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Leadership Thought #306 – Tired People Tell The Truth

February 27, 2012

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Tired people tell the truth.

Quite a few people bemoan the length of our presidential primaries and other election campaigns these days – I don’t.  People can keep up an act or tell you what you want to hear for a brief period of time, but when they get exhausted by the rigors of a long campaign and tired of answering the same old questions the same old way, the eventually will slip up and say what they truly feel or believe.   In addition, when you are speaking to a niche audience with a particular ideology or playing to the base, it takes a strong personality to say what you believe they need to hear rather than what they want to hear.  Whether you agree with him or not, Ron Paul (who has no chance of winning) has been consistent on this front while the others adjust their rhetoric to fit the moment and forget their own checkered past.  The good news is that when people get tired and consistently challenged, they usually end up telling the truth.  Rick Santorum is a case in point this past week.

I used to believe that people prefer leaders who are honest and true to their beliefs rather than someone who is media savvy and ideologically malleable when it suits them.  This is why most politicians aren’t typically held in high esteem.  We see them lie or flip flop on issues all the time.  They also have this uncanny ability to distance themselves from their own track record with minimal remorse or regret.  They also use faulty explanations to rationalize why they did what they did.  You can almost hear the consultants whispering in their ears telling them what to say and how to act.   I like the fact that at least they must keep this up for a prolonged period and under intensive scrutiny when running for high office.  I want my candidates from both parties to be tired and a bit cranky.  At least you know where they truly stand.  Then you can make an informed decision.