Sunday, January 31, 2010

Factions Within The Conservative Movement

It is likely that these next two elections will determine what America will be. Will it be the land of the free and the home of the brave? Will it be the land of opportunity, the land of freedom to be all that you can dream of and are willing to work to be? Or is it going to be a Marxist state where we are all subjects to the government.

Personally, my goal is to work to try to communicate a message to the many different factions within the conservative movement that have emerged today in protest to the progressive movement under Obama. I am confident that I am not going to be able persuade those 20 some percent who are progressives, but if we can get the 42% who consider themselves to be conservatives, and enough of those in the middle to vote together as a block, we can right this ship.

There are some very disturbing things starting to show themselves within the conservative movement. Things that can derail all the positives in several ways. Some are out of a combination of passion and ignorance, others are much more deeply disturbing.

1. There are many who are new to the political arena, they have become passionate advocates for the Constitution, for liberty, and for our American values they see under attack. This is wonderful, and long overdue, but with this newness there is a lot of misinformation, or lack of understanding of how our system of government works. This can be remedied by an outreach to educate them so that they can direct their passions effectively.

2. There are many who are buying into the throw all the bums out mentality, the idea that everyone in office is somehow tainted. What they are not understanding is civics once again, not realizing that their are many good men and women who as elected officials are on the front line of this fight, but are powerless to do much by their being grossly outnumbered in the House and Senate, and that the media refuses to cover the opposition. Again, this can be improved through education.

3. There are many who say that they will not support the Republican Party until it "changes" and endorses more conservative candidates. This is also a lack of education. My next blog will be about this topic in detail, however, for a short answer. What is the party, but a collection of people. It is not some far away place or organization, it is you and I. If we want to change it all we have to do is change it. It is ripe for a change right now as well. Nearly half of the precincts across the country do not even have a GOP precinct committeeman. If conservatives or tea partiers run, it would probably be unopposed for those posts, you would be the ones voting to determine which candidate the party supports. So you would then be the "them" you're complaining about. If you want to fix it, fix it.

4. Then there is another group that I am running into that are frightening to me. They are the new anarchists. There are a surprising and disturbing amount of people who believe that it is time to start anew. There is a loud voice for nullification of Federal laws by states, and even a strong call for their states to secede from the Union. Often when I am debating them they will condemn Lincoln as a tyrant and dictator, it is obvious that they are emotionally still fighting the Civil War. In debating them, it is clear that their history is fuzzy, if not outright erroneous. It seems that they are so emotionally tied to their beliefs, maybe even generational, that there is no way to get logic past their emotions.

A friend of mine taught me an example of these strong emotions overcoming logic year ago. Fritz is the president of a large pharmaceutical and medical device company in Germany. He is a brilliant man, he holds seven doctorate degrees including an MD. He also speaks five languages fluently. Yet, this intelligent, educated man reverts to the little boy who during W.W. II would climb up on street lamps to see whose house or apartment building was burning after a bombing. He truly believes in his heart that the Americans tried to poison the German citizens after the end of the War by feeding them corn bread. That somehow it was designed to suck the nutrients and cause malnutrition in the German people. Of course this is absurd, and this man if told this today would reject it out of hand, yet that little boy who lives inside still believes what he was told by those around him at that time.

I have no idea how to penetrate these long held emotional and illogical beliefs. If anyone has any ideas, please share them. Will you join me in reaching out to the different groups to bring them together under one banner to vote as a block this fall and in 2012?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gerrymandered No More????

Several weeks ago there came a movement to change the way Indiana draws their Senate and Congressional districts. The idea was to abandon the long held tradition of the party in power Gerrymandering the districts by contorting them into bazaar territories to best assure that a solid majority of the voters would vote for the party that is in power assuring their power stays protected.

When I heard this, I have to admit that I laughed, thinking there was no way this could get accomplished. That politics as usual would prevail. The idea of Gerrymandering is anything but a new idea, or practice. If you understand where the name came from you will understand how long and entrenched this practice is in American politics.

In 1812, Elbridge Gerry was governor of Massachusetts. He signed a redistricting bill into law, that rearranged state Senate and Congressional districts in such a way as to give the Jeffersonian Democratic Republican Party a huge advantage over the Federalists. One district was stretched into such a tortuous shape in order to make sure to lock in a majority of voters for the Jeffersonian Republicans. Federalists threw a fit at that abuse of power. Political observers joked that the odd-shaped district looked like a salamander. Engraver Elkanah Tisdale seized on that idea, added claws, wings, and fangs, and published a cartoon in the Boston Gazette showing the monster that Gerry created. "The Gerrymander."

This redistricting kept the Jeffersonian Republicans in power for years, but many in Massachusetts were outraged, the political backlash defeated Gerry in the next election. However, the party was thankful and James Madison made him his Vice President.

