KOKOMO – One of my lifelong obsessions is to study history from a human perspective. I’m not really interested in dates and places or how many Mongols killed how many Visigoths.  

I am interested in why humans react the way they do when placed under stressful situations. What makes a common farm boy from Elkhart climb over a trench and charge across a field at Antietam, Belleau Wood or Peleliu into the face of flying lead and shrapnel? Of particular interest to me is how do leaders, from squad level to army command, motivate their ordinary soldiers to do the extraordinary, and what traits make for a good leader?  

The more I study the issue of leadership I find that I have great difficulty in telling you exactly what it is, but I’ve learned to recognize it when I see it. Most of the characteristics of an effective military leader are usually found in our proficient governmental leaders. No, I’m not talking about the fuss and feathers elected officials who prance around the halls of Fox News waiting to spout their opinions on just about any topic that will net them some air time. I’m talking about the workhorse leadership who work diligently without much fanfare and yet are right on the firing line when the bullets start to fly. These are the men and women whom I admire.

The Hoosier State is very fortunate to have a U.S. senator who has proven to be a leader of quiet dignity and humility, who has helped lead the United States Senate through some of its biggest recent battles. Sen. Todd Young has been the Hoosier senator who has found himself sought out to provide counsel and leadership on a variety of issues. He has done his job with honesty, integrity and a desire to do what is best for our country. This is why I am so happy that Sen. Young has decided to run for reelection in 2022.

Sen. Young piled up an impressive list of conservative wins in his first term. Much of the agenda that brought historically high levels of economic growth and historically low levels of unemployment can be traced to Sen. Young’s leadership. Unlike former senator Joe Donnelly, who spent his last campaign running from his record, Young is able to run on his record.

Sen. Young has checked all of the boxes that conservative voters look for in their elected officials. He is 100% pro-life and has been an unswerving defender of the 2nd Amendment. He helped lead the charge to confirm 234 federal judges and led a talent search that identified and promoted the candidacy of Judge Amy Coney Barrett first to the 7th Circuit Court, and later led the battle for her confirmation as United States Supreme Court justice.  Young was even influential enough to convince Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly to support Barrett for the 7th Circuit Court. That ability to work across the political aisle is rare and refreshing.

Young supported building a wall to reduce illegal immigration and the tidal wave of criminals and potential terrorists flooding over our southern border.  He forcefully resisted calls from the anarchist elements to defund our police. Young also provided critical leadership in promoting the 2018 Police Mental Health Bill which was signed into law by President Trump. He led the call to reduce destructively high corporate and personal tax rates that when enacted launched previously unimagined economic growth.

As I’ve previously written about, Sen. Young was early to the table to recognize that China is not a friend of the United States, either economically or militarily. His recognition of the multiple threats represented by China has moved him from a voice of warning in the wilderness to a frontline leader in the United States’ effort to contain a country bent on the destruction of our American way of life.

His Republican peers in the Senate recognized Young’s leadership capabilities and tapped the senator to be chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. At the time of his appointment, this job looked like a thankless, doomed-to-fail task. Even the rosiest of projections foretold Democrats holding 56-58 seats after the 2020 election. Young pulled the NRSC up by its bootstraps and raised $335 million, over $175 million more than had previously been raised. In baseball terms, Sen. Young hit three grand slam homers to stem an ugly Democratic tide.  

Only the Georgia senatorial sideshow prevented a win of epic proportions. As it is, Sen. Young’s efforts have given Republicans a fighting chance to keep the wilder, socialistic Democrat agenda from sailing through the United States Senate.

By now you are probably wondering if ole flap jaw Dunn has found any other conservative Republicans who are also supporting Sen. Young’s reelection effort.  I have and the list is impressive. As of this date, Sen. Young has locked up endorsements from over 310 Hoosier conservative leaders. The list includes two Hoosier vice presidents, nine former Trump Administration officials, all Indiana GOP statewide officials, all Indiana GOP members of Congress, nine Indiana Republican Party chairs, the entire GOP State Committee, 96% of the Indiana General Assembly, 92% of Indiana Republican County chairmen and 50 Indiana Republican mayors. Now that’s what we call running the table!

My mother used to say that if you kept your nose clean, showed up to work and listened more than you talked, then people would take notice. Such has been the experience of Sen. Young, in spades.

As I consider the various historical leaders whom I have studied in my lifetime, I realize that most shared a few vital characteristics: They prepared themselves academically; they were considerate of others and possessed empathy; they loved their countries. They never asked those who followed them to do anything that they themselves were not willing to do. These leaders were also bold and unafraid when acting in the cause of freedom. Most importantly, these leaders always had the backs of their soldiers.  

Perhaps this is why United States Naval Academy graduate and U. S. Marine Todd Young so readily answers the call to leadership. His career has become the intersection of preparation and the call to service. Hoosiers can feel confident that when the battles begin on any battlefield, Sen. Todd Young has their six! 

Dunn is the former chairman of the Howard County Republican Party.