Sunday, August 17, 2008

Which One Are You Ready to Saddle Up?

A friend. Rob Diego, with whom I exchange observations of current affairs and often test ideas is guest contributor tonight. Thanks, Rob.

During the questioning (at the Saddleback Civil Forum) last night, Obama was repeatedly equivocating on important issues and this exposes his inability to lead, his lack of any clear convictions. A leader must be decisive, he must use his own mind and rely on his own experiences; and he must know the right questions and how to get the right answers from knowledgeable people. I've been a leader during certain times of my life, and even on that modest level, it was a major responsibility and a very sobering thought to know that my job was making decisions about others and inspiring them to be better. I loved being a leader because I saw the results in people who were better every day and happier and more secure because my leadership helped them be more productive employees.

Obama would never be worth a $32 million dollar CEO salary because he could never be decisive enough to steer a company in the right direction. How can we put him in charge of the most powerful institution in the world? Equivocation and ambiguity are not signs of leadership ability; they are signs of indecision. We can't afford to have him learn on the job. Our lives are at stake. I'd put those million dollar CEOs (that Obama criticizes for making too much money) in the oval office any day before Obama.

McCain was decisive last night, clear and forthright...a characteristic that is rare, even in Presidents. Obama has never been in the line of fire where his own personal freedom was at stake; he's never been in the line of fire where his own life was at stake; he's never had to make a decision that meant a crucial turning point for the nation...he wouldn't know how to recognize such a situation. He'd equivocate and call a meeting of a bunch of people to tell him how to nuance his responses.

A man who makes a decision to become a street organizer is not making a decision that affects an important issue for the country; he is making a decision to avoid making a difference. It sets him up to blame others for problems rather than show the leadership necessary to solve real problems. He admits that 10 years ago he didn't know the value of work as a social phenomenon. Doing things for others by causing a redistribution of someone else's money is not the same as making decisions that make it possible for people to be successful.

Anyone can "bring people together." That takes no special skill, it does not make Obama unique. Even Bush said he could do it. The real problem is that Obama has no real tangible leadership skills, has demonstrated no such skills, and has never made the amount of money in his life that makes him something special. He cannot prove that he is special. He is no Bill Gates, no T. Boone Pickens, no Warren Buffet...he is nothing special. Knowing how to leave people free takes a lot more leadership than knowing who will pay higher taxes.

McCain wants us to all be rich. That Obama doesn't even think in these terms tells you so much about tells you everything. With terrorism one of the major issues of our time, we can't afford to wait for a man to ask his wife or grandmother, or even Ted Kennedy, what to do (I can almost tell you what they will say to him: "Do what helps the most people, honey.") I'm wondering if he asked them what to say before he made his early statements about the situation in Georgia. He clearly is only reciting leftist cliches without an understanding of how his statements relate to the real world, or whether they relate at all. I wonder what his grandmother's leadership skills are and how many thousands of people she has led. And why haven't scholars written about her unique mind? I'd like to read her books. Where are they?

Obama came off of a vacation and the media had to use that fact as a reason why he didn't do as well as McCain. All he has to do is get back on the campaign trail and he'll get his words back. That is a rationalization of the worst kind. What a tough life he's had...his vacation complicated his candidacy and muddled his mind. Imagine McCain saying that he was indecisive because he spent 5 years in a prisoner of war camp tied up with ropes, unable to move. Imagine the media using that fact as an excuse for McCain. It is unthinkable because that event molded his convictions, gave him certainty for a lifetime about important issues, helped him to see things clearly. A vacation that makes a man not have the presence of mind to remember his convictions is not an excuse; it is a sign of no convictions.

What defeated Obama last night is that he had no idea what McCain would say so he could not adjust his statements to match McCain's convictions and passion. Obama has no convictions of his own. That is clear. The worst thing is that there are a lot of people who don't care that he has no convictions; there are lots of people who think Obama's equivocations are an indication of a refined and educated mind. I'll take a prisoner of war, even a graduate of the University of Hard Knocks over Obama any time.

Rob Diego


principlex said...

Another point is the whole issue of setting aside pleasure in order to be true to one's purpose. I wasn't impressed with Obama's statement on what to do about Georgia, where he invited "the guys" of the press over to hear it. The whole press conference read as "my pleasure comes first."

Not McCain. He jumped on the Georgia issue. His statement showed us that we are not powerless in this situation and could do many things to jolt the Russian brain to stop and alter its actions.

Obama, on the other hand, offered items that left us powerless. The UN solution was untenable because of Russia's veto power. Others were largely hope that we could get someone other than ourselves to do something. Endless talking. The Obama style.

There is an honor to McCain that Obama doesn't have. It comes across in McCain's being. He honors his ideals and all people that he may persuade them to his ideals. He brings that all to the table without a hedge. Even if I don't agree with him, I can at least breathe oxygen.

Rob Diego said...

Obama is the perfect Kantian; brazenly unintelligible, deliberately evasive and equivocating. Who would vote for that? I so much prefer a politician who tells you what he thinks. Obama looks like he's had a manicure, a pedicure, a facial and a massage. McCain looks like he's been in the ditch digging with the diggers while Obama has been talking to the architects on the 99th floor. One finds out whether the building will stand; the other sips green tea and struggles to understand the 99th version of the blue print. I have a sense that Obama has Marxist slogans swimming inside his head and that his view of the world is decidedly as wrong as Marx's view of the world. I do like McCain because I know he has a sense of the real world rather than a sense of his own comfort. And that's so much better than reducing the best of us to the lowest common denominator while making only your friends rich as I'm sure Obama would do.