By guest blogger Sadako Red [see disclaimer]
[October 13, 2018] “Evil is not what leaders say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.” U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy said these words shortly before he was assassinated by a Palestinian immigrant in the politically-turbulent times of America in 1968. Hmmmm, yes … that is one way to describe the late 1960s or perhaps flower power, we shall overcome, give peace a chance, make love not war, and the iconic smiley face were all part of a society ripping itself apart over opposition to the Vietnam War but, in reality, for equality for African Americans; legally and socially. Those times were complex and difficult for anyone running for political office and the idea that popularity of an idea, any idea, was at the forefront of the minds of all politicians. But as we shall see here, leadership is not a popularity contest and what we say and do affects all citizens regardless of our position, wealth, or stature.
How we treat others unquestionably tells us about the nature of our character. War to the side for a moment, the way we discuss differences of opinion or thoughts about any particular idea says much about who we are and how we will perform as a person or leader over our lifetime. That is why I’m all for the recording of all public conversations. Yep, that’s right. All of them. I’m for it because what we say today says more about who we are and how we will become – good or bad – and it gives everyone an opportunity to go back and replay those words we spoke. Knowing that we will be recorded will perhaps make us a little more cautious and prudent about our words. Unless you’re an idiot, one winning tactic for any politician is to talk about American values and since all politicians want to be popular, doing so is a good way to get our name out there safely. Other politicians have turned this idea upside down and have taken it upon themselves to deride their political opposition; not so much their opponent’s ideas but the person themselves. Such thinking is madness at the volcanic level.
Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder, yes I know that I’m being wicked and unfair bringing them up but bear with me a moment, both attacked their political enemies by telling us peons – who are dirty and unworthy of their attention – that we should no longer be civil persons but that violence is acceptable … no no, I got that wrong, that violence is required now to bring down their opponents. My dear friends, we all know and can appreciate failed leaders when we see them in action. Hillary and Eric are the personification of what the old Soviet Union KGB used to call their-paid-for Vietnam War protesters …“useful idiots.” Name-calling, threats of violence, and words that implicate these behaviors are about failed leadership. Many are attracted to violence; somehow violence is cathartic and satisfying to the flawed souls of the lost. Like the religion of Socialism that destroyed over 100 million lives in the 20th century, moths are attracted to the light and both Hillary and Eric who are a bright light among the dull, aged that occupy much of our political elite institutions.
Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, the gadfly of Athenians, once wrote that “when the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser” and he does know what this is about given his trail and execution by the political elites of his day. Failed leaders resort to Socrates’ tool of the loser as they set about to regain their lost power and prestige by whatever means are at hand. What they lose in this endless quest is their dignity and honor; those very characteristics that ‘leave on horseback and return by foot.’ I’m not overcome by sadness at their behavior for I’m also not surprised except that it took so long for their true self’s to come out into the open. I love watching these tools used in modern life; they don’t work anymore despite what we are told by the news media. I will sit back, enjoy my dog and easy chair, and have my colleagues pass me popcorn as we enjoy the show. Remeber that leadership is not a popularity contest.
Sadako Red’s Previous Posts:
- The Most Difficult Task is to Unlearn Untruths
- Why Cities like Washington D.C. are Prone to Fail
- Stupid is as Stupid Does … City of Baltimore
- Thoughts from Sadako Red as a Young Man
- Race, Leadership, and Moral Failure
- City of Baltimore: When Leaders Fail
- City of Baltimore: Stuck on Stupid II
- Weak Leaders, Politicians, and Racism â€¦
- City of Baltimore and Race: Stuck on Stupid
- Lead by Example and Show Some Dignity!
- Fear: Racist, Sexist, Homophobe Accusations
- The U.S. Army, Race Relations, and Manhood
- Race: Leadership and the Lack of Leadership
- A Failed Management Culture in the VA
- Race Trumps and Leadership Fails
- Race, Character, and the Government