Leadership

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Merlin1047, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    Allow me to state at the outset that the following is simply a statement of my opinion. Before anyone starts yelling for links.

    A recent article on the History Channel portrayed the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR came to the presidency at a time and under circumstances which would either make a man a legend or destroy him utterly. Faced with the worst economic recession in American history, Roosevelt led the country back to confidence. Faced with a looming world war, FDR prepared the nation and then led it into the fight.

    Agree or disagree with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s programs or policies, it remains an undisputed fact that he was a leader. He saw the problem, he developed policies and programs, he implemented them and then he saw them through to their ultimate conclusion. FDR instilled confidence in the office of President through his personal example. But to an even greater degree, FDR instilled confidence because he demonstrated his own confidence in the American people.

    Demonstrating trust and confidence in those you lead. That is the true hallmark of a great leader and that was the insight which jumped out at me after watching this program. If one examines the differences between the great leaders and the pathetic failures which occupied the Oval Office in recent history, one can see the distinction of true leadership as clearly and sharply delineated as the San Andreas Fault line.

    During his presidency, Jimmy Carter allowed the nation to be held up for embarrassment, ridicule and humiliation. Carter was not a leader. In fact, Carter was a coward. Carter was a coward on a personal level. When the Russians displeased him, Carter “punished” the Russians by refusing to allow American athletes to participate in the Winter Olympics. This was an act of craven cowardice because Carter acted not against the target of his ire, opting instead to punish the hundreds of American athletes who had now wasted years of effort in preparation. Carter picked the easiest target. He cared nothing for the harm he was doing to his own people and he did not even recognize that the Russians were simply laughing at him.

    Later, when the Russians again displeased Carter, he responded by refusing to release the millions of tons of grain which had been contracted by Russia. Did this hurt the Russians? Not really. They got their grain elsewhere. But it sure didn’t help the American farmers who had counted on selling their product on the Russian market. So again, Carter punished Americans.

    Carter was a coward on a professional level. When the arab oil embargo caused massive gasoline price increases, Carter’s response was to tell Americans to turn down their thermostats, wear sweaters and car pool. He responded to spiraling stagnation and inflation by imposing government price controls. Of course, these accomplished nothing except to produce shortages and surpluses. The nadir of his infamous presidency had to be the pathetic, whining, deplorable State of the Union speech in which he decried the “malaise” which had gripped the nation. Carter never understood that it was his own cowardice, his lack of resolve, his lack of confidence in himself and in the people he was elected to lead that were the reasons for the malaise he decried.

    Carter’s spineless whining was the catalyst which emboldened Iranian militants to seize American hostages. Carter’s empty rhetoric further gave courage to a mad dog Khomeini to thumb his nose at Carter and the USA.

    We are still suffering today from Carter’s ineffectual groveling. In my opinion, the events of Sep 11, 2001 can be traced directly to Jimmy Carter’s spineless presidency. Carter’s lack of resolve emboldened our enemies and made our friends wonder if this nation could be counted on.

    Then along came Ron. Pres. Reagan was no genius, no deep thinker, but he was a man grounded in practicality and he was a man with an unshakeable faith in the nation and in its people. The country’s attitude turned on a dime, from timid apologists to fierce enemy of totalitarianism. From weak-kneed introspection to unbounded optimism practically overnight. All this because Pres. Reagan had core moral values, believed in himself and believed in the people who put him into office. Ronald Reagan believed that this nation’s greatest asset was its people, and he believed that until the day he died. Ronald Reagan’s influence was so great that George H.W. Bush was carried into office on Reagan’s coattails.

    Then we once again suffered at the hands of liberals for eight long years. Clinton was charismatic, a great maker of speeches. He was an excellent actor – proven by the fact that he could appear genuine and sincere while lying through his teeth. Clinton’s “values” were ephemeral and changed with the latest opinion polls. He, like Carter, was a believer in “government solutions” to problems of the private sector. Clinton viewed the American people as a commodity. He sees us as a pack of chumps to be bamboozled, charmed, schmoozed and tricked while he and his harpy spouse do whatever they see fit.

    Now we have George W. Whether or not you believe that he’s the brightest bulb in the fixture, Pres. Bush has the same core characteristics of a leader. Like Roosevelt, GW had a terrible problem thrust upon him. He defined the problem, he developed a plan and he is pursuing that plan. Like Roosevelt and Reagan, GW believes in himself and he believes in the American people. You may not agree with GW, you may even dislike him. You cannot accuse him of being indecisive or lacking direction.

    Perhaps confidence in the American people is THE defining factor of a true leader. Maybe that’s why conservatives have surged to the forefront in recent years. Conservatives basically believe that people are smart enough, competent enough and ambitious enough to run their own lives. Liberals, on the other hand, think we need their guidance to blow our own noses.
     
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  2. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    Wow! :rock:
     
  3. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    brilliant. simply brilliant.
     
  4. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    Thanks, with apologies.

    Sometimes that soap box does get to be just a teeny bit tall. I needed a ladder to come down from this one.

    :)
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Merlin that was awesome! I saw the FDR program on History Channel last night, it was great. I really hate the programs that FDR established, with that said, he was a leader and the right leader for the times. I just wish that Supreme Court had been a bit more activist! :laugh:
     
  6. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    It is true that some of FDR's programs did not work out as he had hoped and many (mostly libs) questioned their constitutional legitimacy at the time. For example, the unemployment rate of 25% at the beginning of his presidency was only down to 20% at the end.

    But put things into perspective. The country had colossal problems which required radical and extreme efforts to overcome. This was not a time for timid experimentation. This was a time to develop a program and then dive into the deep end of the pool and hope you floated.

    Some things worked, some things didn't. But most importantly, FDR got things moving and despite some thrashing around, we did manage to dog paddle our way to the shallow end.
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    All that is the reason I said "he was a leader and the right leader for the times." His boldness and positive attitude probably saved the country from going either fascist or communist. Problem was when the war effort actually ended the depression...the programs stayed on and on and on...
     
  8. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    I agree that leadership counts for a lot. Sometimes just strength and resolution are all it takes. FDR certainly had this. So did Reagan, to a lesser extent. On the fascist side, Hitler had it, Mussolini had it. On the communist side, Fidel Castro has it, Che Guevara had it. For Democrats, FDR, as mentioned, Andrew Jackson. George Washington was a great leader. Not an idea man like Madison, just a bad-ass everyone followed.
     
  9. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    I think the key with FDR and his programs was that he wasn't implementing them to be forever, but more as immediate fixes to overwhelming problems. It was the Democrats who took these programs as a way to empower themsleves forever, which I just noticed that Kathianne said in her post. :poke: That's you poking me btw LOL
     
  10. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    That is a great essay Merlin... its amazing how more and more of our nation's problems that I read about (and the problems/tragedies of other nations from Cambodia to Ethiopia) can be directly linked to Carter's presidency.
     

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