Why Security Matters: A Lesson in Leadership

In a dimly lit lecture hall during my freshman year in college, my history professor taught me the most important lesson of human history: security is the foundation of civilization. With security societies flourish, without it they crumble.

The expansive Roman and British empires of old were able to provide security: a stable environment where its citizens were relatively safe, commerce could grow, and their borders were secure. Many great empires of ancient days were able to do the same; however, when rulers and governments become corrupted by wealth and power, the desire or ability to provide security tends to atrophy.

Unfortunately, the same is occurring here in the United States. After centuries of struggle: a revolution against an oppressive colonial overlord, great expansion westward, a bloody civil war to preserve the Union, the destruction of fascism, and industrial growth unmatched in global history, it appears that the United States by virtue of its great wealth and power is allowing its own security to diminish. And perhaps our democracy is beginning to atrophy, or at least our leaders are.

Consider our politicians’ apathy towards inner city crime and urban decay over the past 50 years, the utter disregard in which the federal government manages and secures its borders, the apparent lack of cyber security, and inability to protect our energy infrastructure and commercial sectors. The abject carelessness exemplified above didn’t start yesterday, and to be fair, neither did the Biden Administration cause all the problems of today, but the White House has certainly put an exclamation point on the whole affair.

Let’s review several events to paint a more thorough picture.

Decade after decade of one party, Democratic control throughout our inner cities has resulted in depressing, hollow shells of once buzzing industrial and commercial centers. Cities are plagued by crime, violence, and death that for years outpaced our own combat casualties in war-torn hotspots. Sometimes it was safer to be in an armored-up Humvee in Iraq or Afghanistan than it was to stroll through parts of Chicago or Baltimore. All of this unfortunately has been punctuated by the sudden rise in violent crime and elevated murder rates over the past year and a half, coinciding with the BLM riots and defund the police movement. And all of this, moreover, has been tacitly approved by the Biden Administration, leading to the unfortunate deaths of more black people. Today there is little to no security in our cities, resulting in too many neighborhoods that are unsafe for running a business, raising a family, or calling home.

The ongoing crisis on the border has been exacerbated by the White House’s policy decisions which have resulted in a wave of illegal migrants flowing into our nation. Border wall construction was halted. Illegal migrants are being shipped from Texas to other states for release, and countless children are facing unknown physical, mental, and sexual abuses on their journey to and across the border. So turbulent has the situation become that Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has declared a state of emergency. All the while, neither Biden nor Harris seem concerned enough even to visit and assess the crisis, or take any meaningful action to solve the problem. Today the border is unsecure, a portal for drugs, human trafficking, and illegal migrants.

In March, Microsoft servers were hacked, affecting over 30,000 organizations. Investigation revealed the attack originated in China, yet the Biden Administration did nothing. In May, hackers disrupted the flow of gas pipelines transporting approximately 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel, affecting Americans from New Jersey to Florida and Maryland to Tennessee. 

The Biden Administration claimed that this was a private business matter, and so they took no action to facilitate a solution for consumers. Joseph Blount, CEO of Colonial Pipeline, paid a $4.4 million ransom to hackers believed to be in Eastern Europe. And most recently, a ransomware attack hit the world’s largest meat processing company, an action that ultimately may cause price increases for meat across the nation. This attack seems to have originated in Russia, and still the Biden Administration does little. Today our nation is either unwilling or unable to secure the data systems that run our economy and protect our energy infrastructure.

The White House is stuck in neutral, providing little practical leadership to secure Americans and resolve these issues. Instead, the Left’s culture wars continue in full force against everyday Americans, dominating the administration’s agenda. And still there are real concerns for security and stability affecting Americans, issues that require action, not platitudes. Unfortunately, the administration has not taken any steps to curb violence in our inner cities, put a stop to the humanitarian crisis on the border, or protect our energy and commerce sectors from criminal action.

The famous political scientist and leadership scholar, James MacGregor Burns, wrote in his 1978 book, Leadership, that true leaders harness their power and authority to provide for the needs of those they lead. Power in and of itself doesn’t make someone a leader, rather it is the use of power for the benefit of others that results in true leadership. 

The Apostle Paul wrote that we should remain humble about our own needs, and instead consider the needs and interests of others first, i.e. an altruistic approach to life, providing for the physical, emotional, and spiritual security of those we lead (Philippians 2:3-4). Both Burns and Paul agree that a real leader is someone who is able to positively impact others.

This is what our nation needs—leaders who will follow the lessons of Burns and Paul. Leaders who will care more about their constituents than social wokeness. We need leaders who will revive our cities, secure our borders, and protect our economy—leaders who will actually do something.

With all that’s happened over the past several months during the Biden Administration, Americans must be concerned with their security. Our cities are crime-ridden and dangerous places to call home, our borders are a disaster, and we don’t know how much it will cost to buy a tank of gas or essential food next month because of inflation and cyber attacks.

This environment does not bode well for the political future of Biden or Harris. Security is key to the happiness of their constituents. If we don’t feel safe and secure in our homes we will leave or try our hardest to do so, so we can find a more secure environment somewhere else. Just look at the mass exodus from blue states to red. People want the security and stability of conservative policies, taxes, and a strong sense of freedom.

When effective, altruistic leaders step forward and put the needs of others before their own, and ensure the security and stability of their constituents—provide a stable economy and work environment, freedom from crime, the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, the freedom to care for their family as they see fit—those leaders have the opportunity to achieve great political success.

We must remember that with security societies will flourish, without it they crumble, and most of us want to see our great cities and our nation flourish once more. We have the opportunity to achieve great success, but this is only possible when we rebuild our nation’s security. The passivity of the Biden Administration can never become the standard for political leadership; otherwise, our nation will fade away like all the other great empires of old.

About Jason Bland

Jason D. Bland is a Doctoral student at Regent University, specializing in Strategic Leadership. His writing focuses on leadership as well as social and political commentary from a conservative, Christian worldview. He has led organizational operations in both the military and civilian sectors, and also provides independent leadership coaching and consultation.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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