With that kind of history, who would have guessed it could be done. It isn't done yet, but yesterday the Indiana Senate voted for bills that could lead to dramatic changes in how legislative districts are drawn in the future.

Senate Bill 136, which was approved 45-3, creates a commission of eight legislators and eight citizens, with Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard as the chairman.

In addition to SB 136, sponsored by Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake, the Senate also voted 47-1 for Senate Bill 80, laying out new standards for the Indiana House, Senate and Congressional maps the legislature must draw next year, based on this year’s census numbers.

SB 80, sponsored by Sen. Connie Lawson, R-Danville, puts into state law guidelines that include protecting minority voting rights while trying to draw districts that are compact, do not divide communities and follow existing boundaries, including counties, as much as possible.

Both bills now move to the Indiana House for consideration.

This could actually make the districts much more easily access able for those in Congress to serve their constituents, campaign, and keep the cost of keeping offices down. If these districts were drawn along blocks of counties it would make a lot of sense. Just look at the 5th District that runs from Greenwood to Wabash, the 6th that is in Muncie and Columbus. Hopefully, this gets done. It has cleared the Republican controlled Senate, now to the House where Democrat Pat Bauer holds court.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Did the Republican Party Start As A Third Party?

It seems to be a very popular belief that the Republican Party won the 1860 presidential election with Abraham Lincoln as the third party. That is one of the most common arguments I hear from Libertarians when I am debating with them that third party candidates only succeed in assuring that the candidate that you most dislike is elected. The Libertarian Party must teach this, I hear it a lot. It sounds great, however, there is no truth to it at all.

If that isn't true what happened? Let's start with a very significant development when Democrat Senator Stephen Douglas brokered the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. This was because Douglas saw the importance of a transcontinental railroad that Asa Whitney was trying to build. Douglas knew it would make his own Chicago a major hub for the entire middle of the United States. With very little controversy the congressional delegations from Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois introduced the bill to organize a Nebraska Territory, the northern part of the old Louisiana Purchase, and , once again, illegally erase Indian claims to the lands there.

However, the South realized that their balance of power was about to be usurped. Since the Northwest Ordinance and Missouri Compromise, the understanding was that for every free state added to the Union, there would be a new slave state. Now this proposal would soon add at least one new free state, with no sectional balance. This state of Nebraska would be free because it was north of the Missouri Compromise 36-degree 30-minute line. To appease his concerned Southern Democrats, and hopefully court them for his presidential run coming up soon, recrafted the Nebraska Bill into the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. It assuaged the South by revoking the thirty-three-year-old 36/30 Missouri Compromise line and replacing its restriction of slavery with popular sovereignty, a vote on slavery by the people of the territory. In the stroke of a pen, Douglas abolished a thirty year covenant and opened the entire Louisiana Purchase to slavery.

Douglas naively believed that this would win him more political friends than enemies and gain his home state a Chicago railroad empire in the process. He soon learned however that he was horribly mistaken about the Kansas-Nebraska Act. After its passage, a contagion swept the country every bit as strong as the one sparked by Uncle Tom's Cabin, Free-Soilers, now including many Northern Democrats, arose in furious protest. The Democrat Party shattered over the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Douglas was stunned what he thought would win him the White House only succeeded in fracturing his own party and starting a national crisis. The final straw to the divide among the Democrats came at the National Convention in 1860 were the pro-slavery Southern Democrats walked out called their own convention and nominated their own separate candidate for president.

While the Democrats were fighting over slavery whatever was left of the Whigs withered away in the South after the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Whigs had always been a party tied to the American system, but were unwilling to take as stand on the major moral issue of the day, and that was its downfall. Failing to address slavery, their major differences over the tariff, a national bank, and land sales did not separate the two parties as much as had been assumed in the past. While these differences were important on one level, nothing was as important as the single issue that was truly separating Americans.

As the Democrats grew stronger in the South, the Whigs, rather than growing stronger in the North, slipped quietly into history. The Whigs disintegrated, and two new parties dismembered them. One, the American Party, arose out of negative reaction to an influx of Irish and German Catholic immigrants. The American Party tapped into the anti-immigrant perceptions that still burned within large segments of the country. Based largely in local lodges, where secrecy was the by-word, the party became known as the Know-Nothings. The Know-Nothings were also very strongly anti-Masonic. However, the Know-Nothings were also still born, they also failed to see that slavery constituted a far greater threat to their constituents than did foreign immigrants.

Abraham Lincoln perceived that a fundamental difference in principle existed between antislavery and nativism, between the new Republican Party and the Know-Nothings, asking, "How can anyone who abhors the oppression of Negroes be in favor of degrading classes of white people?" He warned, "When the Know-Nothings get control, the Declaration will read, 'All men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics.'"

