Tough question, right? When I look for a worthy candidate, I’m left scratching my head. Leadership is like using a catalyst, an agent that causes a chemical reaction when mixed with another compound. Nothing happens until the catalyst enters the mix. When our Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia more than 200 years ago to write the Constitution, our population numbered around 3 million, yet six world-class leaders sat among the authors of that historical document. The mix of those great minds resulted in a document standing the test of time.
Today we number at more than 200 million Americans, and in looking at the explosion of media before us, one would think rock stars, Hollywood icons and quarterbacks serve as present day heroes. Our world, both locally and abroad, suffers from a drought of great leadership. With the press so firmly partitioned into bias camps, we find no good way to separate the sheep from the goats, much less ascertain the truth of what takes place, who did what when, or which quote to believe.
Now before you clamor for one public figure or another, realize I speak hypothetically. No real contest exists. I am expressing equal disdain for all public figures in every bias camp. My past vote for candidates remains private. I bear the utmost respect for the office of the Presidency and the man who serves, whether I count him my favorite patriot or not. Because I respect the office of the President of the United States do not assume my opposite assignment of villain status to all his naysayers. None of these dignitaries in any office earned my vote as favorite patriot, so don’t jump on your your high horse too quickly, just take it all at face value.
My candidate for favorite patriot this 4th of July is…the unknown soldier. He cannot be vilified. He cannot be microscopically scrutinized for missteps or words inadvertently spoken. His sole accomplishment lies in the anonymity and totality of his service. His willingness to give his all without recognition or remuneration or medal of any kind speaks volumes about his character and qualification. Indeed, he cannot be faulted in any way.
And that’s the real problem, isn’t it? Everyone feels the need to point fingers, weigh in, assess blame, state an opinion. Where are our public servants? Is their conspicuous absence the fault of the press? The people? The cowardice of the public servants? Until we can read a true and faithful report of the real actions and words of a single public figure, gratefully accept the service rendered, politely suggest things to improve the situation, making sure everyone involved feels safe to participate, and at the end of the day we bury our hatchets and sleep peacefully at night, our hero will remain the one unimpeachable candidate resting in an unknown grave. The Unknown Soldier. May he rest in peace. May we find more of his ilk and stature in the days to come. We desperately need them.