I often call out Republicans in Congress for their cowardice and complicity in the face of Trump’s assault on our democracy. But many Congressional Democrats are making it hard to see how they’re any better.
If these Democrats continue to say that Trump is guilty of impeachable offenses, as he so obviously is, but then shy away from impeaching him, their overriding message, no matter what explanation they offer, is that they’re too weak and fearful to follow words with actions.
It would be better just to stay quiet.
Like it would be better not to invite people like Corey Lewandowski to show utter contempt for Congress, and just sit there and take it. They only play the helpless victims of the schoolyard bully:
SMACK — “Hey! That’s not right!”
SMACK — “You’re breaking the rules!
SMACK — “If you do that again, I’ll tell!”
Given the choice between the bully and the bully’s victims, many voters will choose the bully.
They may feel sorry for the victims. But they sure won’t follow them.
That’s because above all, leadership requires strength, or at least the appearance of it. If you can’t stand up for us, why would we stand behind you?
And you can’t convince people you’re strong by talking about it. You have to show it.
It means you may have to get in an actual fight, which means getting hit, and hitting back. Not scheduling a meeting to consider hitting back at some point in the future.
Most importantly, getting in an actual fight means taking the risk that you’ll lose.
That’s scary — but that’s all it is. Leaders know that losing is not the worst outcome.
If you do lose, you still will have shown the character and courage of a leader, one who can lead again in the next battle, or inspire others to.
But if you won’t even fight, you’ve lost already.
And you should face, at least, this: You’re not a leader.