A second party, however, picking up the old Liberty Party and Free-Soil banners, sought to unite people of all stripes who opposed slavery under a single banner. Originally called the Anti-Nebraska Party, the new Republican Party bore in like a laser on the issue of slavery in the territories. Foremost among the new leaders was Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, a former Liberty Party man who won the gubernatorial election as a Republican in Ohio in 1855. Along with William H. Seward Chase provided the intellectual foundation of the new party.

The Republicans, unlike the Democrats and Whigs, recognized that every other issue in some way touched on slavery, and rather than ignore it or straddle it, they attacked it head on, elevating it to the top of their masthead.

In 1860 the Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln. The Democrats, who split into two, the Northern Democrats ran Stephen Douglas, the Southern Democrats ran John Breckinridge, and a "third" party the Constitutional Party ran John Bell. The Republican Abraham Lincoln won with 39.8% of the vote, the Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas carried 29.5%, Southern Democrat John Breckinridge carried 18.1% while the Constitutional Party's John Bell carried only 12.6%

As much as our Libertarian friends want to believe Republicans did not win as a third party. They also won a governorship within their first two years, and the White House in six years.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Did Our Founders Play Party Politics?

Today's Tea Party, and many of the Third Party advocates site that the Founding Fathers were against political parties as one of their battle cries to abandon both the Republicans as well as the Democrats today. They seem to believe that these magical third parties are in some way closer to the way the founders did their own politics. Partly this is true, and much is simply fantasy from their overwhelming misunderstanding of history.

It is hard to believe that you would find anyone who more admires our founding fathers more than I. For decades I have gone into deep dives into their world through their words and writings, along with some wonderful and not so great biographies of them and their times. Some authors holding them up like marble statues of the gods of Olympus, others painting them as near demons, while some brought them to life in such a way that you got the feeling that you knew them as people not dusty historic figures. If you want to read some who did this brilliantly check out McCullough's, Ron Chernow's, and Joseph Ellis's writing to name but a few.

One of the comments that I often hear is "The Founders would never play politics like they do today." Or another, "The Founders would never compromise like that." Often I hear that the Founders were against party politics or made up many different parties instead of just two major ones. How true is any of this?

Let's begin from the ratification of the Constitution and the first presidency of George Washington. In his first administration's cabinet, the most impressive cabinet yet assembled by the way, he and his Vice President, John Adams, were both Federalists, at least were classified as such. They were the only two presidents in history who were not fond of the ideas of parties. They were classified Federalist because they advocated ratifying the Constitution and transferring more power to the Federal Government from the States, they were part of a small group of leaders who knew that the weak central government that existed under the Articles of Confederation was not strong enough to survive long. Each of those who were to be called Federalists, except James Madison, were involved directly in the Revolutionary War effort and knew first hand that too many States refused to send their quota of men, arms, food, and supplies, and knew that the central government needed to have the strength to compel them to.

Just because Washington and Adams were unhappy with the "factions" or parties emerging, the heads of each opposition party formed within that very cabinet. The Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, was the founder and leader of the Democratic Republican Party in opposition to Washington. Jefferson was smart enough to not fight openly against Washington, anyone foolish enough to was ruined politically. So he targeted the leader of the Federalist Party, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson believed in a small central government, much stronger states rights, he was against the Constitution of The United States, he believed it opened the door to tyranny. Jefferson believed in the purity of rural America and hated the cities and banks. Hamilton wanted a stronger central government, thought the Constitution didn't go far enough, believe strongly in national debt and a national bank. Beyond their political differences Jefferson and Hamilton hated each other.
This nonstop infighting was driving Washington to distraction when he couldn't even get them to be in the same room together for cabinet meetings without full blown wars. Jefferson resigned and went back to Monticello saying that he wanted out of politics, but as Adams predicted he would be working from the shade to advance his own political clout.

There was a time that these two men did in fact find a way to reach a compromise. Madison had moved from the Federalists as the architect of the Constitution to the number one most close follower of Thomas Jefferson. Madison was standing in the way of Hamilton's plan to have the Federal Government absorb the debt of all 13 states from the Revolutionary War, a sum of about twenty five million dollars. Madison, Jefferson, and his followers were against this believing that you become enslaved to the banks you owe money. That the states would lose all their independence and power to the central government once they owed it money. Hamilton's entire economic system he was putting in place rested on this action, he was nearly ready to resign his position as Secretary of the Treasury over it. Jefferson, as much as he hated Hamilton, and this idea, believed that Hamilton was the only one who could do that job at the time and set a meeting over dinner at his home. Over dinner Hamilton was able to give Jefferson and Madison something that they wanted dearly, they feared that the Capital of the Unites States would stay in New York and would cost the South too much power due to distance and difference in thinking. As Virginians first and Americans second, the agreement to put the capital city in part of what was Virginia made the compromise. That is how we got our banking system and Washington, D.C.'s location.

