20 October 2007

Let them eat peanuts

Thanks, Vincenzo for the apropo pic!

Like I've said before, I don't usually venture into politics, but found this quote kind of interesting. It's from, "The Art of Victory," by Gregory R. Copley. I had never thought about it this way before. I was way too young to vote for Carter, but remember asking my father who he was going to vote for. I told him I liked Carter because he seemed like a nice guy...and he was a Navy man, so that had to count for something, right?

A military man without a plan, how dangerous is that?

It is often said of President James Earl Carter (1977-1981) that his only vision was the attainment of the presidency, and that he had no strategy for his country or his office beyond his election. Indeed, it seemed as though his only mission, having attained the presidency, was to continue to run for the next election. Having no comprehensive vision, no articulated posture other than self-righteousness, he squandered the strategic position which his country had already attained, so that a quarter-century later his failings still haunted his successors and the global strategic environment. Carter epitomized the leader who believes that his victory lies in the mere attainment of leadership and power, rather than believing that the attainment of leadership is merely a tool to attain victory for his people.

Then there are others, who believe that the attainment of power and authority is a tool to ensure control over a population, whose task is then to serve as the tool for the leader's own greater victory. German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, Iranian "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, the USSR's Josef Stalin, and even the United States's president Bill Clinton were modern examples of such leaders, even if the actions of Clinton were nowhere near as barbarous as those of the others. But each saw victory as a solely personal thing, and their population as pawns to their own ambitions.

We are still dealing with the messes these gentlemen made. It does seem that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

And we have an election coming up. Oy.

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“No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
P.J. O'Rourke

12 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

The 76 election was my first. I voted for Ford. No Lincoln, but no Carter either. At least your tender youth and the law prevented you from voting for peanutman. Were you privileged enough to vote for Ronaldus Magnus?

Karen
GO HUNTER

swissmiss said...

1984. Orwell and Reagan. I'm a Reagan baby. Funny how my state voted for the hometown guy, Mondale.

Were you working in aerospace/defense when Clinton was elected? I remember how it was like folks were in mourning at Boeing the day after the elections.

gemoftheocean said...

Yes, I was. And when he was elected the 2nd time at that point I'd switched companies (still defense related) and our "customer" was NRaD (Navy Research and Development) in San Diego, and I worked at one of their facilities on Point Loma. I can't tell you the absolute CONTEMPT most people held the guy in. Believe me, there were *stories.* The job I was on at the time required me traveling, on occasion, to various US military installations from time to time - Norfolk, Pearl Harbor, Alameda, the Pentagon, Coast Guard Governor's Island, Military Sealift command and sundry others.

One amusing story I heard was from a young Coastie lieutenant who'd graduated from the Academy in New London. He was a senior when Clinnochio got elected. One of his roommates HATED the fact that that meant in the graduation yearbook, Clinnochio's picture would be in the yearbook instead of Bush I- the roomie decided to "rectify" the situation. If memory serves, this guys's hometown was in the DC area..on a home visit he and a few friends had wangled a white house private tour (you could get one then by contacting your congress critter) -- a small group or two every day was given more of a tour than what one normally got. Well, this guy wrote a cover letter to then president Bush I along with 8x10 glossies of GHWB - the cover letter explained that the cadet in question would dearly love it if the prez would sign an 8x10 for him so he could paste it over clinton's photo. So he made a number of these envelops up. Does he entrust one with a White house official? Heck no, he and his friends shove them in oddball places around the White House when they could do so unobserved. Of course he added return address envelops etc. Well, when he got back to the academy within a day or so a few "officials" had visited the academy and the guy was put through interviews and psychological testing. TWICE - as to why he'd done what he did the way he did. His friends at the academy were amused when it was announced over the loudspeaker at lunch one day that "Cadet X has been found sane."
He got his autographed pic in the end too.

swissmiss said...

I knew two warrant officers, highly decorated Nam vets, that surrendered their commissions because they were not going to serve under Clinton.

I remember, when I was at Boeing, feeling completely embarrassed to deal with folks from other countries.

