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In November 2016, newly elected Vice President Mike Pence attended a showing in New York of the hit play “Hamilton.”

When he entered the theater with his daughters, finding their way to their seats, they were met with boos.

At the end of the play, a spokesman for the cast directed critical remarks toward Pence.

When asked about the incident, Pence said he was not offended. He said, “I nudged my kids and reminded them, that’s what freedom sounds like.”

In May 1856, as Congress debated the future of slavery in America, South Carolina Rep. Preston Brooks entered the Senate Chamber and accosted abolitionist Sen. Charles Sumner with his cane, beating him until he was unconscious.

So regarding chaos and absence of civility, the U.S. Congress has seen days much worse than what we have just been through.

Having built my own organization and worked with many others, my rule of thumb is that good people will accomplish things and get things done despite a poorly designed organization. And bad people will cause damage even in the most perfectly designed organization.

Organization charts and job descriptions matter.

But what matters most is individual character.

Certainly, the rules how the House operates and the job description of the speaker are of great importance.

But of greatest importance are courageous leaders who are committed to the principles of a free nation under God.

Leaders, for instance, who have the courage to take on our broken entitlement programs that suck up to 80% of our $6 trillion federal budget. These bankrupt programs, going back to 1936, don’t need to be tweaked but reinvented.

Every young American now entering the workforce is paying Social Security payroll taxes into a bankrupt system that will not be able to pay them their benefits.

The answer is not raising taxes or the retirement age. The answer is a new system based on real ownership and investment.

But taking on Social Security and other entitlements requires real courage and commitment to principles. Do these Republicans have the courage to lead where Americans need leadership?

Polls show the American people are not happy with how things are going. This is a good sign.

The Republican oppositionists should be given benefit of the doubt that their obstructionism was rooted in genuine concern about principles and ideals.

And Kevin McCarthy should be given benefit of the doubt that he is indeed a Republican leader for complex times who knows he can’t win every battle but has wisdom to know which to fight.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “Cure America with Star Parker.” To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www. COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS. COM

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