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It takes a statesman to lead in a positive manner and at the same time withstand the combative tone that’s overtaken our public discussions in this country lately.
The Twin Counties seemed somewhat harbored from the turbulence that’s shaken national politics ever since the great recession was recognized in 2008.
The levee that held back the torrent of anger, bitterness and resentment seemed to fail last fall with the general election.
Voters saw to it that the tide swept away four out of five Carroll School Board incumbents and three county supervisors.
And in the municipal elections in May, Hillsville’s incumbent mayor narrowly sank to his challenger, while at the same time one out of two on council failed to tread water.
The county election led directly to Carroll soon needing a new schools superintendent and the municipal one led to Hillsville needing a new town manager and police chief.
At last check, the waters are still roiling with discontent, especially in Hillsville, where deeply divided citizens have clung to their positions tenaciously, as evidenced by a recent town council meeting when citizens flooded the meeting room and unleashed their pent-up frustrations.
This leads to the question, what will it take to calm the waters again?
A leader that can ride out the storm while inspiring the crew to work hard to right the ship would be a great thing to have.
So what qualities should such a leader, a true statesmen, have?
A statesman works to create an atmosphere of inclusion and trust, not spread conspiracy theories and incite paranoia.
A statesman tempers his emotion with reason.
A statesman doesn’t do behind the scenes what he can do in public.
A statesman can change directions and admit making mistakes if it’s shown he was going the wrong way.
Leaders have the responsibility of putting the people first and realizing its not all about them.
Politicians are cogs in the machine, easily replaced. A statesman is someone many can look up to.
Having such a person at the helm would go a long way to smooth the sailing once again.