Muddledness at the Top

Dan Kennedy

5/14/2010 4:10:33 PM - Dan Kennedy

On the May 9 “Meet the Press,” host David Gregory had a disturbing discussion with Attorney General Eric Holder. What was so unsettling was the insistent use of law enforcement language rather than speaking of war on terrorism and terrorists; the refusal by Obama Administration and complicit mainstream media to acknowledge the fact that we are at war.

Key word: war. What is needed to save us is public and political agreement that we are engaged in World War III, and therefore other nations must be identified accurately as allies or enemies, based on their harboring and abetting those bent on our destruction or co-operatively, comprehensively and aggressively rooting them out and eradicating them. We need to act with our allies in ways appropriate to ally relationships, and act toward the allies of our enemies in ways appropriate to enemies – including trade embargos, closing off travel to and from, even – yes – profiling of the enemy states’ citizens in or entering our borders, and more. We need definitive, unambiguous clarity.

A nation, its political leaders and its citizenry behave very differently during the conduct of a war in which its homeland is under threat and attack than when that nation is merely bothered by occasional crime appropriately dealt with by routine law enforcement and judicial process. Presently, most American citizens, taking their cues from this President and his league of liberal ideologues, fools, incompetents and liars and the co-opted media, are muddling about as if in the latter circumstances. They are unconvinced we are above the “code red” level of, say, World War II.

For 30 years, I have been advising, consulting, coaching and assisting business owners, from small shop operators to CEO’s of billion dollar enterprises, with strategies to not only grow but strengthen their companies. The successful and the unsuccessful are foundationally separated by willingness and ability to clearly and candidly diagnose, name, enunciate and frankly discuss their problems, the threats to their prosperity or, at times, survival, and the realities in which they operate. Companies burdened with “see no evil, hear no evil, speak about no evil” leadership die.

For example, consider a small thing, like an employee engaged in malfeasance, sabotage or simply toxic influence on others. The rule of the business leader who keeps his company safe and strong is: fire fast, hire slow. He has clarity, decisiveness and zero tolerance for threats. (If this interests you, I’ve written an entire book about it: No B.S. Guide to Ruthless Management of People and Profits.) More tolerant, gentle, indecisive, hesitant, timid, non-forthright leadership inevitably leads only one place: the steps of bankruptcy court.

Ultimately, if we can’t accurately and candidly articulate the threat to our very survival, identify and name and hold accountable the true enemy and its allies, we cannot possibly prevail. If we won’t even acknowledge that we are at war, we have already lost.

One of the panelists on “Meet the Press” did, at least, acknowledge that the Obama positions, policies and leadership on this matter – the safety, security and sovereignty of the United States – are, “muddled.” He excused the muddledness due to the complexity of the problems we confront in this area – which he declined to name as World War III. But he has it all wrong. The complexity cannot be excuse for muddled thinking and the muddled, timid, too-slow actions such thinking produces. The complexity is all the more mandate for clarity.

We stand on a shrinking island of crisis. Our southern border is virtually non-existent, nominally defended, and the collectively enraged population of legal citizens in Arizona is demonized by Obama for passing a law-of-desperation that makes it illegal to be illegal. Not only are we doing nothing, we refuse to name the Mexican government itself as enemy for its role in the invasion and attack on our sovereignty. Our security in total is under sequential, accelerating attack by terrorists from abroad, harbored and abetted by other nations – not at all secretly. But we refuse to identify those nations as enemies and treat them accordingly.

In Washington, we are threatened by an ignorant, incompetent, criminally irresponsible government hell-bent on national bankruptcy, resolutely refusing to curb spending, and instead usurping private sector and expanding government at tyrannical speed.

These are not separate matters at all. They are all connected cars on the same runaway train, and we are all passengers being raced to our deaths. If we do not mutiny, rush the engine room, pull the emergency brake, and wrest control, America will be totally transformed just as Obama promised. Into the greatest train wreck in world history.