Leaders should lead by example

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2021

For most of us, these are unprecedented times. We haven’t lived through a pandemic, nor have we been witness to insurrection at the highest level in our nation’s capital — until now.

Divisive rhetoric from political parties and the inability to compromise have fanned the flames of discontent and angst leading up to and playing a part in recent events.

After tearing down metal barricades at the foot of the Capitol steps last Wednesday, throngs of demonstrators broke in the building and made a mockery of American democracy. One posed for photos with his feet propped on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk and another sat in Vice President Mike Pence’s chair on the Senate floor.

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Worst of all, four people died in the violence that ensued, including one woman who was shot by an officer just outside the House chamber.

There are no innocent parties in modern politics.

Emotions are high, tempers are short and understandably so. However, it does not give anyone a pass to run amok.

To our leaders, from the outgoing president down, we ask that you lead, by example. You can and should do better. Lack of respect for one another, the office that you hold and the people you serve has led to violence, upheaval and divisiveness in our communities and across our nation. Do better.

As a community, we can also do better. Change begins with each and every one of us. Regardless of political affiliations, active participation or apathy to the situation, our families, friends and community are all impacted by the way we behave.

It’s time to take stock of our actions, our words and our deeds. Our collective and individual actions and inactions will determine the community we live in. The community our children will grow up in.

It’s time to get it right. Be respectful and be kind.