We now know that our founders were willing to compromise, there are many more examples just through the summer of 1787 in writing the Constitution. One that 13 states, large and small, slave holding and not could all agree upon. That is a story for another time, but it explains how and why we have a bicameral government, what each branch is for and why. How and why we valued slaves as 3/5 of a person, and much more. This was a summer of unending compromise and very hot tempers as well as temperatures. Now let's look at how they conducted their politics and let's just stay with Jefferson and Hamilton.

These were both brilliant men, without question the two most along with Franklin, of the founders. Jefferson was more esoteric than Hamilton who was almost a savant in his understanding of economics and monetary systems. It is said that he would sit down and pour out dozens of pages of text without ever having to correct a stroke, the same as Mozart did with music, that it was already done in their heads and just poured out of them. They debated in the press, Hamilton was a forceful and prolific writer and was always selling his case in print. Jefferson liked to lurk in the shadows, he had Madison do his writing for him against Hamilton. This was all above board, much like the blogs we see written today by both sides.

There was a darker side to their politics as well. Jefferson hired a scandalmonger named James Callander to write despairing things about Hamilton. Callander dug up a real scandal on Hamilton, and wrote of Hamilton making pay offs to a shady character named James Reynolds. The allegations that Callander brought forth in his writings were that Hamilton as Secretary of Treasury was bribing Reynolds not to tell about Hamilton using his office to embezzle or profiteer. The Democratic Republicans under Jefferson came to Hamilton to try let him know that they had "caught" him and to ask him to resign. What Hamilton did completely caught them unaware. He confessed that he was paying extortion money to James Reynolds, but not for anything to do with the Treasury, but to buy his silence on Hamilton's affair with Reynolds wife Maria. Then Hamilton, being Hamilton, instead of resigning wrote a book about the entire affair and published it putting it out for all to read diffusing any accusations of missteps at Treasury. Hamilton's wife Eliza learned of the affair through the book.

Thomas Jefferson turned his ire on his long time dear friend John Adams when Jefferson wanted to win the presidency from Adams in 1800. He went back to James Callander and hired him to vilify Adams in a book called "The Prospect Before Us." It was a slander piece attacking John Adams and the Federalists, Thomas Jefferson never acknowledged that he had anything to do with it, and though people told Adams that the did, Adams defended his dear friend to them saying no matter what political differences Jefferson would not do such things. However later on Callander became angry at Jefferson for not giving him the Postmaster's job after Jefferson became president. He then proved that Jefferson had paid to have "Prospect" written with papers, letters to and from Jefferson. That ended the friendship with John Adams for years, with Abigale forever. Jefferson also learned an important lesson when you play with a snake like Callander, you often get bit yourself. It was Callander who started the Sally Hemmings rumor, even though no evidence appears to this day, it persists.

Alexander Hamilton was no innocent in dirty politics either. In the 1796 presidential elections Hamilton came out deriding Jefferson and his love affair with his slave Sally Hemmings, and the false accusations from the Jefferson camp about John Adams. He heartily and glowingly endorsed Adams as a man, a patriot, and a leader. It at first glance appeared to be sincere. However, his intent was to drive some of Jefferson's support in the South away from Jefferson fearing that he would be sympathetic to emancipation and knowing that it wouldn't go to the strong abolitionist Adams. He hoped it might fall to his own candidate who he knew he could control and almost be president behind the curtain with Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina. This little trick didn't work, Adams won. During this next four years Adams and Hamilton became enemies since Adams wouldn't bend to Hamilton's will.

Adams would attack Hamilton at his most emotionally vulnerable with his illegitimate birth obsessively and heartlessly. He also railed on Hamilton's womanizing continuing to cast him as a rake and a reprobate, even so far as accusing Hamilton's brilliant mind to drug addiction. Hamilton angry at being shoved from the center of power where he held sway over Washington lashed out at Adams. He wrote a document that helped to destroy Adams politically making the case of Adams as insane. Their feud effectively ended the Federalist Party.

The point I want to make is this. These were brilliant men, my favorites to ever live other than one born in Bethlehem. However, they were men, not marble statues, and as such had the strengths and frailties of men. If you think politics is dirty and partisan today. It is very polite compared to our Founding where it could and did lead to death by duels. I read a historian once that explained the ferocity of the political fights in that time. Until the 1800 election when Jefferson took over as our third president, no time in human history had power changed hands from one political faction to another without bloodshed. No one knew that if they lost they could regain it at the next election until it had actually happened a few times.

Our founders built a system of government that functions as a two party system. No time from theirs until now has a third party been an effective alternative. We need to study our history, learn from it, make improvements where we can, but not get caught up in fantasies that never happened.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scott Brown Wins! Now We Find Out For Sure Who We Are Fighting.

Congratulations patriots We Did It! Against unbelievable odds, Republican Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley for the Massachusetts Senate seat. The very seat that was held for over 46 years by Ted Kennedy, the Liberal Lion. That seat has been held by a Democrat for 100 years, the last time a Republican held the other Massachusetts Senate seat was nearly forty years ago. This is the bluest of blue states, yet a Republican is now Senate elect.

