In about 50 days we will go to the polls to vote for local, state and national elections. But lately, elections and politicians haven’t been the topic of conversation in the Capital Region—and for good reason.
Electing the right leader who stands strong in a time of crisis—and can provide vision beyond the storm—is important, but these past couple of months have proven you don’t have to be “elected” or “official” to lead and be a public servant. In fact, we all could share examples we’ve seen of leadership and service to others delivered by individuals who weren’t elected officials or even government employees. We have seen heroes among ordinary citizens, churches, nonprofits, business people and, of course, the “Cajun Navy.” These people didn’t wait to be elected—they just went to work.
To succeed and come back strong, we need your talents, ideas and continued dedication to serving the greater good in our community. That’s a decision you make in your heart—not in the voting booth.
What we all have witnessed is inspiring and proves the point that the strength of a community is in the people, not the politicians. So, as we all decide on whom we will vote for in November, let’s not expect that one person will—or should—lead us to the Promised Land. It won’t happen. Just as we saw that we were at our best and strongest when all of us were engaged with the flood crisis, the same will be true after the elections as we rebuild together.
Politicians have a necessary role in leadership, but so do you. To succeed and come back strong, we need your talents, ideas and continued dedication to serving the greater good in our community. That’s a decision you make in your heart—not in the voting booth.
RESPECTING THE FLAG
I make my living off the First Amendment and I respect free speech, even when I disagree with it. But the American flag and national anthem represent those rights and all that is good and bad in the greatest nation on earth. I get what NFL player Colin Kaepernick is protesting about, and agree that we should all fight for “liberty and justice for all.” But I don’t agree with what he did or where he did it. People don’t go to a football game to see a political protest that disrespects our nation and those who died for freedom, no more than they go to church to have the preacher give them a sales pitch for Herbalife.
After Kaepernick refused to stand, he said, “There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust [that] people aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for—freedom, liberty, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.”
So, when will “Judge Kaepernick” determine when it is happening “for all” so he can get up off his butt and show respect for the flag?
Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar defended Kaepernick. He said, “What makes an act truly patriotic and not just lip-service is when it involves personal risk or sacrifice.” Really? Kaepernick (who has a $61 million guarantee) sat on his butt at a football game in protest and spoke at a press conference. It’s not like walking 54 miles in the hot sun from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, with the risk of getting shot.
Mr. Kaepernick, there are many who disagree with laws passed and wars we have fought. And there are millions who decry the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade and the resulting killing of millions of unborn babies. They are revolted by it. But those same Americans, who love this country, still stand with respect for the flag as they sing the national anthem. That’s true patriotism.
I will defend your right to free speech as an American (represented by that flag). But let me say, “What you’re doing is wrong.”