What People Teach Us: Bernie Sanders – A Sip of Refreshing Leadership In The Lion’s Den

Politics aside, it’s refreshing to hear requests from our politicians that are more the exception than the regular rule and rigmarole.

Too often we have leaders that push their agendas. And they should do so as that’s what they get elected to do. That’s understood.

“Political posturing–it’s a confusing game of Battleship when it should be a strategic conversation of reasonable requests.”

But they approach it from the standpoint of holding firm their position based on what they, their party or backers, or in political context, their constituents, desire.  Political posturing–it’s a confusing game of Battleship when it should be a strategic conversation of reasonable requests.

So we see examples in the news of leaders pushing their agenda against their rivals. It’s a repetitive process where the steps and actions don’t change–the insults, the deprecating banter, and the “gotcha” attitudes–where somehow everyone with a stake in the game expects a different result from the latest exchange using the same method.

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Isn’t that a variant definition of insanity–doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result?

So in the political realm we see it recurring every cycle, every year, and every issue.  Opposing politicians step up to the mic and without opening their mouths or delivering their messages, you can almost anticipate and predict what each is going to say. Just look at both the Republican and Democratic debates for the 2016 Presidential Nomination as recent examples of that strategy.

“He addressed those head-on but then asked that they put those issues to the side and talk about the issues or underlying causes they do agree on.”

Then you see prominent leaders step up and say something outside the realm of the typical broken, skipping record.

Take Bernie Sanders, for example.

In September of 2015, Sanders, the Democratic socialist Vermont Senator who is campaigning on his uphill trail to become the President, spoke at Liberty University, a conservative Christian college founded by the conservative pastor, televangelist and political commentator Jerry Falwell.

Anyone familiar with the political backgrounds brought together in that event can attest to the stark contrast in opposing viewpoints of the speaker and his audience.

What stood out the most was that Sanders addressed the issues upon which he and his audience disagreed. He addressed those head-on but then asked that they put those issues to the side and talk about the issues or underlying causes they do agree on. Refreshing, to say the least. That approach, compared to the usual political speech, is welcome. Might this approach take place in the politics in speeches we might not see? Of course. But it was great to see it on such a national stage from a prominent figure.

“Why not make it more of a common, everyday habit to first find out what the common ground is and then build up from there?”

That was a great example of leadership that our kids should see. We can only hope that we all learn from such a mediative approach.  There is a full spectrum of possibilities and approaches that can exist between the positions or sets of needs of opposing sides. Why not make it more of a common, everyday habit to first find out what the common ground is and then build up from there?

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But of course, that’s politics. That’s the game. But it gets old. Opposition for opposition’s sake.

Again, with regard to Sanders, this is respect floated for his approach and not an endorsement of his beliefs.

Even if someone did agree completely with his platform, and you did not agree with that person’s general political views, you could put that aside, right?

You could agree that his approach was admirable, right?

That’d be great. That’d be refreshing.

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