On this 22nd anniversary of 9/11, I hold no illusions that we’ll never see a crisis again. The question is, “Who will lead us through it?”

This past week, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced on social media that, despite all those left-wing COVID-screechers lining up to put masks and mandates in place, “Let me say it again – there will be no mask mandates, COVID vaccine mandates, or lockdowns in Mississippi.

Firm, unequivocal and easily understood. Refreshing really.

Years ago, I told Rick Perry during his presidential campaign that I wanted a “God-fearing gunslinger” in the executive office. Someone who is not faint of heart. A leader who can care about people and direct traffic all at the same time. Someone who operates decisively while listening to wise and carefully selected counsel. An executive who studies the issues deeply but will still hear advice. Someone who will admit mistakes and tell you what it takes to ensure they never happen again.

There’s not much of that available in the public arena right now.

But what about our state? We have crisis opportunities here as well. We are halfway through Gov. Kay Ivey’s term. Cultural, fiscal and social fights are only getting more intense. The kind of leader we want as the chief executive of the great state of Alabama should already be on our minds as the race will begin right after the current presidential cycle is over.

I have served with inspiring leaders in military, political and civilian roles. I know that none of the traits we should look for are imaginary. They are real, and when people are in crisis they are needed. I submit that we need a God-fearing gunslinger to face down the times we are in.

Having just endured the past few years of COVID-19, Biden, Afghanistan, BLM riots and more, I find myself modeling in my mind what I know we need and deserve in the governor’s office. It starts with a simple question: “What should a God-fearing gunslinger governor (whether male or female) say or do in a crisis?”

Here’s some of my personal checklist:

  • In a crisis we want a leader who stands up quickly with steely-eyed confidence, saying to the people of the state, “We will get through this. We will be here tomorrow.”

  • We want a leader who will say, “I don’t know it all, but there are people in my administration who do, and if they don’t, I will find those that can join our team.”

  • This kind of governor will not long suffer a fool who lets turf wars prevent governmental assets being of good use. This governor will be willing to replace a person of any stature who impeded recovery.

  • In a major crisis, the governor we’re looking for would meet with the press at least once weekly to candidly answer questions — the good, the bad and the ugly — knowing that the well-being of the people is not about appearances or poll numbers.

  • A God-fearing, gunslinger governor would make known that “following the science” is only one aspect of decision-making in crisis management and that considerations of culture, faith, liberty and law will always be on the table.

  • Such a governor would make clear that the government is not the be-all and end-all and would incentivize and galvanize the voluntary support and cooperation of the private sector and the vast resources and capabilities that exist outside of the walls of government.

  • We hope for a governor who refuses to allow politics to play into decisions affecting life, limb, or property. One who would not let politics enter a crisis negatively affecting education and the economy. That kind of governor would openly say that he did not get elected to get reelected and that doing right ain’t that hard.

  • That kind of governor would make clear that fear and shame are not tools of his administration. If a behavior is believed best (like getting a vaccine shot) then this leader would point people to it and not blame them for deaths and destruction for which they had no part.

  • The governor I’m describing would direct that relief funds must be given liberally to the private sector in a manner that does not have the government picking winners and losers like we’ve seen in the last few years.

  • That kind of governor would make known that any crisis-induced excuse to commit a violation of civil liberties would not be tolerated and would make the preservation of our individual and corporate rights a priority evidenced by advancing collaborative work with the state legislature and the attorney general regardless of party affiliation.

  • And lastly, in a time of crisis we long for a governor who would walk among the people – eat at their restaurants, frequent their parks, visit their churches, hug their necks and shake their hands, and if necessary, visit them at the hospital. It is not enough to speak from the safety of the Capitol. A good leader must walk out under fire and exude confidence to those they lead.

So, what do I want from a governor of my state? I want a leader who can and will do all of the above. Show me a governor who will do those things, and I will be his champion! I will donate funds, knock on doors, and extol his virtues.

Is there a God-fearing gunslinger in our future? I hope so. We need him for such a time as this.

To contact Phil or request him for a speaking engagement, go to www.rightsideradio.org. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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