Monday, September 20, 2010

Is Sarah Palin a "Mere" Cheerleader

One of my Facebook sparring partners recently dissed Sarah Palin as a mere cheerleader and unfit to be president. I immediately jumped back to the early 80's in my mind, remembering the incessant criticism of our president by both the left and the "intellectual" right.  Ronald Reagan was also criticized as a "mere" cheerleader if you'll remember.  They said he was an "empty suit", unfit for the intellectual challenges of being president.  My buddy, Dennis had the same criticism of Palin. He wants somebody "smart" to be president.

Well, you know what, I think we could use a cheerleader in the oval office.  How long has it been since we had someone in there who believes in the basis goodness of the American people AND believes in getting the government out of their way is the road to prosperity. I am sick to death of all the so-called "smart" people up in Washington, diddling with the economy, the health care system and our liberties in a futile attempt to plan all our lives out for us.

Even, notorious smart person, Albert Einstein, whom I respect as a scientist, fell victim to the misguided belief that many "smart" people do-- that somehow, smart people should be able to figure out how to run all our lives for us so as to eliminate poverty, want and disease.  He like other smart people over-estimated the capacity of human intelligence to manage something so blindingly complex as an economy, a culture or a vast collection of humans, each with free will and their own self-interest.  No small group of people have the collective brains to manage it.  That's why I believe that the government which governs best, is that which governs least.  

It doesn't take a towering intellect to lead. It takes courage, determination, humility and the willingness to lead from the front by example. We've had too many "smart" people try to micro-manage government. Carter did it. Johnson thought he could do it. Obama is doing it. Clinton, thank goodness, was too busy skirt-chasing to micro-manage and let the Republican congress open up the economy so that individual Americans could get it charged up and going again.

God d
eliver us from "smart" people. They think entirely too much of their own ability to do all the decision making. I say this as one of the so-called "smart" people (if you go by IQ testing I'm a flippin' genius). I understand as well as anyone that Intellect (with a capital "I") is not everything.  There's a lot more to leadership than book smarts. It took years of study, personal errors in leadership and a careful observance of outstanding leaders like Ronald Reagan, Patton, Eisenhower, Lincoln and Grant for me to learn how best to lead. I learned that great leaders first point the way and then get out of the way so the people can get on with the job. Great leaders delegate. Great leaders don't second guess. They don't micro-manage. They give the broad overview of the plan, then trust their generals, captains, lieutenants and especially their sergeants and privates to carry out those plans.

Obama's great sin is an entirely too great an admiration for his own intellect and a distrust for the collective intelligence of the American people. He trusts himself first, his advisors second and the American people dead last. That's a recipe for poor leadership and a discouraged, disorganized country. Under his "leadership" the American business community is reduced to sitting around on its collective butt, waiting to see what's the next "brilliant" idea that's going to come out of Washington and screw things up further.  Instead of getting up and going forward and making things happen, the very folks who could kick start the economy are keeping low, watching the economic weather. Passivity on the part of the business community will not save our economy, but that is exactly the behavior this administration is encouraging with its incessant micro-managing.

So Palin's lack of intellectual credentials bothers me not at all. Sometimes all we need is a cheerleader. Remember Reagan's "City on a Hill" speech. What was that, if not, cheerleading, but it was an effective technique for rallying the troops and dragging us away from the depression that Jimmy Carter and the Democrats were brewing. As a cheerleader Reagan was brilliant and oh, how the intellectuals whined that he delegated too much authority, that he didn't know "what was really going on". Remember the blistering criticism he took and how the American people paid no attention to it.

When he walked out of the summit in Iceland, the smart people railed that Reagan's "stupid" rejection of cool diplomacy had doomed the world to nuclear annihilation. The next year the Russians came back and the result was the first treaty that actually got missiles pointed at somebody else.

Reagan was called stupid for deploying Pershing missiles in Europe. Next thing you know both the Russians and us were scrapping ICBMs right and left.

The smart people excoriated Reagan for saying "Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall!" out loud and in front of Germans no less.
They said it would destabilize Russia and set back relations with the Soviet Union for years. Within just a few years the wall was torn down and the Soviet Union was no more.

Please, I implore the voters of America. If some pundit tells you such and such a candidate is the "smartest" man or woman in America......RUN!

Go straight to the voting booth and vote for his or her opponent!

Just one man's opinion.

Tom King
(c) 2010

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