Do as I say, not as I do

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Remember when leaders would actually lead? When leaders led by example? When a leader would say "follow me" and then actually lead the way into the unknown; assuming all the risks being asked of everyone else? When it was anathema to ask a person to do what you yourself wouldn't do?

There are still instances where we witness this kind of leadership. The U.S. Military practically oozes it. One of the more popular (and literal) slogans of the U.S. Marine Corps is "First to Fight"; they mean it…and they live it.

U.S. Army Rangers say "Rangers Lead the Way"; they mean it …and they live it. Navy Seals say "The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday"…and I believe them.

Isn't it strange that kind of leadership exists in our military but is completely absent in our elected officials? Our elected officials certainly have no shortage of challenges available to demonstrate this kind of leadership…of course, without all that risk of being killed.

Take the matter of health care for example. Forget for the moment what your personal opinion happens to be regarding the soundness of a national health care plan, and instead focus on how our elected officials work themselves into the very plan they would impose on the rest of us.

As a quick primer; The Affordable Health Choices Act, drafted by Senator Edward Kennedy's staff…with a little help from the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee…is the legislation that the President is urging swift approval of. It would, in effect, create an HMO style health benefit plan administered by the government.

There is however, a curious item written into this legislation. Surprisingly (or perhaps not) the legislation specifically exempts federal employees and members of Congress from the plan. This little tidbit was covered in Friday's Wall Street Journal. So in essence, we get one government plan for all of "us"…and a different (meaning better) plan for our "leaders".

Again, it really doesn't matter whether you agree or not that there should be a national health care plan. But it absolutely does matter if the people we elect have the audacity to make laws that ensure that they are better provided for than you.

I have been told that there was a time when public service was a noble thing. When elected officials actually took up the banner of the people; and worked diligently to serve them. I have also been told that dinosaurs once roamed the earth.

Sadly, I haven't actually witnessed either of these events...and only the dinosaurs left any evidence of their existence.

I am willing to bet that I see a real Jurassic Park (with living dinosaurs), well before I see any elected official take up a principled position on any matter, if doing so carries with it any risk (no matter how small) of losing a re-election bid.

So here's the only slogan that I could think of that our elected officials can say with meaning; and actually live up to: "Do as I say, not as I do."

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