A moment for leadership

President Obama speaks about the Dallas shootings

Like any thinking person, I am heartsick about the events of the last few days. Police are killing black men and people are killing police in the nation I love. I want to believe our nation is better than this. And, perhaps in vain, I seek answers and inspiration from our leaders.

While these events tear apart local communities, the confluence of hatred, violence, and bigotry is now a national issue. It transcends New York, Baton Rouge, Ferguson, or Dallas. Our relationships with each other have become toxic, poisoned by hate, inflamed by media, and aggravated by partisan politics.

None of us alone are intelligent enough to solve this problem, or we would have solved it by now.

We need leadership.

I look to President Obama to define a path forward. He must define a future that will enable law enforcement and those they serve and police to engage each other with respect. Guns, training, and oversight are all part of the problem, but we need a more comprehensive solution. I look to congressional leaders of both parties to find common ground in a moment of crisis, as we have in crises past.

This is Hillary Clinton’s moment to transcend platitudes and reach out to the whole nation — not red or blue states, not black citizens and blue-clad officers, but the whole nation — and use her diplomatic skills to bring us together.

This is Donald Trump’s moment to renounce the hate he has stoked, the same hate that has brought us to this moment. Trump touts a politics of vigorous strength. In this moment, strength comes only from bringing people together. I challenge him to do it.

This is Gary Johnson’s moment to show what a libertarian will do to protect those whose liberty is threatened by police — and those who abuse liberty to kill them.

This is Bernie Sanders’ moment to use the credibility he has earned. In this pivotal moment, Hillary Clinton’s head needs his heart. What he does next will determine the role he will play — or his irrelevance — in the coming years.

Watch our leaders at this moment, when we are all in pain and despair for the state of our country. Seek meaningful words and actions that transcend division. What our leaders say and do in the next few days will determine, not just the outcome of the election, but the course of our nation.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I have been a subscriber for awhile, but have not commented until now. These are the wisest words I have read in this past week. Thank you.

  2. The horror of it all. Policemen killing innocent black people for no reason and captured on video for the whole world to see what the US has become. Now black people killing policemen. Madness.

    This weekend will see another significant rise in gun purchases which in turn will increase the probability of more mayhem sooner – a deathly spiral of killings.

  3. Josh,
    I love your work. Your daily posts on writing without Bullshit are what I signed up for and and overall, I’d have to say I’m pleased. Scratch that. I’d have to say you’re the best.
    Two times though within the past week I’ve noticed errors in your posts. They look to be just careless editing errors that in a typical rant, I’d just look beyond.
    But you’re my hero. I expect awesome writing along with thoughtful, heartfelt ideas. Please don’t let me down by rushing get to get a post out the door.

    What errors?….3rd sentence of today’s opening paragraph. And your intro to Monday’s bike riding post.

    Again, I love your work and have recommended you to many. I share the feedback with the greatest respect and in hopes that it will inspire even more greatness.

    1. Christopher, thanks for your warm feedback.

      It is, frankly, a challenge for me. I am balancing the need for speed of posting, time to review, and my commitment to post every week day. I could hire a copyeditor, but that would make it harder to post quickly.

      I will redouble my pursuit of perfection. And I’ll try not post after an entire day of cycling (Monday) or 4 hours sleep (today) without triple-checking everything.

      My readers deserve both inspiration and perfection.

  4. This is a great site and I hope it stays focused on what is real and not just opinions on the SSDD! OK, retired from the US Army after 39 years in 2006 and let me thank all for paying my salary and health coverage, God Bless To ALL! So let me say WE are still the Greatest country in the world and I have seen most of them, with all are faults. Our last 30 years have opened my eyes to our so call leaders and all of them at our local level and country level are worthless but how do we elect them? What Duty, Honor and Country exists in their moral fiber? How is it so hard to love another as you love yourself? Please I don’t want to hear from some Psychology major or any deep thinkers. Life was given to us by one supreme being, my family calls him God and it is simple to go on with life knowing we strive to reach the ultimate goal heaven. And I and my family do not care what color, deformity, opinions(we ALL have one) and any other reason not to LOVE our fellow man. And even with my combat back round I never hated the enemy for he was doing his job and I mine. So let me end, God Bless us ALL to include Dickens’ Tiny Tim! Bill R