Friday, October 17, 2014



This photo may have inspired the television Ad. Here Gov. Snyder pays close attention to a recipe for "flat bread" as part of Michigan's Economic Recovery (September 18)

How many times have you thought about our Representatives on federal, state and local levels who you cast your vote only to be disappointed by their lack of performance? Who are these people? This is not who and what you supported. They have sold out and abandoned the issues they made promises they avowed. Should you learn anything from this blog, remember a "true statesman" maintains his integrity and courage. On the other hand, the "politician" maintains a huge war chest (campaign funds) and has no remorse as to how he uses it.

Today, there is no simple explanation of how our government is moving toward the dismantling the basic  Principles of Democracy and rights of human dignity. In recent years I have read or heard statements by Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, John Boehner and even Barack Obama, where I came to the conclusion they lacked education in history, political science and that they never read our Constitution! Sorry, I consider these prerequisites for elected office. Those who are familiar with the sources of our Liberty will be an informed citizen and cast a meaningful vote.

What we find in modern politics, notably in Washington an infestation of individuals who aspire  as "politician," first. You cannot become elected to serve in many districts unless you walk like, think like, talk like and squawk like a duck. Perhaps, this is where the term  "lame duck Congress" is derived.

There exists a history of those who held to the highest of standards of integrity and ethics their seat in a legislative body or as President.  The first loyalty a Congressman has is to the constituents they represent. They must protect and serve their best interests and not their own! In the past our elected representatives collected a mere pittance in salary compared to what they might earn in the private sector. 

A politician can more than supplement their income and assets by accepting contributions by huge lobbyists and now Citizen's United which may be the final step in the elimination of a system of democracy we cherish. Therefore, any Representative, Senator and Executive office holder must stand up to the lobbyists, special interest groups and refuse their unethical donations. 

Only a "true statesman" (not the politician) show the charlatans and carpetbaggers their backside and point to the rear door.  They will  vote in the interests of the people or in some cases, hold true to the highest of their convictions. The continuous gridlock in Washington is not the product of a full disclosure of facts and vigorous, honest debate, but is as orchestrated with more precision than "The Lion King" or the "Ides of March." It is not Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart as depicted in "Mr Smith Goes To Washington." It is pure fantasy today.

By  taking a stand against any special interest from financial institutions, health insurance industry and even the Pentagon our President and Congress can cautiously shift government back to the owners, the People. 

Washington will gossip and bicker as if they are the Real Housewives of Orange County. They will remain in gridlock, feeling the pain of their sphanx up to the last hour, they swear to cast aside pointless tiffs as salvages another promise to "move forward."  The tears, heartfelt hugs end with the last drop of "champs" each new season (session of Congress). until we identify one in the House and Senate who will take a bold step, seize the floor and assume the role as one who can persuade to hardened opposites to meet and vote for the National interest and all leave with some dissatisfaction of the outcome.

Our Nation cries out to find and elect as members in Congress that will  aspire to the highest level of statesmanship such as Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser.  Through integrity, respect and courage the Compromiser can move the country forward even at risk of losing their seat. 

Politicians spend 80% of their time raising campaign "donations, running around making speeches geared toward their audience. Once they win election, they dash to their party whip for a committee appointment likely to get the most media attention as well as cash from lobbyists. All of this manipulation of manure returns to the formation of a re-election team and the cycle goes on. 


I know this may appear as another canonization of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1960). However, that is not the point I wish to convey. Most eligible voters today were not born during his administration, the assassination and a library of books that followed his death on November 22, 1963.

In spite of revelations that focus on his philandering, the Kennedy legacy of outstanding military and public service is unquestioned.
It will soon be fifty years since John F. Kennedy (D) narrowly defeated Richard Nixon (R) in 1960. In the days to follow as President of the greatest nation on earth, JFK “redefined the character and exhibited the personal traits endeared him to not only Americans but to people around the globe. He gained  their  respect and a measure of character voters hoped to find in every candidate to follow. Richard Nixon (1968) apparently did not recognize JFK look as Presidential. Nixon’s term proved he lacked the transparency and trust and resigned the office in 1975. 


If questioned varied political consultants from Robert Reich, James Carney and Karl Rove would most likely agree on the top ten traits of leadership.  The list is based on several compilations available from credible sites on the Internet. Upon giving some thought one can easily identify them with President Kennedy. Interesting as well, I believe Americans and both political parties pray that another such man appear before them.

Here are the ten of the most important traits identified if one is  to be an effective leader. 
  1. Be Results Orientated. Great leaders spend their energy on the most effective activities to achieve the greatest outcomes.
  2. Be Customer Focused. "...where a man will be judged, not by the color of his skin but the nature of his character."
  3. Have a Vision. Simply put, know where you are headed."By the end of this decade America will successfully put a man on the moon."
  4. Be Strategically Focused.     JFK saw a responsibility and acceptance to defend liberty and freedom here and wherever a struggle appeared around the world.
  5. Effectively Get Work Done Through Others. JFK chose his first cabinet very carefully. He enlisted some of not only the most brilliantly gifted and educated but those who were innovators in their field and most of all "open" to the President's agenda. They did not represent big oil interests or Halliburton
  6. Be Good at Dealing with Conflict. The Cuban Missile Crisis where Soviet arms found their way to launch pads 90 miles from our shore is regarded as perhaps the greatest achievement in diplomacy. Who else, but JFK could broker a deal with the Soviet Union with a nuclear war in the balance?
  7. Ask Great Questions. "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
  8. Make High-Quality Decisions. Kennedy quickly learned the lesson of acting as he did in the "Bay of Pigs" fiasco, that the highest levels of intelligence is to be suspect.
  9. Be a Trusted Leader. I do not believe I need to abundantly document the trust placed in this man, except some that may have served in government at that same time. An entire generation found inspiration from JFK to serve their interests and their country. The length of his reach and impact of his words cannot be adequately measured in the outpouring of love from around the world at his untimely death. 
  10. Be an Incredible Communicator. How many speeches can I identify or ad lib moments with The Press? The Inaugural Address he principally wrote, the first televised Debate, any of his press conferences and perhaps the most recognized and beloved speech "Ich bin ein Berliner."

Perhaps prior to your vote this November 4th, you may find some time to compare the integrity and public record of the candidates and see how they measure up to the top ten traits. Make the best choice based on how you can best rate the candidates. 

Toss aside party affiliation and make your assessment. To maximize the impact of your choice, vote only for those you believe meet the minimum standards worthy of your ballot choice. 

For those candidates, where there exist multiple candidates for which you may choose three of five or nine of eighteen (as in many races for city council) only vote for those you know or their record.  If you select nine candidates but know and can support only two, vote for those two only. Adding to your ballot names you are unsure may just defeat the candidate you have the most faith.

The day will surely come when an issue critical to you before your city council. If the names that appeared on the ballot you "darkened in the circle" or "punched a chad" may be on the Council. The one candidate you had reservation may vote against your preference and you lose 5 - 4 in the outcome. 

Lastly, if a Proposal or Proposition appears on the ballot for which you cannot decide or do not have a clear opinion, leave it blank. "Nothing good will come voting blindly, worse to follow eyes shut into the bush."