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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Missing Ingredient in 2008 Is Leadership

I finally found it. There was something bugging me about what was missing from all of the presidential candidates this year, and it was across the board. Dems and GOPs both had something lacking.

Leadership. The biggest complaint about John McCain is that he was too wishy-washy and too compromising. Actually the word is too "caving" as compromise is an act of statesmanship in most cases. Do not misunderstand me - I have as much respect for Senator McCain as I do for my dad. He has proven his character and integrity and leadership time and again, and I believe that he will do so again. He has reached out to the base of the party and he as had the opportunity to move about the country appearing Presidential, while the Bobsey Twins on the left have their powder puff boxing match drag on longer than a dry August day in Alabama.

I started my drive to work today as I do everyday, with my XM radio tuned to FoxNews. There were a couple of soundbites from the dem debate last night, and I find the two of them to be lacking anything resembling leadership, and seriously lacking in thought. The first one involved both Clinton and Obama stating that regardless of what the military command advised, they would immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq. Obama sounded like he was out to prove a point when he said, and I slightly paraphrase, "The President defines the mission and the generals carry it out." Technically true, but it was his tone of voice and demeanor that sounded like he was stomping his feet in a tantrum and waiting to show that he was in charge.

I am disgusted by the fact that two people who wish to be the leader of this country will actually tell the world "to hell with previous foreign policy, we do what we want because our we are pandering to our base." Regardless of your perspective of the validity of the mission in Iraq, and I do not want to discuss that here, the United States has committed our armed forces to a mission, made a commitment to that mission, and we should accomplish that mission. I don't give a hoot in hell what polls say or what a political party says, we should stand by our word or our word isn't worth the words we speak. Clinton says we have to leave to restore our reputation in the world. I say that the worst thing for our reputation, since everyone hates us anyway, is to fail in honoring what we start.

Clinton asked Congress yesterday to send her every bill that was vetoed by President Bush and she would sign it. No discussions, no debates, just a blanket approach.

The thing about leadership is that sometimes it means moving forward against the best wishes of people involved because it is the best thing in the bigger picture. I always look back to my Marine Corps training and experience, and there are 14 leadership traits taught by the Corps. Review your candidate against these, and see where he/she sits:

1) Dependability - the certainty of proper performance of duty.
2) Bearing - creating a favorable impression in carriage, appearance and personal conduct at all times.
3) Courage - the mental quality that recognizes fear of danger or criticism, but enables a man to proceed in the face of it with calmness and firmness.
4) Decisiveness - ability to make decisions promptly and to announce them in clear, forceful manner.
5) Endurance - the mental and physical stamina measured by the ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress and hardship.
6) Enthusiasm - the display of sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of duty.
7) Initiative - taking action in the absence of orders.
8) Integrity - uprightness of character and soundness of moral principles; includes the qualities of truthfulness and honesty.
9) Judgment - the ability to weigh facts and possible solutions on which to base sound decisions.
10) Justice - giving reward and punishment according to merits of the case in question. the ability to administer a system of rewards and punishments impartially and consistently.
11) Knowledge - understanding of a science or an art. the range of one's information, including professional knowledge and an understanding of your marines.
12) Tact - the ability to deal with others without creating offense.
13) Unselfishness - avoidance of providing for one's own comfort and personal advancement at the expense of others.
14) Loyalty - the quality of faithfulness to country, the corps, the unit, to one's seniors, subordinates and peers.

4 Posts From Readers:

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

I'll tell you where Hillary and Obama sit in comparison to the list that you provided.

They sit with another list....The Communist Manifesto and have no CLUE as to the qualities on your list!

Anonymous said...

That's a great list, but I agree with Ken! They don't qualify for a single one!!

Anonymous said...

Obama is not pandering to the base. He made a statement, and has a prior voting record to back up his commitment to bring the troops home.

Hillary on the other hand, is standing on a negative foundation.

That said, you already know I'm not supporting any candidate at present. My party is imploding like yours did not to far back.

I wish I could find the wisdom to make a definitive choice, but I cant just yet. Regan's comments on why he switched back in the day come to mind. But I don't see the same Republican party he re-established anymore.

Despite my lack of "faith", I was a supporter of "Reganism" in my youth. It made sense for time and world environment.

I supported Bill Clinton for similar reasons. He was the right leader for time he represented. That and Republican controlled congress kept things from swinging too far left.

Todays world climate needs a new type of leader. A hybrid so to speak. Someone who can actually bridge the gap thats tearing this country apart. I wish I could say it was one of the current three.

But I'll stop short of spewing my elitist conspiracy theories today ;)

dons_mind said...

b@stard - i sympathize with you and (unfortunately) can offer you no worthwhile hopes...

robert - good post - i've seen other blogs that have stated how nice it would be if it was a "requirement" for Presidential candidates to have some form of military experience or background. would be nice if they'd simply experience the Marines Leadership training!

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