this is a common question. How do you
change things? Do you work to change the
leadership at the national level or do you work to change
things in your community? Do you change
things at the top or at the bottom? Yes.
It is very
difficult to bring reform if people who donít want reform
are standing in the way. And who doesnít
want reform? Generally, itís people
who already hold the reigns of power. And
yet right now, who is standing in the way of reform? We
all are. Most of us donít know it. Most
of us just canít see it.
One reason we
donít see it is because people at the top are standing
in the way and they donít want us to see it. The
problem is that we and the people at the top have the
same consciousness, generally speaking. We
elect people who are very much like ourselves.
And so the people at the top behave just as we
would behave if we were there. You might
not like me saying that, because it's not always easy to
look in the mirror. But once we do it's hard to deny the
the cycle something has to change. One
thing that can bring about change is responsible leadership.
Leadership can come from anybody and, in a manner of
speaking, from everybody.
People who have power want to
hold onto it. Generally, they will not give it up
voluntarilyÖ even if we are nice to themÖ unless by
being nice we mean we are willing to be subservient.
If we are willing to be subservient then they will
be nice and let us play in their game.
Electing people to office who have the same consciousness we
have is probably the main difficulty
with democracy. Who, after all, is smart
enough to vote for someone who has more integrity than they do
or at least not less?
people want to be in positions of leadership because they
think that if they were only there, they could set things up so
that everyone would do things their way, and if everybody
would just do things their way, then everything would be just
problem is, when they get there, things don't work out great.
Too often those who get the positions they seek
find they have been striving for an illusion. Being in high
office is not what they thought it would be. They
find that the only way they can persuade others to do things their way is to lie, hide the
truth, misinform, or cheat. After
all thatís what they did to get there. Thatís
the only strategy they know that works. What
they donít realize is that it doesn't work forever.
makes mistakes. When people make mistakes
there are consequences. When people in high
places make mistakes there are big consequences. Thatís
why if you donít have an enlightened, well-educated,
well-informed electorate, things can go very wrong and
democratic institutions are bound to fail.
I have, in
my writings, done my best to reduce things to their lowest
common denominator so that anyone can understand if they want
to. In announcing my candidacy,
I am offering to serve in a leadership
capacity if people are really looking for leadership.
But let me tell you something about leadership.
Leaders can only be leaders when they are wanted and
look carefully at the lives of Martin Luther King and Gandhi,
for example, history makes them out to be extraordinary
individuals. Well of course they were.
But what also made them extraordinary were the
circumstances in which they lived. What
propelled them to leadership was the fact that they were asked
to serve by people who knew enough to know that they needed
and wanted help. They were at the end of their rope.
Nothing else was working. They were ready
to follow someone who had a different vision. And
in the case of MLK and Gandhi, the people made very wise
choices. Not everyone wanted to lead.
It was a risky business.
were asked to lead, these people were not famous, politically
powerful, or wealthy. But people wanted leadership.
After all, what did they have to lose?
In reality, it takes as much truth and courage to
follow as it does to lead. If you canít
recognize the truth then you wonít know who or what to
follow. And if you try to overhaul the
status quo, you can be sure that you will have to face some
difficult circumstances. You will wither
under the pressure if you donít have courage. In
other words, if you want change, you have to be the change.
And you can be. If you are reading this,
then change is not that big a leap for you.
But you have to want it and until you do, these are
just words on a page.
know if I can make it any plainer than I already have.
If you want things to get better, you have to
get better. If you want justice, you have
to be prepared to be justice, choose justice, stand for
justice. And when you stand for justice you
will have to stand against a strong wind because that wind is
coming at you to blow you away.
pander for your vote by saying what you want to hear. Iím simply telling you the truth. If
you want the truth, you need to be willing to live in the
truth. Iím sixty-three years old.
Iím not as young as I used to be and Iím beginning
to feel my age. As far as I am concerned,
time is of the essence. But letís be
fair. You donít really need me. You could
instead... be me. Or you can find someone
else to lead who will likely tell you the same thing I'm telling
you, but maybe say it better.
matter who says it, when you are ready, you are not going to get to where you want
to go unless you are willing to stand up for what you want.
And if you want justice you will have to stand up for
it. If you choose less you will get less.
People who are willing to say anything to get elected
will do and say anything to stay elected. If
you compromise your integrity hoping that it will all work out
in the end, it will not work out in the end. Not
if in the end what you want is a government operating out of integrity.
does reform come fromÖ top or bottom? It
doesnít come from top or bottom. It comes
from within. There is only honorable
citizenship. Whether you are President of
the United States or a citizen who works a simple job to earn
a small wage, you have a real opportunity to make a difference
in life. You make that difference by being
the best Ďyouí you can beÖ being honorable, telling the
ask you to follow me. I asked you to stand
with me, so that I might stand with you. If
you stand with me you are a leader every bit as much as I
amÖ but only if you stand firm. In fact,
I canít be a leader alone. Someone
standing alone is just someone standing alone. Heís
not a leader until there's participation.
what you believe in. Continue to learn with
an open mind so that you continually refine the quality of
what you do believe in. If you are honest
with yourself and othersÖ if you have compassion for other
peopleÖ if you are willing to forgiveÖ if you believe in
justice. Donít move. Stand
where you are, for where you stand is on solid ground.
Stand there, not alone, but with me. And
the center of gravity of the universe will shift to be aligned
with us... If
you stand with me.
Citizen and Candidate
for President of the United States
Goldman announced his
candidacy for President on March 5, 2007. This
commentary is in response to questions from readers at opednews.com
where the announcement was posted.