Brown was over 20 points down in the polls one month ago today. However, his campaign caught fire all across the country. They did a "money bomb" one day fundraiser that brought in over one million dollars from the grass roots to Brown in just one day!

There couldn't be a single Democrat across the country in either the House or Senate who has to run in 2010 who isn't terrified right now. We will likely start seeing more and more "retire" before this coming election. Any who want to save their jobs will have to seriously consider if they will be willing to walk the plank by continuing to vote for Obama's agenda on Health Care, Cap and Trade, and other big government take overs.

We will soon find out who exactly we are up against with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid and their core team. If we are dealing with politics as we have since the founding, we will see them back off on their unpopular programs they have been trying to ram down the American people's throats. Good politics would tell you that they will realize that they over reached, they misread their mandate, and they need to move to a more central position to protect their own careers and their party's future. If that happens then We the People have already won a huge victory, won a major battle, and have great momentum to win the war during these next two elections in 2010 and 2012.

There is another much more frightening option. We may well learn that we are now fighting against a different type of political regime than at any time in American history. We could be fighting against Marxists Progressives who are totally committed to making fundamental changes to America, dismantaling our Constitution and system of government and economy. If we see the Saul Alinsky aproach to this in the next few weeks where Obama, Reid, and Pelosi go behind closed doors with the other Democrats and force their hands to make Health Care go through as is, or with Reconcillation with 51% in the Senate something that has never been done and isn't Constitutional for anything but an emergency budget bill.

If they do push their agenda forward, spitting in the face of the American people's obvious will, we know they no longer fear or care about reelection. If that is true, they don't care about their own party either. They would show that they are willing to destroy their party maybe forever if they can push their Marxist agenda into place and doing so with that poison pill that is in it now that once in it will take a 3/4 vote of the Senate to overturn it.

In the next few days or weeks we will know if we are competing with Democrats, I hope so. Or we are competing against Marxist Totalitarians. Pray it is the first. Stay vigilulant to be sure it isn't the last.

We have won a HUGE battle, a game changer if we are dealing with Democrats. If not, it will smoke out who our real competition truly is. Either way we will prevail.

Never get weary in well doing!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We Have A Once In A Generation Opportunity, Let's Not Waste It.

This summer a long held dream was playing out on my television set. To watch a groundswell of Americans wake up from their Rip Van Winkle nap and get mad enough to show up at town halls and tea parties all across America truly brought tears to my eyes. After years of wondering if anything would ever get the people's attention away from their entertainments long enough to save America from her own government, here they were, awake, and passionate!

Our family had, at my father's request, kept him away from any news or any conversations about what Obama and his regime were doing. Dad is fighting cancer and it simply upset him too much, he wanted to do everything he could to keep his attitude up and positive. One day he was crying because he had this vivid dream about a movement that was beginning coming from the people fighting back for their country. It was then we told him that, thought it might have been a dream that he learned this, it was a dream that was coming true. It was the day of the 9/12 march on Washington and we turned on the coverage so he could see for himself, this was a very special day indeed!

One of the most common laments that those of us who have been in the fight for years was, "How can we get people to pay attention." How can we get people's focus off of "Who shot J.R"., or "The Simpson's", or "American Idol" long enough for them to understand just what was going on in the assault on theirs and their children's freedoms? Most of us, were like me, the guy in the company who "was into politics." You could see people's eyes glaze over if you tried to talk about it, but light up when they talked about last night sitcom. It appears that all it took was for us to be within moments of losing it all. However, thank God it wasn't after it was too late and all was already lost.

As much as I am thrilled by the prairie fire of new converts to the cause, I want to put forth just a bit of caution and a bit of history. I am seeing a very disturbing trend growing within this movement, a growing division among those who have like ideas right when we need to be coming together. On my Facebook friends list I have several hundred conservatives from all over the country. If you are politically conservative, or at least open to civil discussion, you are welcome on my friends list. I have all kinds of factions, GOP, Libertarians, Tea Partiers, and more, who cares what label people like, we all need to come together, communicate, and then work together to put those who are most like us in office to take back our country.

For those of you who are new to the fight starting during this last year or so, let me give you a little information. I am hearing a real contempt for anyone who came before to the fight, there is a tendency to see too much painting with a broad brush against everyone in office, or who were part of the party before the tea parties came to life. Let me tell you, there have been many who have been fighting this exact fight for decades before you started paying attention. We have been fighting liberal Democrats, RINOs, and blue blood Republicans for a long time. It is just that we were doing it in a vacuum, because we couldn't get you to pay attention.

For me it started during Jimmy Carter, I joined the Ronald Reagan campaign in 1980 as well as for Dan Quail to unseat ultra-liberal Senator Birch Bayh, Evan's dad, as well as Don Nickles' campaign in Oklahoma. We fought the same type of people who we are fighting today.

