Last week our topic of discussion was centered on the assessment of effective leadership styles now that America is looking to select the best candidate for the upcoming presidential election. In the meantime, two more presidential debates occurred for both the Democratic and Republican parties where once again, each candidate was given the opportunity to express their views and reasons why they would make the best choice to lead this country.
Last week’s debate was the first time we saw Hillary Clinton take more of a combative strategy aimed directly at Bernie Sanders. This tactic, however, left many with a feeling that her blatant attacks were more for the sake of ratings to add a dramatic flare. In prior debates, the candidates displayed a high level of integrity towards one another which created an atmosphere that was more diplomatic. For example, at the recent Democratic debate, Clinton’s choice of words, at times, were somewhat primitive; displaying the kind of rhetoric one would expect to see watching an episode of “Dance Moms.” There were moments where the manner in which she addressed Sanders with accusations of his disrespecting President Obama, was akin to that of a school teacher reprimanding a student for getting caught in misconduct. His response was swift and honest, reminding her that she was the candidate who ran against Obama. Had Hillary merely stuck to her policies and kept the focus on her plans, the direction she wants to go as commander in chief, it would have revealed a more experienced diplomatic Presidential leadership style. However, as it was, she only confirmed what many of us already sense, that her stance is one that is in alignment with the current political status quo. In other words, the only change we can expect to see with her as President, is a change in gender.
To make matters worse, after her loss at the New Hampshire primaries, Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem felt they needed to come to Clinton’s defense by targeting women who did not vote for her. This was quite a shocking response coming from two well respected champion of women.
One of my dearest and life long and friends, Kathy Konst, a former Erie County, N.Y. legislator, whose millennial daughter, Nomiki Konst, is a political commentator on Fox, CNN, MSNBC and other news media, articulates our sentiments more clearly in the recent article she contributed to the online publication, The Hill. It was so well written, I was inspired to share it with our readers here today:
Why isn’t Clinton inspiring millennial women?
By Kathy Konst
“As a young elementary school student teacher in 1980, I was excited to put up a magical 3-D bulletin board welcoming the new class of students. It beckoned with a Shel Silverstein verse, “If you are a dreamer, come in.” This inspiring invitation captured my students’ imaginations and encouraged creativity. It is what children need, and it seems that today it is also what many millennials want — and even expect — from candidates running for office.
Backtrack in time and I can tell you how I was inspired by the activism of Gloria Steinem, who persuaded women to take up the fight for equality and a new “feminism”; and by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who embodied the possibility of a woman holding a position of power on the world stage. They won battles for American women and eventually a war that gave us opportunities to break through glass ceilings — opportunities that some millennials may now take for granted.
I, personally, am a beneficiary of Steinem and Albright’s efforts. In 1999, I embarked on my first campaign for public office in county legislature. After facing my own demons about my worthiness as a middle-aged woman, I leaned on the courage of these pioneering leaders and ran for the positive changes that still needed to be made for equality and opportunity on behalf of my own community.
I understand why Steinem and Albright have been passionate about their support for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as a woman who may finally break the presidency’s glass ceiling. Clinton symbolizes the struggle of a generation of women. But now these same female leaders have harshly called out young women millennials as being wrong for their support of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a man (Konst, 2016).”
For the entire article: Click here
Well that’s it for today’s post. We will continue our leadership assessment of the presidential candidates next time. Until then … keep working on enhancing your own leadership skills!
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
John F. Kennedy
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Konst, K. (2016, February 9). Why isn’t clinton inspiring millenial women. Retrieved February 14 , 2016, from The hill: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/268784-why-isnt-clinton-inspiring-millennial-women