Talking about the future

Hayden CollinsDuring last Saturday’s radio show, we talked about characteristics we’d like to see in the new candidates who are stepping forward for 2014 campaigns in Georgia – about the need for Next Generation leadership and for candidates with the experience to represent us not only in our communities and our state, but to the rest of the world.

Experience – of how the world works, and what has been done to get us to this point – provides stability, be it in corporations, community organizations, and even our own families.  There comes to all of these a point when the senior members hand off that leadership to their successors, and recognize the younger leaders’ new ideas and their greater awareness of the way the world is changing.

There are signs that this hand-off is upon us.  And how we achieve it will demonstrate the abilities of the next generation of leaders to competently address our challenges and employ new ideas and technologies in doing it.  We will see this as they lead us away from the trenches and stalemates of years past, away from established programs that are unsustainable, and away from policies that do not serve and defend our country’s reputation and liberties.

We know the established leaders, those who have held office for some time, and in some cases their political allegiances have left them backed into a corner and defending the past – engaged in skirmishes of heckling while all of our resources are dwindling away.   Without strong leadership, there is nobody to lift this siege, with only different faces and names being substituted every 2-4 years.

The Next Generation understands our country’s need for a balanced federal budget.  The stalemates of recent years show us that the current generation of debt will need to be changed to have a successful future, with leaders other than those who have already had an opportunity in office, and whose decisions have brought us to this place.  In order for the Next Generation to not be dictated to from the grave, they have to move into leadership roles.

It isn’t about the candidate’s age cohort, nor is it about how often they Tweet.   It’s about individuals who can see what the problem is, and who are willing to do something about it – so that WE can do something about it.  We also talked on this past Saturday’s radio program about Paul Ryan’s recent budget proposal speech, in which he presented new ideas and tough decisions.  He told us: here’s where we are, here’s where we need to be, and here’s how to get there.  Not only did it propose a solution to the economic problem that’s at the heart of our country’s stagnation since 2008, he said: Here is the idea WE can work with.  Not “here is my idea, what I want to do”.  That is the difference between reactionary leadership from the past, and the leaders who are looking forward.

These leaders need to be individuals with worldwide experience, especially in the armed services, with an understanding of the price and cost of freedom.  For they will be representing not only the State of Georgia, but they will also stand for all of us as Congress addresses what’s going on around the world – what are threats and what are not threats – in the military, in the world’s financial turbulence, and at the heart of our country’s relationship between the federal government and states’ rights.   We need solutions for emerging issues, not dwelling on inertia, stalemates and heckling attacks across the aisle.

As we watch the candidates announce their 2014 campaigns, we need to look carefully at what they bring with them:  is it fresh ideas, that actually give us Next Generation leadership – that gives US a starting point and new ideas so WE can move forward with OUR problems?  We can’t expect a new outcome from an established individual who’s held a seat for a long time.  Will we see some fast-track new faces, for whom we’ll need to research their voting record and endorsements to see if they’re more likely to represent the voters or what the established interests are telling them to stand for?  What can such a candidate do – not only on behalf of the state of Georgia, but in providing leadership for our country – and identifying solutions for emerging issues, instead of dwelling on inertia, stalemates and heckling.  Because if the hecklers win, we all lose.

Our problems are solvable.  With the Next Generation, we can start with level ground and a call to action, not stagnating with divisive factions and polarizing reputations.  We have to believe that we can solve OUR problems, not those of longstanding political factions or the current administration’s distractions.  The solution has to be inclusive to get away from the stalemates and trenches.  Our future – and our ability to make it a positive future for our families and for our country – is up to us, and to the new leaders that will get us there.  And it starts now.

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