I may not get there with you!

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I MAY NOT GET THERE WITH YOU. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything, I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., 1968

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.

Robert F Kennedy, 1966

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

John F Kennedy, 1963

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.

Abraham Lincoln, 1858

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My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule. But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy.

President Gerald Ford (1974)

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Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 11:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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It Comes Down to Temperament!

After almost two years of political campaigning it is almost over and for most is it safe to ask the question, was the answer provided many, many months ago about John McCain? Were statements made about John McCain’s temperament the answer all along? Let’s explore.

We explore because according to several polls there are still some in this election cycle who are still “undecided”. Are these voters waiting two more days to see if John McCain and his campaign are going to demonstrate some form of maturity? This I think is foolhardy. Although this campaign season seems like an eternity, maybe it was what we needed to get a clear view of the temperament issues that many warned us early on about McCain? We got to see how John McCain would conduct himself if given the opportunity as President of this great nation, what type of people he would surround himself with, how he would execute the day-to-day affairs of the office, and most importantly his decision making skills.

So why John McCain’s temperament?

Temperament is the human characteristic of thinking, behaving, or reacting. So what has this election season shown us about John McCain?

1.    Erratic

2.    Stubborn

3.    Easily persuaded

4.    Lack of patience

5.    Recklessness

6.    Dismissive

7.    Frustration

8.    Willingness to act while ill-informed.

Erratic

During this campaign season John McCain and his campaign have demonstrated repeatedly that they have no certain or definite course in the pursuit of the Presidency and in how they would run the country if elected. So those who are still undecided, do they believe that “not all those who are wandering are lost” and that in these late hours campaign McCain is going to all of a sudden show a knack for strategic visioning? I think it is safe to say that these things are not going to happen.

John McCain must have a very powerful enabling infrastructure in order to be this erratic. He would have to be surrounded by those who behave in the same or encourages this type of behavior. It scares me to think that we would have an administration that would never have a strategic vision or solid courses of action. We would once again be plagued by patterns of recklessness especially in foreign policy where Mr. McCain would probably spend the bulk of his time. The constant “try a new daily” approach appears “trigger-happy” and in the end may have contributed to the discrediting of his campaign. Another “shoot from the hips” administration, one that was incapable of strategic planning, and would never give us a single vision is not what this country needs. We are searching for an administration that will let facts drive its visions, goals, and judgments.

The daily barrage of messages from Camp McCain spoke clearly to its lack of understanding as to who the stakeholders are and what their interests and concerns were. There was always an underlying component to all of those messages and that was, “attack Barack Obama”. Unfortunately for Camp McCain the electorate was not in an attacking mode this election season. This simple fact drove many in the media crazy. Phrases like “where is the red meat” or “Obama should go after McCain” were sounded repeatedly.

Stubbornness

Never before have I seen such a candidate and a campaign so unreasonably obstinate, so fixed in their purpose and opinion. It is simply painful to watch. No matter how loudly the electorate screamed that they didn’t want to hear about William Ayers, or Rev Wright, Anti-American this, Socialism that, or any of the many scary messages that Camp McCain had stashed on its shelf, Camp McCain went right ahead and fed us huge helpings daily. This is another clear picture that they did not understand the stakeholders or their interests and concerns. No matter how far they sank in the polls and no matter what the public opinion, they stayed the course. An initiative that does not have the built-in ability or willingness to change is an initiative that is destined to failure. So do those who tell pollsters at this point in the election season that they are undecided want to put a recalcitrant group like this in office? This leads one to ask, how is it that they can show such resolve for sticking to the wrong message but show an extreme lack of patience on things that the country cares about? Hmm are we introducing selfishness here?

Stubborness! John McCain and his campaign just don’t understand the meaning of “Value”. Value is something that your stakeholders seek. Value is something that will make stakeholders buy-in to your message. John McCain and his campaign seem to care only about “preaching to their choir”. They never understood that the Electorate is comprised of more than just their “constituents”; it is also comprised of “associates”.

So he chose a running mate who has the same temperament. So aptly demonstrated in the VP debate where no matter what question was asked of her, she had a speech to give and “by George” she was going to give it. Joe Biden and Gwen Eiffel were just in her way. He chose campaign managers and spokesmen with the same temperament. Tucker Bounds who insists on “answering the questions” he could answer, and not the questions that were asked.

