In modern Democracies the freedom to dream, dream big, and formulate a better world is a distinct advantage over Communist nations. These dreams eventually become the visons that drive us forward to a better, more moral society. We need people in all levels of society who can dream big, see a better world, and communicate their vision to create a better condition than exists today.
We believe that history will show that our greatest leaders emerged when they believed in visions that were morally sound, and personally challenging to themselves and those they led.
A Clear and Moral Vision
In the 1960’s one such person who could do this was Martin Luther King, Jr. King’s true visionary moment was what is now known as his “I have a dream” speech on August 28, 1963, in Washington, D. C. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King recounted a long history of injustices experienced by African Americans in America before an estimated 200,000 onlookers. But his retelling of history was a mere backdrop to his vision of the future, and he did an articulate job of laying out a vision of what the world could look like for future generations. His speech is too long to reprint here, but the most memorable moments for us are captured in these two phrases.
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. could never have envisioned a world where his followers descended into violence against each other; experience a breakdown of religious values; have low marriage rates, high abortion rates, and generations of families living from Government handouts. His vision was one of equal opportunity, self-reliance, and moral fiber. In his time African Americans led the nation with high marriage rates and religious grounding.
King’s assassination left a void that has not been filled by others. His visionary statements now are falling by the wayside as a new generation, both black and white, see great profits in racism. It is still to be seen if anyone can step forward and fulfill this vision.
There are leaders within the African American community that we believe can fill the void left by King, and they come from unlikely places: politics, academia, and Hollywood. The voices speaking with clarity are people like Tim Scott, Thomas Sowell, Alveda King, Charles Payne, and Denzel Washington. These people see and speak of potential and are not divisive in their mission. Their voices are not yet loud enough, but they are there. The keys lie in King’s foundational beliefs in a level playing field and faith, family, self-sufficiency.
“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”
“The absence of men in the household has caused people to not know how to respond to authority with respect. There’s a major problem with the patriarchs having been chased out of the house.”
“The left made the political decision to slice and dice the country into buckets of victims. It’s probably the most despicable form of government this nation has ever seen. It’s a deliberate effort to make people feel small, hated, afraid, intimidated, and have hopelessness.”
“With so many things coming back in style, I can’t wait until morals, respect, and intelligence become a trend.”
“But the question we should ask ourselves is, ‘who is the next visionary leader of America? How do we have the aspiration and inspire Americans to reach their highest level?’ We need a president that does so.”
These are the real leaders among the Black community, not the pretenders to the Martin Luther King, Jr. leadership legacy. Each is an accomplished, recognized leader in their field.
As a minister Dr. King understood the value of moral leadership. He knew that Jesus of Nazareth used stories and allegories to help His followers understand His dream for the world. The stories He told were as relevant for their lives as well as ours today. Within the parables we can visualize ourselves in the story and see the outcome, without having to experience the story.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27 NIV
In Dr. King’s time the African American community had its foundation on a rock built on morals, faith, and family, but today their foundation is sand. By today’s standards, many would consider him anything but radical or liberal. King demonstrated that vision is the real differentiator between leaders, and his message was to lift African Americans up, not tear others down.
Tactics Are Not Visions
Imagine you are in Russia and the national vision is to invade your neighbor, cause physical destruction beyond belief, and lose tens of thousands of your best and brightest young people in the process. Those in power try to justify this as fighting back Nazism or fascism, when your population knows through the internet that there is no such threat. There is no winning in this scenario, only loss of lives, treasure, and international prestige. Such wars are fought to enrich the top politicians with either wealth or power, or both. There is no shared vision that gives the nation a reason to unite. The actions of these few at the top lack a moral foundation, and they always collapse. A false vision built on lies will always be ferreted out in the end, and it will collapse on itself because it has no foundation in truth.
Or you are in China, the largest atheist nation on earth with 91% of their population having no religious foundation. The description of a better world for the Chinese people is one of conquest, theft of intellectual property, and going through life daily without moral boundaries. In this domain a real vision cannot exist because your horizon is limited and directed by the State. The boundaries on behavior toward each other and foreigners is set by the State and not a moral or religious boundary.
No Communist head of State or government can compete with a Democracy over the long haul because of a lack of shared vision and a lack of moral boundaries on behavior. For long term success, political leaders must align their countrymen with a national vision. You must explain how the place you are leading them is better than the place you are now. No Communist nation or Dictatorship can describe this in a way meets the “better place” test. Citizens can only be forced there, not led. Dreaming big is limited by those in power. Conquest of others is a tactic of the State, not a shared vision of a Nation and its people. There is a reason that there are no Ronald Reagan visionaries in Communist nations, only in Democracies.
The same shortfall in vision goes with Socialism. Working hard so that the product of your labor can be distributed to others is not a vision, it is a tactic. Socialists, and yes, we have them now in the Halls of Congress, do have a dream. But their dream is personal enrichment at the hands of others. Socialist Congressmen and Congresswomen in America are no better than their counterparts in Russia and China. They disproportionally profit from the labor of others while enjoying the luxuries afforded by prominent Government positions. The Socialist among us push for greater redistribution of wealth not as a true vision, but only to hold power at the expense of others.
The Key to Leadership
Vision is one of the five keys to leadership, and we believe the most important. Creating a vision is the key to rallying people to make changes for the better. A true vision emerges when you are doing the right thing for the right reason, and true leaders emerge when they have the right vision.
This is where we differ in thought from some others. Our experience shows us that people can be taught to dream about the future, and to put these dreams into words. Once you learn to capture your dreams in words you are on the path to creating a vision. A vision is nothing more than a dream, some future imaginary state, that you choose to bring closer to reality. A leader practices this over and over until it is habit. Perhaps out there somewhere there are people born with this skill, but we think that is improbable and that leadership is learned.
Leadership can be learned, and that is great news for our children, grandchildren, and all future Americans. Dreams and visions flourish best when people are free to pursue them, and they have that level of freedom only in Democracies.