I agree, go Hunter.

Vincenzo said...

http://i22.tinypic.com/kf19hs.jpg

gemoftheocean said...

There was about a year I couldn't talk to my own Godmother because she voted for the duffus. "Well, I didn't know he was for abortion."

You WOULD have if you'd paid attention, damn it. [Don't you hate those people who say "oh, I never follow politics, they just bicker...but I'll listen to my stupid union on how to vote, then get mad that the union lied to me."

so help me.

swissmiss said...

In some ways, CA is kind of schizophrenic when it comes to politics. WI and MN, however, are steeped in DFL tendencies. My mom's family is from WI and have been quite involved in Democratic politics for years. Now, this didn't used to be a bad thing until the Dems accepted the moral evils that they have.

So what's a good CATHOLIC Democrat to do. Hmmm, boy that's a hard one (sarcasm). To this day, I have family members who actively work, ACTIVELY, for Democratic campaigns and causes. They are so angry at the mere mention of anything outside the Dem platform. Hostile, mean, vicious, rabid. And, in grave danger of losing their souls to this evil pabulum.

My genealogy is dotted with WI state reps who have been Dems for generations. However, I do have a cousin who is currently a WI state rep who is a Republican and pro-life. But, on the other hand, I am related (by marriage) to (spooky music strikes up, duh-duh-duh-DUUUH), ND Senator Byron Dorgan. A good Irish Catholic.

Divine Mercy said...

hi there swissmiss,

i've added you to my link list in my blogs of note. i love your blog!

Sanctus Belle said...

Yeah, Jimmy Carter's presidency was a disaster. I was too young to vote back then, but it was his campaign that makes up my first memories of an election. I was clueless of course. But even more vivid are my memories of Reagan's campaign and O how I rooted for him! He wasn't perfect, but such a good and strong leader. We need another like him.

swissmiss said...

People may criticize Reagan, but he did give the country a boost in the morale department. That I remember about Carter are the SALT treaties (it was like the US was having a yard sale and giving everything away), Billy Beer, Lillian, and the hostages. Reagan couldn't have started out on a stronger note than having the hostages be released the day he took office. Great for the country. His Supreme Court appointments were poor, but at least he wasn't an embarrassment.

gemoftheocean said...

My condolences, Swiss. Most of my relatives have now "learned" the ones who were demos, anyway. My dad's family was republican, even in a heavily union area (his stepdad was an Anzio WWII hero who'd been made a paraplegic in the war who was later involved in local county politics.) Mom was conservative by nature. Her brothers became good Republicans, her sisters were slow learners, but finally figured it out - but still have to be "watched." Along the "don't vote for that liar Casey, vote for Santorum" lines. Fat lot of good that helped, those dumb Pa. voters falling for their stupid union bosses AGAIN. What will be hard is if it comes down to Hitlery and Rudy the dirtbag.

Oh, re: Ronaldus Magnus - one of my fondest memories EVERY was seeing him the night before he was elected for the 1st time at a campaign rally in San Diego. It was his very last appearance. He arrived late, after a long day of campaigning, and it was electrifying. My mom and I went to the rally, and I believe I still have the flyer around somewhere. There was some really annoying heckler there, and he finally said "Aw, SHUT UP" and the crowd went nuts. Reagan said "at this stage of the game, it's not going to matter any more." The radio stations used it around here for quite a while. PATCO acting up? Launch Reagan's "aw, shut up" sound bite. Geez, I wish I had a copy of that.

swissmiss said...

To be fair to my mom's family, the Dems are not my immediate family since my grandfather, who was a saint, was a Republican back when no farmer ever would've considered it. My aunts/uncles on mom's side are conservative, except for one uncle who is married to the Dorgan. But then again he's divorced and remarried outside the Church and somehow thinks it is OK to go to Communion. My father's family tends to be conservative except one uncle who married a ranting Dem who turned half of her eight kids into ranting Dems too. I don't understand why these folks can't just be happy to disagree, but they have to rant about things.