I was very involved in fighting a hugely liberal movement during the first two years of Bill Clinton's administration. If you recall we the people defeated the Hilarycare that time without the Internet as a tool, we fought with mass voice mail, faxes, and phones, and shoe leather. We defeated the Omnibus Education Bill that buried deep within would have created an agency to oversee every parent to make sure that you were raising your children in a positive parenting, politically correct environment. If you were a "high risk" parent, someone who owned a gun, worked for a police dept., ever was in the military, was a professed born again Christian, or was building or remodeling a house, you would have mandatory monthly visits, and if they found something "wrong" they could take your children right then. After we defeated these things, we replaced the Democrat majority with Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America effectively stopping the Clinton liberal agenda. He then moved to the middle and took credit for the economic turnaround.

What I would like you to consider is that we are thrilled you have joined the fight, now we all can win. There is a great energy right now, people are awake. However, please don't take this as an insult, but our schools have done a very poor job of educating our electorate in civics, history, and economics for decades. It is no wonder most Americans have little or no understanding of any of them. Please start learning and making sure your kids learn them, it is only through an educated electorate can we ever keep our Republic safe from internal destruction. Those who have it under attack have succeeded as far as they have due to Americans not paying attention or understanding when they did.

What we need to do if we want to succeed is to come together. We need to quit eating our own, it is very distressing to see attacks on Palin and Brown. Are either perfect, no, but they are both better than most. We need to find our common beliefs and work on the differences later. We all need to get behind the same candidates next fall, the primary is for trying to get "our guy" in, but after the primary we need to get lockstep behind "our shared guy" and get them in over "their guy." The last thing we need is third parties splitting votes and giving the Democrats a free pass to stay in power.

If Joe Kennedy was truly a patriot who believes what he says he does, he would step down before Tuesday's race and beg his followers to vote for Scott Brown. The 2-5% who are following Kennedy could be the difference if we stop Obamacare or not. If Brown wins we win, if Coakley wins Obama wins.

My favorite analysis for this is too often our own infighting reminds me of a couple standing in the dining room fighting over what color to paint the walls while the house is burning down around them. Wouldn't it be much better if we all came together to put out the fire, then we could argue all you like about what color to paint those walls.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How One Vote Saved The Most Important Election In World History.

Arguably the single most important election in human history took place in 1800 where Thomas Jefferson ran against incumbent President John Adams. This was the very first election in history where the reigns of power transferred from one political party to another through peaceful means with no bloodshed. We in America are so cavalier to the miracle of our Constitutional Republic, we seem to think it is always a foregone conclusion that "everything will be just fine as always." That may well explain how little people pay attention to our political process, and why so few who are eligible to vote actually do. We feel too safe in our Republic and don't recognize how close we have often come to losing it.

In the election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson the leader of the Democratic Republican Party ran against Federalist John Adams, who was suffering in popularity for his stance of avoiding a war with France that most of the Federalists throughout the country wanted. He was vindicated when a truce came from France right before the elections, but not in time to save his presidency.

The way the election process worked at that time, the person who received the most votes won the presidency, and the second most the vice-presidency. This is how the leader of the opposition party, Jefferson, was Adam's own vice-president. In this election a flaw in the process was shown, electorates in the electoral college could only vote for president but they had two votes each. The idea was that everyone for Jefferson would vote for both Jefferson and Aaron Burr, but one person who would withhold his second vote to give Jefferson the presidency and Burr the vice-presidency. However, that one forgot and oops Jefferson and Burr tied for president. Burr being Burr saw an opportunity and didn't demure to his running mate and held out to win the presidency. At the first look Burr actually had won because the electorate from New York cast both of his votes to New Yorker Aaron Burr giving Burr a one vote lead. However that vote was taken from Burr and given to Jefferson due to a Constitutional rule that only one vote can come from one electorate to a candidate from their home state.

The Federalist so hated Jefferson they threw their weight behind Burr. The rules required the House to vote by state. On the first ballot Jefferson had eight states, one short of what he needed. Six states went for Burr and two were tied. Over the next seven days there were 35 more votes, each with the same results.

The tempers were rising, Jefferson supporters threatened to take up arms if he wasn't elected. As President Adams later wrote, "a civil war was expected." Then a sole congressman from Delaware, John Bayard controlled that state's vote. The Federalists had been supporting Burr, but after all of these votes he announced he was going to abstain, which would throw the election to Jefferson. Other Federalists stood up and shouted, "Traitor, traitor," at him, but Bayard said he acted to save the country. The deadlock was broken and Thomas Jefferson became president.

The first bloodless transfer of power from one political party to another in human history was complete, but how close it came to blood on the streets. Our complacency today forgets the miracle of our Republic, this was a luxury our founders never knew.

