Caldwell: Our leaders’ actions reflect on citizens

Whatever happened to the concept of leading by example? 

That clearly seems to be lost when it comes to so many elements of our society.

Of course, celebrities, professional athletes and others we put on a pedestal fail to always be positive role models and set good examples for our children to follow. It is sad but we have essentially come to accept that as reality. 

However, when it comes to elected officials, shouldn’t we hold them to a higher standard? 

After all, we chose them to represent us rather than them simply gaining fame because the antics they pulled when a camera was put in their face or their prowess for playing a game. Although we understand that human beings are by nature imperfect, shouldn’t we expect our elected leaders to represent us with dignity and class?

Some of these concerns hit right here at home in Kentucky.

Recent news reports indicated Gov. Matt Bevin was past due on paying more than $11,000 in property taxes. Well, the governor and his supporters may argue that he has been busy and it was only a month or so late but that defense is really unacceptable.

What if every citizen took this approach?

School districts and other local government-funded agencies rely on property taxes to operate. 

Not paying property taxes — or not paying them on time — sets a bad example and sends the message to millions of Kentuckians that this type of behavior is OK.

Make no mistake about it, this problem really seems to start at the top with President Donald Trump.

Regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on or your political beliefs, it is impossible for a reasonable person to argue that Trump’s overall demeanor sets a good example for our youth. We are not even halfway through the first 100 days and we’ve seen concerning trends from his campaign continue into the presidency.

Trump’s confrontational style, name-calling, finger-pointing and constant belittling any viewpoint that is not his own is truly unfitting for the President of the United States.

In fact, his actions have and will likely continue to overshadow his policy decisions, even the good ones. This leaves those who agree with him politically still at odds with his demeanor and actions.

Each and every one of us has the opportunity to raise the bar when it comes to our words and our actions. Those we elected to lead us can do the same.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. He can be reached at (859) 759-0095 or by email at