Tag Archives: leadership

Political Ramblings

Breaking News: Americans Demand Dumber Political Candidates

In a stunning development, American citizens are protesting in the streets, demanding that political parties offer less intelligent, less educated candidates in the 2012 elections.

“It’s simple,” said Joe Workman, organizer and activist for the movement known as STUPID (STart Using Politicians that Is Dumb).  “Our school system is ranked 14th among developed nations and keeps declining, but our leadership still ranks 9th in terms of intelligence and education.  Clearly, our elected officials don’t match the electorate.  We must have dumber, less informed politicians.”

Amazingly, in a showing of bipartisan cooperation, the demands are coming from both Democrat and Republican voters, and protests are being held not only in all major urban districts but also in small towns and rural communities.

“We is tired of them fancy Ivy League pollyticians,” said Cletus McOnetooth, president of the Arkansas Chapter of STUPID.  “Give me simple folk in charge of nuclear war and global economics.”

Predictably, there is also resistance to the movement, especially from highly educated citizens such as Dr. Lottastatz of the Center for Researching Research.

“If our politicians get any less intelligent and less educated, there’s a 99.9% chance that we’ll have a 100% decline in economic productivity,” claims Dr. Lottastatz.  “The research is very clear.”

“That’s simply not true,” counters Dr. Fullofshitz of Fox News.  “Those evil socialist commies want intelligent leaders who can trick the American people into believing that reforming corruption is in their best interests.  His scientific research is biased and tainted by his liberal agenda.”

Intrigued by the healthy debate, I rushed to South Carolina to sit down with my old friend Joseph Cartwright III, conservative talk radio host and blogger, and leader of the Tea Party in the Palmetto Bug State.

“The Democrats have been electing stupid people for years.  Look at Hank Johnson and his capsizing island inquiry.  He matches the average American for lack of intelligence. Not to mention Gray Davis.  He was really the trendsetter in this dumbing down movement.

“But the Democrats have nothing on us.  We in the Tea Party have been doing our part to help this trend for a couple of years, now.  I mean, look at Sarah Palin.  You have to admit, you can’t get much dumber and less informed than her.

“And Sue Lowden.  She’s so uneducated she suggested trading chickens for healthcare.  If that’s not dumb enough for the American public, what is?

“And of course, our coup-de-gras, Christine O’Donnell.  You find me a politician with less intelligence than that woman, and I’ll show you someone in a vegetative state.”

Thursday Afternoon Ramblings

It’s always staggering to me when people push things to an extreme but then act stunned when they have to face the consequences.  In this particular instance, I’m referring to Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.  For nearly two years, the far right has gathered in hate-filled rallies with signs that read, “We Came Unarmed…This Time”  and “Signs Today…Guns Tomorrow” and “Party Like It’s 1773” and Sarah Palin has inflamed tempers at these rallies with phrases like, “Don’t retreat. Reload.”  And then, of course, are her now infamous ads with Democrats lined up in cross-hairs.

Then, someone takes all of this hate to heart, goes on a shooting rampage that kills six and leaves a couple dozen injured, and suddenly Palin and the Tea Party seem outraged that anyone could possibly point the finger at them for their hate-speech.

This was the work of a deranged individual working alone, they say.

Bullshit, I say.  Words have meaning and power, and when you use hate and fear to stir people into action, you are just as culpable for the actions of those “deranged individuals” who carry out your message as they are.  I’ve written on this blog before that the reason why the right scares me is because people like Timothy McVeigh, Jim Adkisson, and now Jared Loughner all took the venomous, hate-filled diatribes of the far right’s elocutionists and followed through with horrendously violent actions.  Against hate and intolerance, there is no reasoning, there is no discourse, there is no civility.  Hate will always spawn murder, and those who spew hate for self-gain and political expediency have the same blood on their hands and the person who parked the van or pulled the trigger.

The far left is no less guilty of using hate and sensationalism as the right.  It’s simply a miracle that we haven’t had similar shooting rampages by a “deranged individual” from that end of the spectrum.  What we need is more of what we saw at the end of last year–cooperation and compromise between the two sides and less extremism.  In short, we need moderation.  Until both extremes of both parties realize that we’re all in this together and we all need to find a way to coexist, there will continue to be more “deranged individuals” who take the inflammatory venom of people like Sarah Palin and commit atrocious acts at their indirect behest.

Saturday Afternoon Ramblings

There’s a lesson to be learned from Randy Moss and Albert Haynesworth.  They are great examples of how talent can only carry a person so far.  Both had the raw physical ability to be, if not the very best, one of the best ever to play at their respective positions.  However, both men have lazy streaks that kept them from achieving their full potential.  Because of his numbers, Moss will probably still make the Hall of Fame, but he could’ve been remembered as one of the greats, instead of a guy who played when he wanted to.  Haynesworth, on the other hand, squandered Hall of Fame talent and will hardly be remembered as anything but an overpaid thug.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there was Jerry Rice.  For the last two or three seasons of his career, Rice was the third or fourth option for his offense, and most players who commanded his salary would’ve been cut.  However, Rice was kept on the team not so much for his productivity but more for his leadership to the younger players.  His work ethic and practice habits provided an example for them to mimic.  He was the greatest wide receiver and one of the three or four greatest football players ever to play the game, and he showed up to work every single day as if his job were on the line.  Not only that, he played every single play as if it were the last play of the Super Bowl.

Neither Moss nor Haynesworth can claim that they have worked as hard as they could in their careers.  Throughout his playing days, Moss has consistently taken off plays when he knew the ball wasn’t coming his way.  He rarely blocked on running plays, and often jogged routes when he was the decoy.  He’s always been selfish and greedy, and now, at the end of his career, he’s been traded and cut and released from team to team to team because he’s a cancer in the locker room and the opposite of a team leader.  Physically, he was as gifted as Rice, but mentally, he lacked the drive, motivation, and discipline to live up to those standards.

Likewise, Haynesworth has always showed up at the beginning of camp fat and out of shape.  Even in college, he rarely practiced hard, and he’s always relied solely on his physical skills to carry him.  Granted, those physical skills were once tremendous, and had he had the work ethic of a Joe Greene or a Randy White, he would’ve dominated the league for a decade.  Instead, he had a couple of great seasons, always in contract years, and then a few above average seasons and a few forgettable ones.  At the end of his career, his head coach Mike Shanahan finally held him accountable for his behavior, benching him until he got his weight down, sitting him again when his attitude stank, and finally suspending him for the final four games.  Hardly the end of a career for a guy with Hall of Fame talent, but definitely the end for one with a welfare mentality.

Both Moss and Haynesworth are wealthier than I’ll ever be.  Their worst NFL contracts are probably more than I’ll make in my entire life, so in monetary terms, they were both successful men.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the only standard that matters these days, but that’s another issue altogether.  I still believe in the archaic notion that a person should be measured by the quality of their work, not just how much money they make.  In those terms, both Moss and Haynesworth failed to make the most of the natural skills they were blessed with, and while they did achieve some success on the field, both men failed to elevate their teams to championship levels.  That’s because champions are motivated by the desire to be the best in the world, and they work and work and work until they make that happen.  That’s the lesson of these two men.  Soon, they will be out of football for good and forgotten by most, and the league will be better off without them and their rotten attitudes.