 No matter what the opinion polls said about “scare tactics”, John McCain and his machine were not going to listen. Every day out of the McCain machine came a new “boogey-man”. Boo! It was so bad that kids substituted his campaign ads and speeches on Halloween, for such horror notables as like “Friday the 13th and “The creature from the Dark Lagoon”. The key here is the word “kids”. The American “Adult” Public is over the tactics used by McCain/Palin to drive fear. At times one really had to worry about the maturity of Camp McCain. “Joe the plumber”, “Jill the stylist”, “Mike the butcher”, and “on and on and on”.  So much valuable campaign time exhausted by playing schoolyard call and response games when it should have been used by them to tell us about their capabilities and what they plan for America. Wait, did I use the word plan?

Are we looking for an administration that would be stubborn? I don’t think so. That’s smells too much like dogmatic to most of us. We know how much of a fight John McCain put up against the most dogmatic elements of the Republican Party during this campaign season and we will not willingly walk into this trap.

Easily Manipulated

It was sad to see John McCain so easily manipulated and convinced time and time again during this campaign season. His VP selection, questionable campaign tactics he swore against, and willingness to be convinced to be openly dishonest. Once again, although grueling as it was, this elongated campaign season allowed us to see that John McCain in the end really wasn’t a leader but a willing follower. Willing to follow a Party that was about to get destroyed in the upcoming election, a Party that might end up extinct after Nov 4, and willing to follow that Party over a cliff. So for those who are still undecided do they think that somehow this is going to change in the next two days?

A leader leads, he doesn’t follow and John McCain demonstrated that he was not in charge or in command of Campaign McCain. Had he been we would not have putting up with Sarah Palin no matter how easily convinced John McCain was of her abilities. He would have stood up to his party and chose a more qualified running mate, after all, for months he has been telling us that he is a “Maverick”. This campaign season demonstrated to us that he is no more a maverick than he is a leader. So are we looking for someone to fill the role of the highest office of this land with someone who has demonstrated a lack of leadership abilities in this election cycle and also one who is willing to follow party dogma? I don’t think so.

Hothead

We never really got an opportunity to see the “hothead” McCain. I think they practiced hard to make sure that this one did not manifest itself publicly. It was interesting how they tried to force Barack Obama to be the angry candidate. After all, he was Black and what better narrative would there have been than to see the sequel to “Diary of An Angry Black Woman”, titled, “Diary of An Angry Black Man”, starring Barack Obama. Well, Camp McCain didn’t research Barack Obama’s temperament because never once did Barack react to Campaign McCain’s attempts to anger him in the manner they had hoped.

This ended up hurting John McCain maybe worse than being a hothead because it brought forth other temperaments in John McCain that weren’t pleasant to watch like dismissal, obsession, and frustration. Their failure to drive Barack to anger extremely frustrated them. This demonstrated campaign McCain was clearly being run by a group of individuals who were clearly not on the same level of practice as Campaign Obama. John’s team didn’t realize that although every cause has an effect and every effect has a cause sufficient to make it happen, when you don’t get the effects that you are attempting to achieve, at some point you abandon or refine that strategy. Campaign McCain instead became obsessed with diminishing Barack Obama. They lack the understanding that the gap between expectation and achievement is the measure of frustration.

Well as stubbornness would have it, campaign McCain would have no parts of change and continued the same failed tactics. So what happened? McCain and his campaign became exceedingly frustrated and nowhere was it clearer than in John McCain’s behavior at the debates. Barack Obama and his campaign continually hindered the McCain campaign’s plans and efforts. At one point I literally saw the McCain Campaign as if it were the Washington Generals, the basketball team that provided deliberate ineffective opposition as a foil for the comedy antics of the Harlem Globetrotters. So are those who are still undecided today waiting to see if John McCain will suddenly change his penchant for sticking to failed strategies?

