Monday, March 28, 2016


Someone recently commented to me that, in retrospect, the moment when President Nixon got on that helicopter with his big smile and his big wave was the moment that the separation between leadership and politics began.

We threw President Carter out of office for suggesting that maybe we should tighten our belts and become more frugal, choosing rather to get what we wanted, when we wanted it by way of 30 years of borrow-it-forward economic policies with no visible out-clause,

I think the divorce was final when President Bush 43 stood on the deck of that air craft carrier in front of that giant banner that read "Mission Accomplished".

Since then, leadership and giving people what they want has merged into a blue-red Venn diagram that's nearly entirely purple. Discussions of policy and philosophy of governance have devolved into the masses simply repeating what political figures say, which is itself repeating what polls say. In the spot where discussion once stood now stands this bizarre ideological feed-back loop.  Most troubling is that the ear-knocking doesn't seem to be bothering most folks.

My friends' FaceBook posts are becoming more distraught and I am right there with the them. I left a group recently because the conversation had spiraled into a meaningless mess of accusations.

If we are to have any hope of regaining our position as world leader, we will need to exchange it for our position as world bully.  Leadership is more than repeating, rewarding and pretending everything is alright.  Leadership means being the first one out the door, and it does start at the top, but it also starts at the bottom.

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