Friday, October 10, 2014

Confidence and Doubt

Two days ago, I had a five minute speech about cynicism ready for Thursday's fundraiser.  It was about how cynicism is as oppressive as any tyrant and as pervasive as any cabal of corruption.  Cynicism is a concession of power.  A cop-out.

But in the hours before last night's event, that speech just didn't feel right.  It felt...instructive, pedantic, and condescending.  More importantly, it didn't communicate anything about our campaign other than the challenge before us.

It made me think: What is the counter-weight to cynicism?  Hope?  A word that is laden with so much cynicism itself that it can barely be uttered at a political event without smirks and rolled eyes?  Optimism?  A state of mind?  No.  The counter to cynicism is a basic inter-personal relationship.  It's a matter of confidence.

I've been fortunate to serve in a number of leadership positions throughout my life.  In order to lead, you must inspire confidence.  This is why term limits on executive positions, in many respects, are statutory constructs of popular fatigue.  Confidence has been earned, spent, and lost.

In this campaign, I don't talk about small things.  I don't blame some people for balking at the grandiosity of what we're promising - to fundamentally change the way people experience, and interact with, their government; to represent social justice and fiscal restraint; to work hard for commonsense government that people respect. 

You can have your skepticism, but do you think I have any doubts about what we're trying to do?  When people tell me I will be co-opted or "changed by Annapolis", I try to bring it back to the very personal - "Do you think I would do that?  Do you think I would work as hard as I'm working to allow that to happen?" 

You don't need to have confidence in everything I'm proposing, but you do need to have confidence in me.  Whether you like it or not, you're on my team.  Are you working with me or questioning the merit of the work?  Doubt is a concession.  Confidence is power.

We're only a few weeks away.  Let's take it home.