During World War II Winston Churchill kept a shocked nation together, he brought out the best of Britain and of all the Allied powers. FDR when he emphasized that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself did much the same thing. They both led. During the Civil Rights era Martin Luther King, Jr. led. He preached non-violence and led blacks and whites alike out of the racial impasse the U.S. was then in. Following the dismantling of Apartheid Nelson Mandela led, he brought out the best of the people in South Africa leading them away from racial hatred and towards reconciliation. Leaders are not just the head of something, be it any group, political party, nation… leaders wrest the best out of the people they are meant to guide. They lead them away from their worst impulses and bring them to find common ground. And that’s why I am absolutely aghast at what’s happening with several US presidential candidates. They prey on fears and on division, whether those fears and divisions are political, ethnic or religious. And not only are they good at dividing, separating, excluding, whether it be refugees, immigrants, Mexicans, non-Christians and anyone who does not fit into their own molds, their answer to solve many problems is guns, violence, bombs. What makes me even more aghast is the popularity of this kind of mock leadership, the fact that so many accept it. If we want to have a future, one where our children’s children can live with a modicum of normalcy, prosperity, security and can live without the consequences of fear and divisions, then we need to stand up and proclaim as loudly as we can: Enough! Say enough not for political reasons but as a statement of principle, standing for the values we want someone seeking to be a leader to uphold.

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