Many potential policies are thrown about by politicians, especially the endless numbers who are running for president. Like a malfunctioning automatic tennis ball machine, their proposed policies seem to be coming from everywhere all at once, making it difficult to keep up with who is proposing what policy change.

While some of the results may be well-meaning, some of the strategies proposed seem to be coming not just from left field, but from outer galaxies. Many proposals are not reasonable, functional or even workable. However, that doesn't stop the candidates from getting in front of the camera or on a stage and saying some of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Even more troubling, most of these people want to tell you and me what to do and how to live, but they don't follow their own rules or advice. In other words, they don't lead by example.

An example of this is environmental protection. I can promise you, no conservative American wants to breathe dirty air and drink polluted water. We are also reasonable enough to know that America cannot eliminate all cattle, poultry houses, pig farms, airplanes, gasoline-operated automobiles, coal, plastic and the myriad of other items in the world today. We understand the importance of being responsible and protecting our natural resources. However, many politicians yelling the loudest don't seem to understand that. They don't lead by example.

For many years, former Vice President Al Gore has preached about environmental protection. He has claimed we only have a few years before cities are underwater, everything is frozen over, and natural resources are gone. When the appointed time comes, the deadline gets extended another decade. As sure as the world turns, that pattern will continue. Yet with all his talk, Gore is a single man who lives in a mansion so large it has multiple air conditioning and heating units. He flies around the world giving these environmental speeches in a private jet, and has a fleet of SUVs escorting him to every function. He doesn't lead by example; he tells us one thing and does another.

The city leaders in San Francisco have a similar pattern. They have made a huge issue of banning plastic drinking straws. Really?

OK, so you have a city so full of homelessness and addicts there is trash, raw sewage and used drug needles all over the streets to the point it's no longer a good or even safe place to visit. Yet they are going to be concerned with a drinking straw to help save the environment. If they really cared about the environment, they would clean up their streets and stop worrying about a straw. Lead by example.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer is another. He wants to ban firearms for law-abiding citizens, yet he has a very difficult-to-obtain concealed carry permit from the state of New York. Why? Because he is important and needs to protect himself. If he really thinks law-abiding citizens don't need a right to self-defense, he should lead by example and not have a permit or bodyguards provided at taxpayer expense.

Politicians are supposed to be our equals whom we send to Washington to represent us. They work for us. They are not over us, and they are not better than us. They are the employees of the American people. They should start acting like it and implement their ideas themselves first if they truly believe in those ideas. In other words, they need to start leading by example.

Randy Gibson is the CEO of RDG Communications Group, LLC, and the former director of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and the Texas State Rifle Association.

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