Coffee with Frank

Discussions about responsible leadership

Trump is getting results on issues near-and-dear to republican voters. He’s putting “right of center” Justices on the Supreme Court, dismantling large government agencies such as the EPA and relaxing regulations that dampen corporate profits. He’s getting things done, so why should we care how he does it? If our only expectation is that elected officials mirror our own views and represent those views in our government bodies and institutions, then what happens when we no longer care how those views are achieved?

13 charged in plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. This was the headline of a recent article on CNN.com. Details are still emerging as the investigation continues, but the intent of the individuals involved seems clear – free the citizens of Michigan from oppressive, Democratic heavy-handedness by disrupting the State Government. It is hard to disassociate the actions of these individuals from comments made by President Donald Trump earlier this year on Twitter – “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” Some of our fellow citizens seem to have taken that quite literally.

Other elected officials, such as Senator Susan Collins of Maine, have been challenged to state whether or not they will vote for Trump in 2020. She has largely avoided the topic, recently stating “Let me say this: I don’t think the people of Maine need my advice on whom to support for president.”

Senator Collins – you are wrong. People do need to hear your advice. They can take it or leave it, but how can you abdicate your responsibility to provide leadership when it is so badly needed? Too many Americans are willing to follow a troubled man in the White House, largely because they will get the outcome they want. But are we really willing to get it by any means necessary? Are YOU willing to remain silent while some of your constituents and your colleagues continue to turn a blind eye to behavior that encourages the kidnapping of a State Governor? Behavior that emboldens white supremacists, racists and bigots?

It is time that we expect our elected officials to not only represent our views on matters of policy, but to represent those views in a responsible way – to lead us, not just represent us. We are being driven off of a cliff, and it feels like the car is getting a push from the GOP. Leaders standing up and telling people it is not okay to vote for Trump is one of the ways we can pump the breaks before we go over the edge.

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