It was also obvious in the debates that John McCain had clearly disposed of Barack Obama as a legitimate candidate a long time ago. It was also clear that John McCain had not truly analyzed Barack Obama’s demeanor. This dismissive behavior caused McCain to lack the understanding as to why Barack Obama is known as “No Drama Obama” inside of his campaign. Had he done this it would have saved him a lot of time and energy in trying to anger Barack. Another key area of dismissive behavior was John McCain’s willingness to dispose and make decisions prior to proper vetting. Campaign McCain’s impatience for analysis is disturbing resulting in ill-advised and seemingly ill thought-out decisions.

Willingness to act while ill-informed

John McCain and his campaign demonstrated that they were ill-informed on an important skill that Obama and his Campaign possess. Colin Powell said last week that Barack Obama showed transformation leadership skills. Many in American Society including the campaign McCain do not understand transformation. We tend to use the word change because it is easier to understand. But change is not transformation. Change is the result of transformation. Change is also the result of reformation. This is where the Obama Campaign lost many during this election season. For most in the electorate, they thought Obama was using the word change as a verb (action), when in fact it was being use as a noun (state).

One can clearly see the differences when listening to both campaigns. Obama talks about change as a result of transformation, McCain talks about change as a result of reformation. Well there is a difference and one is preferred over the other in today’s world. Both require skills and talents that are very hard to come by which leads me to this obsession that McCain and Sarah Palin has with reformation. Reformation is precisely the wrong approach for today’s challenges. It is also the reason that we are experiencing many breakdowns in our institutions and seeing many recurrences of problems we thought we had solved before.

It boggles the mind that Sarah Palin thinks that she can come and “reform” Washington. What a tragedy that would be. She does not have transformation skills. She may have reformed something somewhere in the past however reformation is no longer the change methodology of choice. Transformation is what we employ against today’s challenges. We have demonstrated time and again that reformation is short lived and that environmental root-causes remain which dramatically increases the likelihood of recurrence. Reformation in most cases deals with the symptom of a problem and strives to correct through behavior or process change. It boggles the mind that campaign McCain is so lacking in this key skill area. What’s even more mind boggling is how Sarah Palin would talk about reform and never once mentioned how she planned to accomplish that reform. Simply extraordinary!

Transformation requires that the root-cause of the problem be identified and dealt with. That also includes dealing with the environment if it is the root-cause thus eliminating those things that could encourage or influence recurrence. The McCain campaign has no clue about these modern day techniques of leadership and capability and thus is severely unqualified to take on the challenges of this new age. For Sarah Palin to even think that she has the competency in this domain is arrogance beyond belief or maybe, just ignorance. When you reform a criminal you change his behavior. When you transform a criminal you change him into something totally different and eliminate environmental influences that enable criminal behavior.

One could see why campaign McCain is stuck in this morass. After all, they do lead the political party that clearly deals with symptoms rather than root-causes of problems. Take the abortion plank. Year in and year out we have to endure their cries of abortion this and abortion that. Republicans, Conservatives, and Religious Right folks, abortion is a symptom! Unwanted pregnancies are the root-causes of the abortion problem! Why won’t these folks ever deal with the cause of unwanted pregnancies? Why don’t they ever try to get unwanted pregnancies down to a level where abortion could be rendered insignificant? Strange. I was watching a show on a religious channel yesterday where people had gathered in San Diego to pray against abortion. The whole show dealt with prayers and testimonies about abortion. Nowhere in that show was there a single prayer about alleviating promiscuity, rape, irresponsible sex, selfishness, etc. the root-causes of abortion.

Transformation initiatives require vision. As stated earlier, John McCain and his campaign have demonstrated that they do not have the patience for strategic visioning and seeing a strategy though, nor do they possess the necessary skills. Therefore John McCain and Sarah Palin could never be successful transformation agents unless something drastic happens in the next two days that would raise their level of understanding and practice in transformation. Transformational initiatives require transformational leadership and contrary to popular opinion, it has nothing to do with age, experience, or for that matter, executive experience. What it has to do with, is having the ability to inspire through vision and to translate visions into reality. There aren’t many transformational leaders around today, but after Nov 4 when the RENAISSANCE begins, we will start seeing many come forward and thus you will see wholesale changes in our political, social, and economic systems for the better.

Wildweezle (© Wildweezle Enterprises) 

 

 

 

Published in: on November 2, 2008 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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