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Leadership is important, but our future will be determined by those who follow


By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Fri, Jul 27th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

By Yvonne Nyehnuis

I was nineteen. It was Autumn. My Father and I were raking up the pears that had fallen. He appeared to be absorbed, mulling over some problem.

He confessed he was not satisfied with his job. He felt that he was not fairly compensated for the work he did. “Why don’t you get the men you work with together and demand more from the company?” I asked.

He hesitated then answered, “If I did that I would be fired.” Then he added, “There are leaders and followers in this world, and I my dear, am a follower.”

As the years fell away, it occurred to me that “leaders” wouldn’t get very far without “followers.”

President Bush talked about leadership. He wore his leadership like the suit he put on when he got dressed in the morning. He was a cartoon character struggling to be what he imagined the Leader of the Free World should be. He and the Vice President thought of our country in terms of Empire, dominating and controlling the world. “You’re either with us or against us!” They considered diplomacy and restraint a sign of weakness. “We have the most powerful army in the world. Do

not invoke our wrath!”

President Obama’s administration represented a change of trajectory in International relations. He reached out to other world leaders with respect. “We must become partners with other countries, if we hope to combat terrorism. We need to share resources, information and search for areas where we can agree.” For this he was rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Republicans in Congress don’t like to be reminded that during the Bush administration, the financial crisis on wall street, accelerated outsourcing of jobs, two wars and a drug program for seniors created a huge deficit that sent our economy spiraling out of control!

Before President Obama moved into the White House they began a plan to destroy him and his administration. They seized on the filibuster in the Senate as a way to derail the Presidents proposals. They launched a campaign generously funded by corporations, wall street and insurance companies to inundate the media with lies and distortions designed to discredit every initiative he tried to make.

By the time the 2010 election rolled around, Republicans had

successfully framed the President’s performance as lack-luster. They sneered at his accomplishments as being inconsequential and railed endlessly about his “faults.” The result was a landslide of Tea Party candidates taking over the House. They didn’t come to Washington to govern, they came to protest! In the two years they have been in Congress they have done nothing to create jobs!

As the 2012 election draws closer, the Republicans are celebrating their success in obstructing the President’s plans to grow the economy. They crow gleefully, “See that he’s failed!” With some reluctance, and “zillions” of dollars, (Corporations are People my Friends!) the Republican party has embraced Mitt Romney.

Governor Romney assures us that we need a “businessman” in the White House. He will straighten out the economy in no time!

In football the quarterback designates a play. The team carries it out. They don’t vote on it. In business the employer gives orders which are carried out by his employees. They don’t vote on it. In Washington, the President makes a proposal which is then voted on by 435 members of Congress. Being in business in no way prepares a candidate for the process of governing. Business is motivated by profit. Government is non-profit. The President is in office as a servant to the people. Business and government are opposite in motive and process. The only way they can be aligned is where there is a dictatorship.

To his credit Romney has been quite clear about his “vision” for our country. He supports de-regulation on wall street, de-regulation of corporations and industry. He is for outsourcing jobs. He would seek to expand the military, cut funding for education, cut funding to protect our environment, and cut funding for FEMA (he refers to FEMA as an “entitlement” program!).

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