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Mar 5, 2024

When paying close attention to the things politicians actually say, there are moments when their true character unmistakably shines through. The memorable comments and quips are often material for statues and memorials. Successful politicians fight the urge to be blunt because of the historical danger bluntness brings. Thankfully, eventually most lose that challenging inner battle.

Last Thursday, Sen. Mike Braun lost that battle. In an interview with Fox News anchor, Maria Bartiromo, she asked the Indiana gubernatorial candidate for his thoughts on how Sen. Mitch McConnell should handle his leadership transition. Braun said he thought McConnell needed to endorse the Trump campaign with this motivational advice: “Don’t fight it, you gotta go along with it.”

Sort of gives a person goose bumps, doesn’t it?

I’m reminded of other great oratorical moments from our leaders. Words that moved people, inspired us, or provided great clarity in times of uncertainty or strife.

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself,” from President Franklin Roosevelt comes to mind. Those were big words at a big moment.

“It’s not what your country can do for you, it’s what you can do for your country,” struck a nerve when President John F. Kennedy said it.

When I walk by the statue of President Benjamin Harrison in downtown Indianapolis, I am always drawn to his quote etched into the base: “Great lives do not go out; they go on.” That may have inspired the Celine Dion song, “My Heart Will Go On.”

More goose bumps.

Being a follower never inspires. Don’t get me wrong, followers are vital to humanity. Where would we be without them? Let’s face it, all of us spend most of our time following. But all of us aren’t running for governor. All of us aren’t in the U.S. Senate. Those are jobs reserved for leaders.


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