by Candace Salima, US Daily Review Senior Contributor
With great power comes great responsibility. This is an old adage that remains as true as it ever was. On March 2nd, Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of the U.S. Congress. He addressed the great problems we face in the Middle East. The growing threat of ISIS and and the increasingly great probability of a nuclear armed Iran should be areas of great concern to Barack Obama, the White House and the Obama Administration. But they’ve made it clear this is not a priority with them. What is a priority is striking a deal with Iran before Obama leaves office at the end of his last, thank God, and final term.
Let’s put aside Barack Obama for a moment and look at the characteristics of a great leader. Great leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Some are good looking, some are average, and some look like a refugee from Middle Earth. But what they all have in common is a strength of character unparalleled in society.
Sense of Self: Great leaders have a strong sense of identity. In other words, they know who they are, what they stand for, and what they are going to do about it. They understand that it requires knowing who they are inside and what they are capable of in order to instill confidence in others. Ronald Reagan was a great example of this. He was tough, a great communicator and loved America deeply. He came into power at the conclusion of the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
On November 4th of 1979 radical Islamists stormed the U.S. Embassy in Iran and took everyone hostage. They remained in captivity until January 20th of 1981. Why did they release the hostages? Because they knew full well that Ronald Reagan would rain the full force and might of the American military down on them and he wouldn’t stop until every last American was home. So the day that Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president was the day they released the hostages. The Islamists knew Reagan’s strong sense of identity and were not willing to go up against him.
Integrity and Honor: A great leader has an inviolate sense of integrity and honor. Abraham Lincoln had this in spades. He attributed all that he became to his dear, sweet mother. But deep inside the 16th President of the United States was an innate sense of right and wrong that never wavered. Faced with the tearing in two of our nation over the issue of slavery, he fought the Civil War to keep our nation together and to abolish slavery in America. He knew he was drawing a hard line, but America had to stand in order for freedom and liberty to flourish. Had we divided, we would have fallen. Lincoln’s sense of right or wrong, as well as the high standard of excellence he held himself to proved his integrity and honor was indeed, inviolate. A great leader understands that he must be honorable in his dealings with his fellow man.
Spirituality: It is critical that a great leader recognize that he or she answers to a higher power. All that we accomplish on earth is because of a benevolent God who has allowed, even inspired, it to happen. George Washington, the father of our country, was the first to recognize the Omnipotent hand that guided our Founding Fathers and the Americans during the Revolutionary War. The concluding paragraph of his first inaugural address was as follows:
Having thus imported to you my sentiments, as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign parent of the human race, in humble supplication that since he has been pleased to favour the American people, with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparellelled unanimity on a form of Government, for the security of their Union, and the advancement of their happiness; so his divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend. (Source)
Maturity: A great leader realizes that maturity is the key to making correct decisions in all things. This is something sorely lacking in the current White House. Today, because they didn’t like Benjamin Netanyahou’s speech, the White House staffers took to Twitter to ridicule Netanyahou, as if they’d never graduated junior high and stopped maturing at that point. Let’s face facts, had Barack Obama not thrown a temper tantrum the attention would have been scant about the Israeli Prime Minister speech. Only political junkies, like myself, would have tuned in. Instead, because Obama and the Democrats had a colossal fit to rival a teenage girl, the light was bright and shone directly on Netanyahou. His speech was spot on in addressing the issues facing America and Israel with Iran and ISIS. It was a relief to see a great leader, we haven’t seen one in so long. Israel’s Prime Minister shows great maturity as he has not only had to fight for Israel’s very survival, he has grown to maturity and has a good grasp of what will help his nation grow instead of suffering from the crab syndrome as Barack Obama does.
In essence, a great leader is something America is sorely lacking in political circles. We are coming up on the next presidential cycle. We have endured seven years of a leaderless nation. It is time that we, as a nation, choose our next leader because of his stellar qualifications as opposed to the color of his skin. Skin color matters not, it is the content of his character and his priorities that must be judged. America needs a great leader, we’ve had enough of the other.
Candace E. Salima is an author, columnist, public speaker and political activist. A frequent radio guest on shows around the nation, she is valued for her viewpoint on a variety of subjects, particularly politics. She is co-owner and Vice-President of Marketing of CommuniTXT. Follow Candace on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Learn more about her on www.candacesalima.com.