A Single Vote That Saved Our Constitution

There are many things not to like about the current political situation in America, there is one thing that is happening that could be a good thing. Americans are getting a civics lesson in how our system of government is supposed to work, things like cloture in the Senate. We are also seeing how an runaway government with no checks and balances can abuse the power that they have been given. We have not seen this much imbalance of power since the 1930s before most of us were born, or were too young to know what was going on at the time. We are just now starting to get history written on the time more objectively showing how damaging their programs were to America.

A lot of people are beginning to awaken to the power of a single vote, not only in the tight elections we have been seeing, but in the House and most especially the Senate. The Health Care Bill passed by only a handful of votes in the House, and one vote would change the outcome in the Senate. That one vote is running in a special election next Tuesday the 19th in Massachusetts. If Scott Brown wins his vote can kill the Health Care bill. Even if Harry Reid refuses to swear him in before the vote, his win would have to terrify many Senators who might decide it isn't in their best interest to continue to vote for it.

There were two cases where a single vote in the House and Senate changed history significantly. One happened on May 16th, 1868, the other happened in the election of 1800 between Jefferson and Adams.

The Senate vote in 1868 may have saved the presidency and the Constitutional separation of powers. It was the single vote by Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas, a member of the opposition party who crossed over to vote "Not Guilty" on the Andrew Johnson impeachment. The irony is that Ross was a Republican and Johnson was a Democrat, and beyond that Ross hated Johnson. However he believed the president deserved a fair trail, and shouldn't be removed for political reasons. What was at stake was the independence of the executive branch. If Congress could toss out any president it didn't like, the presidency might be weakened beyond repair.

What was the cause of Johnson's impeachment?

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln was tragic in ways beyond the obvious. Even more so for those Southern states who were just defeated in the war. Before his death, Lincoln has proposed a series of lenient postwar measures designed to restore peace and the status of the seceded states. His 10% plan allowed a state to be recognized if 10% of the voting population agreed to abide by federal regulations and support the Constitution. With Lincoln's death, a much weaker President Andrew Johnson was at the mercy of a Congress under the control of the Radical Republicans, led by Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner, who held out for a far more punitive Reconstruction plan. The Reconstruction Acts of 1876 were passed on March 7th over Johnson's veto. The congressional plan set an extremely harsh agenda for the return of the southern states to the Union.

Under the first of the Reconstruction Acts, the South was divided into five military districts with a U.S. Army general in charge of each. The South was essentially under Marshall law, where these five generals held nearly dictatorial powers over their military districts.

In 1866 the Radical Republicans (who were hard core abolitionists, and wanted to exact retribution for the evils of the South) swept the congressional elections and the balance of power shifted totally from the White House to Congress. In one blatant attempt to consolidate that power, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act in March 1867, which said a president could not remove any official, including his own Cabinet members, without Senate approval. To challenge this blatant assault on constitutional "checks and balances," Johnson asked for the resignation of Edwin Stanton, a Democrat but an ally of the Radicals. The president was promptly impeached, only to be saved by Ross's single vote who knew that he was committing political suicide to vote as he did. Yet as a true statesman who believed in the Constitution more than his party, more than his hate for Johnson, more than he wanted to keep his seat.

We will talk about the single vote in 1800 next time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who You Are is God's Gift To You, Who You Become is Your Gift To God.

Who we are is God's gift to us, who we become is our gift to God. The luck of the draw of where we are born is something we have no control over. Those of us fortunate enough to be born free to become whomever we dream of, and are willing to work for in America didn't earn it. It was one of our ancestors who paid the price to raise their families in the freedom of America giving us this great gift.

Recently I was talking on my blog about thin threads, and also about how coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous, it is so amazing how close America came to not having George Washington born here at all. The more you study our founding it is very difficult to imagine someone else who could have galvanized all the disparate colonies, and colonists to survive the rigors of the Revolution and could hold us together through those first few years. No one else was trusted enough, was universally loved and respected as was George Washington.

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Though this wasn't written about George Washington, the first part was written about each of us. Was this story just one of those "coincidences?"

Englishman George Gale married a widow from Virginia, Mildred Washington, and brought she and her three children from her previous marriage back to London. Soon after they arrived back in England Mildred died in childbirth. In her will she asked her new husband to raise her children, and she left him the money to do so. He put the two boys, Lawrence and Augustine, into an English boarding school, and applied for legal custody.

The boys were becoming proper Englishmen until the Mildred's first husband's family back in Virginia disputed the will. The custody battle took years to sort out all the issues, but eventually a court ruled that the children should return to Virginia to be raised by their blood relatives there.

This ruling had a dramatic effect on American history. Mildred's first husband was Lawrence Washington. Her son Augustine, brought back to America from England, eventually had three sons of his own. He named one of them after his stepfather George Gale. That was George Washington, who would never have been born had his father stayed in London and never met his mother in Virginia.

