Executive Leadership – Bernie Has A Clear Vision – Hillary Does Not

Bernie is going to need some help on foreign affairs, but don’t let her international realism, her tough talk be too persuasive. I think she is without a doubt more knowledgeable on foreign affairs, and he did concede that point tonight, but I have every confidence that he is smart enough to put the people in place who will inform and carry out his policy.

I think he is head and shoulders better on nearly every other issue, and on many of those issues, I am simply morally and philosophically aligned with him. Take the death penalty, there is simply nothing she can say that can convince me that the death penalty is ever appropriate. Failings in the criminal justice system too many to enumerate here have shown that we should not grant the system power to enact the ultimate punishment. On trade and the economy, he simply stands where I stand on the issue.

Look, a lot of people like the idea that government should be run like a business. I do not, but I do know that if I did, I recognize that the CEO has accountants and marketing experts and production managers and HR to help him/her in the developing strategies for how to get to where the CEO’s vision dictates. Bernie has a strong vision and he has an understanding of what needs to be done to get us there and he has the humility to put people in place to augment his strengths and minimize his weaknesses. I find him to be the consummate leader.

I find Hillary to have a muddled vision on nearly all issues. I think she is one hell of a technocrat. She is incredibly detail oriented and technically competent. I respect that. She would make an amazing operations manager or VP of something, but I simply don’t see her as a leader with a clear vision. I’m not convinced that she knows where she would like to see the country go. I can’t tell if she can give an elevator pitch about what the country needs. I know Bernie could. I think that clear vision is of paramount importance when it comes to organizational leadership, especially when that organization is 300+ million strong.

A Bold Agenda

“Our aim is not only to relieve the symptoms of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.” ~ LBJ launching his War on Poverty at the State of the Union. This is a big brash bold idea done at a time of high taxes (1964/1965)(88% top marginal rates).

This is not a polite agenda. This is not an apologetic request. This an ass kicking public policy agenda. This package brought us the following:

“The effort centered around four pieces of legislation:

• The Social Security Amendments of 1965, which created Medicare and Medicaid and also expanded Social Security benefits for retirees, widows, the disabled and college-aged students, financed by an increase in the payroll tax cap and rates.

• The Food Stamp Act of 1964, which made the food stamps program, then only a pilot, permanent.

• The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which established the Job Corps, the VISTA program, the federal work-study program and a number of other initiatives. It also established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), the arm of the White House responsible for implementing the war on poverty and which created the Head Start program in the process.

• The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, signed into law in 1965, which established the Title I program subsidizing school districts with a large share of impoverished students, among other provisions. ESEA has since been reauthorized, most recently in the No Child Left Behind Act.”

We need to start expecting, nay, demanding of our government again! We need to stop asking for forgiveness and hiding our commitment to a well governed society. Lets get behind Bernie and demand our government work in a way that serves all of our interests, not just the interests of the few. Let’s fix our election problems. Let’s figure out a way to get us voting at an 80%+ participation rate. Let’s MAKE the government work. Let’s refuse to accept an austerity/small government agenda where eliminating government is preferable to improving government. Damn it. Let’s just make it work!

Religion & Politics: The Unmentionables

The old saying goes “In polite company religion and politics should never be discussed.”  Yeah, well, polite company is boring and small-talk sucks!  There.  I said it.  And I mean it.  I’ll admit, occasionally these topics can lead to the dissolution of friendships and business relationships, but lets face it – If my elderly family member’s lives depend upon their monthly Social Security checks, as yours likely do as well, and still  you want to dismantle Social Security, we probably don’t really belong in a business or personal relationship anyway.  I guess I’d rather get that right out there in plain sight so that both of us can skip the socially lubricating pleasantries, and I can get back to work securing some minimal level of comfort for Gramps and Granny in their final years, while you can get back to figuring out why I would be upset that you would condemn mine and yours to canned cat food dinners. Fancy Feast indeed.

When we subscribe to this idea that the potential of hurt feelings trumps sane political discourse, we allow extremism to infiltrate our insular existences. There is value in calling a bad idea a bad idea.  Shameful ideas deserve public shame.  They deserve to be derided right there on the spot before they start to seep into the collective conscious.  I think that political discourse, amongst our friends and acquaintances, has a moderating influence.  If we all talk about the way the system should work, if we talk about the ways government should serve people, if we describe to one another the way things ought to be right out there in the open, we are fostering more political activity creating a more sensible system and more sensible government policies.  I think we can all agree that we want sensible government. I want to associate with other people who want sensible government. These are the people whom i want as friends. Personally I’d rather find out who my friends are well before I actually need to know who my friends are.  Talking politics helps ensure that happens.