1/12 Readers write

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

McCarthy’s concessions weakened his position as House Speaker

Repeated failure recently to elect a new Speaker of the House is both crisis and a lesson in leadership fundamentals. Without a Speaker, the House remained dangerously non-functional. The underlying cause was a lack of basic leadership.

A true leader, especially in times of crisis, must be able to identify common needs, build a shared vision, create consensus and inspire unified action. These abilities are especially important at times of fragmentation and polarization. Repeated inconclusive votes demonstrated that these fundamentals were lacking.

Rather than building on a foundation of shared vision and common goals, the new Speaker repeatedly chose to make concessions to a vocal minority fringe of his party. This approach weakened his candidacy and risks loss of support of the moderate majority of our elected representatives in both parties.

There is an old adage all leaders learn by experience: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” If a candidate is unable to lead by identifying common goals and inspiring unity, it’s time to get out of the way and let someone who can do so take the lead.

ARNOLD C. MCQUAIDE JR., BERKELEY LAKE

Yes, GOP is frustrating, but Democrats are no better

Lee Raudonis’ opinion piece, “I can’t support fellow Republicans right now” (Insights, Jan. 6), raises some excellent points about current craziness within the GOP.

But I’m not sure Democrats are acting any better than Republicans. In recent years, Democrats have engaged in election denying (see 2016 and 2018) and apparent widespread coordination with Big Tech to silence conservatives.

Further, the Democrats’ policy menu is a disaster, with anti-growth tax-and-spend programs, open borders and green energy dreams. Progressives rule the Democratic Party.

I understand Mr. Raudonis’ GOP frustrations, but what is the alternative? It can’t be voting for Democrats. The time may be right for a third party movement in the U.S. The two main parties today each have major limitations.

DANA R. HERMANSON, MARIETTA