One of my first memories of Brooke Army Medical Center was a staff gastroenterologist telling me a joke. The joke goes that when you make major they cut your tongue out, when you make lieutenant colonel they give you a lobotomy, and when you make colonel they give you your tongue back.
It may not be a completely fair joke but it rang true later in my career. Trying to explain the needs of a gastroenterologist to a colonel who has no idea what one does and really has no intent of figuring it out can be frustrating. So goes the military when the only thing on some people's mind is scoring the next rank.
There is no doubt that the United States has the finest armed forces in the world. It is amazing to know that when you see the problems inherent in the way it determines its leaders. Much like the rest of the government it is many times the person with extra time on his hands, not doing his job, and excelling at other endeavors that moves ahead. It does tend to do better than the rest of the public sector. Lack of self important unions has a lot to do with it.
It is much more difficult to succeed in the private sector. If things do not get done there is not an endless stream of government money and help to make it work. A leader in the civilian sector nosedives if things tank. It is of utmost importance to make the right decision instead of the popular one. That is unless some genius from one of the two major political parties decides to step in and save you from your stupidity. Oh wait, I mean bail you out or stimulate you.
Both parties love to attack the successful. The latest target is Mitt Romney and his estimated $250M worth. The left is on a tirade complaining about it. How dare he be successful. We do not want a successful man to be president. We would rather have a community organizer who is an alleged expert in Constitutional law and claimed the health care insurance mandate was not a tax.
The liberal sitting in Starbucks surfing Google on their iPhone to find their new Coach purse is outraged with how corporate America is making money. It is all a conspiracy by Exxon to raise the gas prices which makes their natural granola cost more.
By the way, Al Gore is worth $100M. And John Kerry is worth $167M unless you also include his wife and then he is worth over $1B. No need to complain about that from the left. Evidently, those men knew how to connect with the average man on the street. It harkens back to the kid gloves Clinton received from the National Organization for Women.
The Republicans do the same thing. Sarah Palin, easily the least intelligent vice presidential candidate of all time, enjoys her popularity because she is just like the mom next door. When did people start thinking the guy the next door should be president?
The Founding Fathers did not think so. They set up the US Senate to have insulation from populist tyranny. That plan has been eroded over the years. They did not envision career politicians spending lifetimes in the US House. The US House was where the average guy was supposed to spend 2 years in service and then move on. We will never see that again.
Populist pandering and making decisions based on it has become the basis of a nation. The qualities of actually succeeding based on actions and merit are gone. Obama got a Nobel Prize for being nothing more than a Hope and Change rock star. Give the people what they want and long term consequences become irrelevant.
Obamacare was set up to give all the "good ideas" first. The costs are there but mainly being paid by business owners who see them now. By the time the taxpayer sees the cost in a few years and businesses stop offering insurance due to cost prohibition, Barack Obama and the Democrats wil be gone as the grenade they threw expodes.
The same thing has happened around the country. ACES is heading Alaska that way under Palinandaring. Cities across the country are going bankrupt due in large part to unaffordable labor deals passed in past pandering frenzies. States will not be faar behind with the blue pillar of California leading the way.
Arguments are made that the government cannot be run in the cold-hearted ruthless way that a corporation is. This is true but it also cannot be run like it wants everybody to be given free trips to Disneyland daily. Government is there to provide the oppurtunity to pursue happiness not have happiness be a guarantee.
The country has decided that success is to be shunned. If someone made money they must have done it in a nefarious way. That person should never be president.
There in no way Mitt Romney will change the inertia. You only need to look at his record in Massachusetts to understand that. And he will need to deal with a Congress built to pander including three big contributing members from Alaska.
There is a silent minority in this country that is growing. It is not Geroge Soros and Occupy Wall Street or the Koch brothers and the Tea Party. It contains people that see the country being stolen. It is the people working hard every day being told it is their "fair share." They see the fraud, waste, and abuse in front of them every day. It is the product of a government that does not have to answer to any economic reality, at least not yet.
Politicians never get their tongue taken out but the public is intent on electing people who have had or are willing to get a lobotomy. If a politician has the courage to make responsible decisions they are thrown out and somebody willing to have a lobotomy is elected in their place. This is the real reason the average guy is desired, manipulation from mob rule is easier.
I met many generals when I was in the Air Force. They had won the game. They no longer felt the need to play it anymore and were able to concentrate on the right decision. They also had far more compassion and understood the troops better. They wanted to know the needs. They also knew they could not be everything to everybody. They are the saving grace of the military.
Washington DC is full of colonels. We need to start taking pressure off of the system and go looking for some generals. One of the ways to do that is start finding the ones who have been successful and know how to make the tough decisions in name of the mission.
Barack Obama, you are not that man. And Mitt, I am not sure you will be either but I know somewhere inside you get it.