Monday, August 10, 2015

Pay Attention, or Pay the Piper

There is a clear and defining difference between "standing up" and "taking a stand."

The Colonel begs you, with tears in his eyes and all the love he can muster in the flinty cinder that passes for his heart, to discern that difference in the motives of those who would vie for your vote.

Contrary to shallow popular belief and star-struck sentiment, discerning the motives of someone who would assume the mantle of leadership is really rather easy.

That ease of discernment, however, does not come with the sole reliance on the study of sound bytes or parrotting of carefully crafted slogans -- no matter how compelling.  Discernment requires a bit more study.

Discernment does not require an exceptional education, nor any particularly acute mental faculties -- were that the case, the Colonel would be out of luck.

The first requirement for knowing the difference between "standing up" and "taking a stand" is understanding the definition of each term. They are polar opposites.


One who stands up draws attention to one's self.


One who takes a stand draws attention to the principle on which one stands.

One who stands up denounces the actions of others and derides their "stupidity."

One who takes a stand makes no claim of personal character superiority, nor relative intellectual superiority.

Standing up screams, "Look at me!" Use of the first person pronoun is prevalent. (For the LSU grads, that's the word "I")

Taking a stand calmly pleads, "Look at the issue!"

Standing up means drawing approving attention, with the most strident appeals, to the audience's biases and prejudices.

Taking a stand means drawing attention to the merits of a principle -- even when that principle runs counter to the audience's biases and prejudices.

By the Colonel's count, at least half of those vying for our vote, of both parties, are just "standing up."

The Colonel pleads with you, with tears in his eyes and all the love he can muster from the flinty cinder that passes for his heart, to look beyond the flashy and feel beyond the simple appeals to your baser nature.

TAKE A STAND with a principled, "others first" leader -- and go down, if you must, fighting the good fight.
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