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Looking for more leadership in America

To the Editor:

This is in response to Dan Alexander’s editorial and the letter from Betsi Calhoun in Schroon Lake.

I couldn’t agree more on the need for confident and broad reaching leadership, or it’s going to take forever to get out of this mess. Part of the mess are systems (health care, taxes, schools, etc.) that are both antiquated and very poorly designed; the US (especially) has been getting by pretty nicely, ever since WWII was won by the Allies, and we could “afford” to be stupid. Now, we are in terrible trouble.

Bush was an excellent leader for getting things done, in the context of this constant no holds barred fight between Republicans and Democrats; unfortunately, most of his major ideas arguably made things much worse. Obama would be a terrific leader (bold and confident and collaborating) if the political parties were cooperating, but his style is severely dampened by the Republican declared goal of making him fail, no matter what the cost. We all lose.

One key to a successful path out, I believe, would be the desire and action to create solutions that are respectful of everyone affected. The controversy over gay marriage is a case in point. I am sympathetic to keeping “marriage” as it has been traditionally defined—but, NOT at the expense of gay persons and their loving relationships and families. If we can back a different label that infers the same respect and guarantees the same legal advantages and security for the equivalent of marriage between gay persons, I think there will be much wider support, and then we move on to the next issue, and the next issue, and …

We need to respect and support the rich and the poor, the intellectually educated and the experience educated, gifted leaders along with those of us content to follow and work together, Christians and Muslims and all other religions—the list will get very lengthy, but the principle has to be applied everywhere! Easier said than done, but we have to start with the paramount goal of real and effective respect and support for all, or we are screwed, in my opinion.

Don Austin

Elizabethtown

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