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Friday, October 21, 2011

A Shining Example From the Past

"Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government. Whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as firm and complete as they should be."

May, 1962 at West Point, Gen. MacArthur in his Farewell Address to cadets.

File:MacArthur Manila.jpg

Right when the Vietnam War was beginning to heat up, the old general who died 2 years later, gave these future Army officers a vision that endures till today. His uncanny remarks about the federal deficit (where have we heard that before), his accusations of big government, excessive crime (no change), and loose morals (if he could only see today's society, he would probably have a heart attack). He even questioned violent extremists and personal liberties, a topic of heated discussions among libertarians. The man was a veritable oracle, even though Truman had to sack him to avoid a nuclear confrontation with China during the Korean War.

Charismatic leaders like MacArthur cannot be found nowadays; the ex-generals who now work as consultants for public and private news organizations are drab and boring when they express their expert opinion on modern politics. The old warriors have taken arms in a different world where they can fight new battles for all eternity. Nothing like hearing bullets flying around you to make you see life with new eyes and develop a true sense of mortality. Military experience, the real kind, not just flying airplanes or buffering leather seats in a fancy office, is a scarce commodity among Republican presidential candidates.

Gov. Perry, like Bush, was a pilot in the National Guard and was able to avoid going to Vietnam. Ron Paul was in the Air Force for 5 years. The other candidates have no military background. Is it necessary to have served in order to become President? Of course not; look at Obama. He has absolutely no history to have served before becoming Commander-in-Chief. Does that make him unfit to manage two wars? Our best commanders-in-chiefs were FDR, Lincoln and Truman, and all three performed brilliantly in that capacity without an iota of battle smoke in their nostrils.

What we look for in a leader like MacArthur and Truman is the strength of their convictions; in the present group of candidates to the White House, only Ron Paul seems to fit the bill. He never wavers from his basic tenets on how to fix the United States of America. Is he right? That's another matter, but let's remember other Presidents who got us in hot water: Kennedy with the Bay of Pigs, a botched attempt to invade Cuba that almost turned ugly for us. Jimmy Carter and the disastrous attack on Iran. Lyndon Johnson who got us in the Vietnam mess with a lie. Bush Jr. who got us in a war on Iraq with another big lie. So even though Paul is convinced that his proposals are right, at least he is not suggesting getting us involved in another conflict; on the contrary, he wants us out of 150 countries where we have military presence. None of the other candidates supported him in his position; a shame, because he is totally right. We are wasting billions that could be applied to our pressing problems here in the good USA.

Am I recommending Ron Paul for President? No, not even for VP. He has other controversial views that cannot be accepted by the general public. And..he is too old, way too old. We don't want to risk another Ronald Reagan in his last 2 years in power, controlled by the visions of his wife's astrologer.

We need however a President with strong convictions who is willing to fight for them, as long as these beliefs do not cause our great country more irreparable harm. No warmonger, and no peace-at-any-cost either. The ideal executive head of our nation must be able to compromise, yes, but without seeming weak. He must be able to negotiate with anybody, yes, but without seeming cowardly. He must be respected by his opponents, unlike the present administration. The Republican leaders do not respect President Obama; their actions clearly show it. They say no to whatever he is proposing and that did not happen with Clinton's second term, when Republicans controlled Congress. The reason behind it is a matter for historians to debate 20 years from now.

Obama has faltered on many occasions; I remember in particular the extension of Bush's tax rebates for rich people. He had control of Congress, a lame duck Congress for sure, but he still had the power to act and he blinked..It is true that he showed courage with the bin Laden Affair. He also showed restraint and wisdom in the Libyan conflict, and has been vindicated with the violent death of Qaddafi. But does Obama have the vision for future America, a country that still can recover its greatness? Does he have the steely resolve of a John F. Kennedy who faced the Russian Bear?

That is the bet that voters will make next November 2012 when they cast their ballots. They will not vote for a Republican; they will vote for or against Obama.


1 comment:

Elena said...

Great examples, great reading! Keep them coming - at least you have thoughts and opinions and hear the alarm clock ring every time it goes off! C'mon America, step up to pitch sleep is for dreamers, now is the time to distinguish between followers and leaders,cowardice and bravery, deceit and honesty. Now is today!