If our current political leadership can’t pull things together then the vast majority of our people might dump all the current political parties, and possibly the entire political system.
Will that happen?
Again, I hope not.
Because that’s how people like Adolf Hitler come to power.
What can we do?
Pray for our leaders and our country and try to make ourselves right with God.
It’s not a last resort.
It should be our first resort.
That’s the only course of action that will give our country hope for the future.
Take care my friends.