While he’s on vacation, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey has turned over his column to a few regular readers to share their thoughts. Today’s column is written by longtime reader Carla Jo Rupert.
I was raised in a Southern military home that believed that people of rank or seniority earned the right to be respected. These individuals paid their dues, played by the rules and moved up the ladder of success by being honorable and taking care of their people. A leader (as defined by me) is a person of authority, integrity, someone who has the right to control, command or determine an outcome. Leaders are the people to whom most kids look up to, believe in, respect and strive to be like.
I sit here today stunned and wondering just how my beliefs could have been so wrong. Since moving to Washington, D.C., in 2000, I have found my respect for high-ranking civilian and military leaders severely damaged. I have witnessed more corruption, greed and a blatant sense of entitlement than I care to mention (or even believed existed) within the federal government. I am tired of reading article after article about our leaders lying, cheating and stealing. Some of these so-called “leaders” who claim to represent our country (and our way of life) are frivolously wasting taxpayer’s money and are not thinking twice about it. (GSA, need I say more?) It’s as if the “privileged” are saying that we, the little people, should just stand by and accept whatever they do because they are a Senior Level Federal Employee and have earned the right to “bend the rules.”
Really? Where is this mentality coming from? I don’t believe that these people started their federal service believing that “bending the rules” (or breaking laws) is a God-given right handed down by ‘time in service’ to our country. In fact, they probably started out believing that they could make a difference, be a strong leader and take down the wicked and unjust. When did it all change? Leaders are entrusted to a position of authority and are expected to be honest and represent the American people and our interests. How dare they squander our money when U.S. citizens are scraping by just to put food on the table, losing their homes because they can’t pay the mortgage and won’t use health care because they can’t afford it?
Have our so-called “leaders” forgotten why they joined the federal ranks? I always thought it was to: serve my country; to defend it and its people; and to be a voice for those who can’t be heard.
I want my childhood belief system to be a reality again. I want to raise my daughter in a country where the leaders actually have morals and integrity. The only way to achieve this is to ask all of our “leaders” to stop acting like spoiled, selfish children and act like the person who would make their mothers’ proud. Be the leader who you wanted to be as a child. Make the difference. Take a stand. Realize that you represent the American populace and should act as stewards of good faith and judgment. Make my daughter want to be you.
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