July 15, 2010

Where's Winston?

You can quite easily interchange any number of verbs in Lincoln's quote about fooling people, but the one that comes to my mind here is "please."  I think Obama is transitioning from fooling all people some of the time to fooling some people all of the time, and on the same parallel, the people's pleasure is dropping like a rock.  Pretty soon, he won't be able to fool or please anyone.

On that note, here's something that caught my eye this morning: Europe Warns Obama: This Relationship Is Not Working.  In defense of our leader elected official, I'll finish my point from the first paragraph, "you can't please all the people all of the time."  But it also makes me reminisce a previous post of mine, back when Bush started becoming more concerned with approval ratings rather than doing what is right.  Where are the leaders?

If you're young like me, we're probably in the same boat.  What true leaders have we had in our "adult" lifetime to be proud of?  Sure, I started my life under Reagan, but I didn't really realize the power that our elected officials have (for good or for evil) until about 5 years ago.  Sadly, I can probably only claim George W. Bush, and only on the grounds of fighting the war on terror.  It is for this reason that history greatly intrigues me, and also makes me feel that we must look to the past for men to model ourselves after, men to compare our current candidates against.

I've recently heard of Obama being compared to Neville Chamberlain.  Suffice it to say that I agree with the comparison, and that it gives me hope.  "Hope?" you ask?  Yes, because if it took a Carter to get a Reagan, and a Chamberlain to get a Churchill, we are near the threshold of having a great leader on our hands.  I think one of the reasons I like Churchill so much is because of the time relation to the last Great War.  I've said many times that Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers are my most favorite shows of all time, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to properly convey why that is.  Hell, I never served in the military, but after watching those movies I can't ever make it through singing the Star Spangled Banner without tearing up.  Case in point, writing this last sentence has given me a lump in my throat.  What really turned me on to Churchill was his speech after taking over for the abysmally weak Chamberlain, specifically these parts:

I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined the government: 
"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."
We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. 
You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. 
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

The audio is even better.  I don't know how true, but I've heard that neither Churchill nor Reagan was well liked upon entering office.  I'm assuming it's because they had some hard truths to confront (because it fits in with my post here), truths that their predecessors ran from or to which they blinded themselves: "In spite of the hardness and ruthlessness I thought I saw in his face, I got the impression that here was a man who could be relied upon when he had given his word." - Chamberlain's first impression of Hitler.

So, even when we do finally have a leader in the Presidency, he/she still won't live up to Europe's "standards," but I'm okay with that.  You don't lead by taking polls and avoiding the hard fights, you lead by doing the right thing every time, and the people will follow.  You will win over the staunchest opponent because you will produce results, not more blame.

Mr or Madame Next President, I have one piece of advice to start you off:  Fortify.  You have a lot of fortifications to do.  
Fortify yourself - if you will accomplish any of these, you must be bulletproof in every way.  
Fortify our allies - show solidarity with them.  Sure, Canada is an "ally," but no one is picking on them just now.  Go back to Britain and Israel first, remind them of who we really are and that our futures lie together - through peace and war.  Show them that it is our intent to be strong and lead the world by mastering ourselves.  
Fortify our borders - we are being attacked politically by the Mexican President who has failed to protect his own people from the drug wars that are now expanding across our southern border.   It's no longer just about the jobs.  Our ranchers are beaten and killed, our property is stolen, our daughters are kidnapped and raped, do we really need more excuses than these for our government to execute its primary role?
Fortify our freedom - if our society is to avoid the same fate as the Roman Republic (or even the Galactic one), we must look to the Constitution.  We need originalist judges, and a limited central government.  The free people of this nation will stand with you, and if necessary, "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender..."

Bonus links: Churchill motivational posters! Series 1 and Series 2

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