MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Editorials

February 24, 2014

Leadership requires more courage

Oklahoma needs leaders who are willing to lead with courage and conviction rather than political calculation.

A story by The Associated Press last week reported that legislators from both sides of the aisle believe that marijuana laws should be changed to reduce penalties but fear to take up the idea because of potential political risks, especially during an election year.

Pot issue aside, this attitude is worrisome. If something is the right move, it should be worth political risk.

Our election season expands more and more, with candidates campaigning long before they can file to run. Our elected posts are filled with politicians in perpetual campaign mode.

If our leaders are unwilling to tell hard truths and to face political risk to accomplish things that will make our state better, then they do not deserve to hold office.

Too many of our elected officials operate defensively. The idea of compromise for the common good is treated as an unworthy risk. The idea of stepping outside of narrow ideological boundaries to achieve gains for the common good seems a bridge too far for many who seek office.

We must demand true leadership from those we place in positions of power.

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