We are truly blessed in the USA! The First Amendment of the constitution, which precludes the government from inhibiting free speech, gives us the right to say just about anything about any topic without fear of civil repercussion. Writing this article is protected, as is all other forms of communication, including but not limited to the media. This is a precious gift that is not duplicated in many other parts of the world, and it is part of what makes us truly free.
Free speech is also a double edged sword. People can put a spin on events to their own purpose, and so too can the media. Global warming can be a hoax, or the biggest threat to humanity, depending on what spin catches your eye. Fossil fuel can be the driving force for taking much of the planet to prosperity, or it just might be the reason for all environmental ills, depending on who you are listening to. Barack Obama was either the greatest President or the worst, if your listening to either CNN or FOX. Free speech, although a blessing, does not guarantee that the truth be told.
There are many truly great leaders in our country. Mary Barra has done a fantastic job bringing General Motors back from the brink. Marc Benioff has taken a start-up, SalesForce, from obscurity to #1 in its field. Warren Buffett, well, I don’t need to say anything more about him! Ursula Burns was an exceptional CEO for Xerox, and I could go on and on and on…. We don’t have a problem finding leaders for business or other civilian endeavors in our country. Good people are all around, people that can lead with vision.
Politics, on the other hand, has a big issue with finding qualified visionary leaders. We tend to attract people that have little skill in this area. Instead of getting the best, we seem to be left with those that would not be able to successfully lead in any other civilian endeavor. We get the likes of Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Hillary Clinton, Lisa Murkowski, Maxine Waters, Elizabeth Warren, and John McCain. Not one of these people would be picked to run a legitimate profitable business. That doesn’t mean that we never get good leadership, but that quality is not the rule in politics.
One big reason for this is our 1st Amendment. With unfettered free speech, the media and the contestants have turned politics into a blood sport! Nothing is off limits in a campaign. Opponents hire search firms to find out everything in their competitors past, and if there is anything that can be spun into a dirty narrative it will be. Likewise, media will put their best investigative reporters on a mission to find dirt on candidates that do not boost their narrative, and if found will be put on the air nationwide. Few of us are without sin, and even fewer would want to be put to this kind of scrutiny. It seems that the 1st Amendment that gives us freedom of speech also guarantees us poor political leadership. Freedom of speech truly comes at a cost!