As I pen this letter, I do so with all but a faint amount of hope that perhaps some truth can be found in its contents and you could, through your actions, demonstrate what many thought might happen when they voted for you. Then again, the word ‘politics’ seems to be out of place with the other words – ‘ethics’ and ‘leadership’.
You campaigned on ‘change.’ In your State of the Union address you stated,
I campaigned on the promise of change, change we can believe in, the slogan went. And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren’t sure if they still believe we can change, or that I can deliver it.
Now, Mr. President is the time for that change to be seen and not heard from you as our leader. Your actions will show that your campaign promises were not just rhetoric to get you elected, but true heart felt feelings of what America could be. You further stated,
But what frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day. We can’t wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about the other side, a belief that if you lose, I win.
You are 100% right about that statement. American people are becoming so disillusioned about politicians and Washington insiders that they are becoming angry and believe that none of you can be trusted. You are more concerned with being elected than you are with helping Americans. That is not why you were sent and therefore, lacks integrity.
You addressed both parties in your State of the Union address and rightly you should have because few of those elected to public office in Washington have demonstrated by their actions that they care more about those who elected them than they care about their re-election.
ETHICS are defined as actions motivated based on ideas of right and wrong. Mr. President, the next question I ask will surely define you and your potential Presidency. Do you believe it is ethical to act on ideas that are right for the people even if they are wrong for your re-election?
If your answer is YES…then read on, if not…we’re wasting our time.
A LEADER is a person who rules or guides or inspires others. You have, through your election, certainly inspired a demographic of voters to become engaged and active – to elect you on the promise of change. Therefore Mr. President may I challenge you step up and show your LEADERSHIP.
Mr. President – ETHICAL LEADERSHIP now calls for dramatic unprecedented action. It requires something that has not been done before and that will show more than just words, but true meaning behind your beliefs.
Mr. President – make the following commitment to the American people and I think you can guarantee your place in history – you will show something that has never been seen before. You will show that the promise and idea of change is more powerful than just campaign words. Mr. President do the following…
OVER THE COURSE OF 2010 – DO NOT CAMPAIGN FOR ANY CANDIDATE FOR ELECTED OFFICE IN WASHINGTON OR ANY STATE. Show that you are more interested in results than campaigns. Separate yourself from politics and become the ‘change leader’ that many Americans expected you to be. That means you should remain politically neutral. Who cares what the party is if you’re getting the job done! Require both Democrats and Republicans to sit with each other in order to craft legislation that benefits the needs of Americans and publically call out any Senator or Representative who elects to bicker in partisan politics rather than work to represent those for whom they serve. Do what you promised, make the process transparent and then Americans will gain what is so lacking in Washington – TRUST. Forget party and focus on how you can lead.
The American people do not need you to be the ‘same ole – same ole’ that they have seen for years. Rather, it’s time to change how we do what we do and that change starts with you. If you want less partisanship then be less partisan.
I was told as a boy and then later in life – “A fish rots from the head down.” As a kid I didn’t know what that meant…but I do now. You’re the fish, Mr. President so, perhaps put better, “The buck stops with you.” Guess the tone of Washington firmly rests with your decisions. The choice is yours and, as I say speaking to groups on Ethics – EVERY CHOICE HAS A CONSEQUENCE.
Chuck Gallagher – American, Small Business Owner, Ethics Speaker and Author
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