If this custody battle had ended differently it is hard to imagine American history playing out as we know it. Just being born here was God's gift to us and George, what George did with it was his gift to us and God.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Brown vs Coakley A Earthquake Is Coming

One of my favorite sayings is "Coincidence is when God chooses to stay anonymous." We are very likely witnessing one of those times right now. On January 19th the special election for the Senate seat from Massachusetts long held by Ted Kennedy is taking place. This is a very key election for many reasons, and could send shock waves throughout America, and maybe the world.

The contestants are Scott Brown running as a fiscal conservative Republican against Democrat Martha Coakley. Coakley has a questionable past as Attorney General when she prosecuted and imprisoned an entire family who owned and operated a child care facility without any evidence against them, they were later exonerated, but the case build her name to help her win that AG position. Coakley has long and very close ties with ACORN as well, so we can be sure that she will receive a great deal of help on election day from them. Brown has gone from nearly a thirty point deficit to a one point lead in the polls this week.

If Scott Brown wins this Senate seat he would be the deciding vote to stop Government Health Care, the irony of that vote coming from the very seat that long held Ted Kennedy is priceless. Harry Reid has claimed that if Brown wins on the 19th he would hold up Brown's swearing in until after the final Health Care vote. As sleazy as that would be it might not make any difference.

Can you imagine who Senators from less liberal states than Massachusetts would react in their own votes in they saw a fiscal conservative Republican take the Kennedy seat? Keep in mind that we are talking about Massachusetts that as long as you are off the charts liberal you can get away with murder...Ted Kennedy, child rape...Gerry Studds, or beyond banking scandals - twice having his boy friend caught running a male prostitution ring out of the Congressman's own home....Barney Franks. If this state votes in a fiscal conservative Republican that will send shock waves throughout the Democrat party. They will know that they are soon to pay the piper for their over the top over reaching leftist grab this year.

This is a no lose situation for We The People, and the GOP. If this race is even close it should scare the Democrats, if Brown wins it will terrify them, and if he is sworn in it will kill Socialized Health Care for years.

If you haven't done so, let's get the word out to everyone you know how to help Brown in this race.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Thin Thread Makes All The Difference

We have all heard the expression that it was "by a thin thread" that something happened. It is true so many events in life, or throughout history, have come from such thin threads. The iconic movie "It's A Wonderful Life" where Jimmy Stewart's character, George Bailey, during a moment of crisis wished he had never been born. His desperate prayer was answered with an hapless angel sent to him to help him find his way. Through going back through his life and seeing what it would have been like for his family, friends, and town had George Bailey never been born. It showed the amazing links of lives we can touch with our own that we may never know.

Here is a true story of one or two of those thin threads many years ago, and some of the people who have made a mark on our own history that wouldn't have been here if this thread hadn't held.

While the Mayflower was sailing across the sea to The New World there was a huge storm. This storm battered the Mayflower as it carried the Pilgrims across the Atlantic. A young passenger, John Howland, came up on deck, and the force of the storm swept him off the ship into the sea. He was sure to perish beneath the violent waves.

However, it seems God wasn't done with John Howland. He somehow managed to grab a rope that was trailing from the ship and hold on for dear life. His head disappeared below the surface, but men on deck hauled up the rope until he was pulled alongside the ship where they were able to get him fished out with a boat hook.

That thin thread held the seed for three future presidents so far. Watching from the deck of the Mayflower was a twelve year old girl, Elizabeth Tilley. She and John Howland eventually married. They had ten children who populated the New World giving Elizabeth and John eighty two grandchildren, and who knows how many future descendants.

Among those descendants were three presidents of the United States: Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the two George Bushes. Other descendants were Humphrey Bogart, Alec Baldwin, and Joseph Smith the founder of the Church of Later Day Saints. All of whom would never have been born had their shared ancestor, John Howland, had not been saved from the death grip of that stormy sea.

If you want to take it one step further, there was actually another rope dipped into the sea to save this line. In 1944 Ensign George H. W. Bush was pulled from the Pacific Ocean by crew members of the submarine USS Finback after his torpedo bomber was shot down.

Who knows who your life will touch, either directly or indirectly. Never underestimate your value.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What We All Need To Do Now.

It has come time to call myself out, and to call out my generation of baby boomers, on one of our greatest failures as a group. This particular personal failure is one that I personally might be considered the poster boy for. That is not being a joiner. I have spent my life not joining anything. I attended church, but never joined one. No club affiliation, never have ever signed up with the GOP, though active in campaigning for them. I have proudly held my status of someone who doesn't join anything.

The baby boomers are, for the most part, guilty of this throughout our generation. It is with the baby boomers where we have seen all types of organizations start dying off, Elks Clubs, VFWs, Lions, Masons, you name it, their numbers dwindled to near extinction over the last few decades as the older generations got old, and the baby boomers didn't join. Frankly, I was never very concerned about this until very recently as I have seen something very frightening happen due to it.

One of the organizations that has seen it's numbers evaporate has been the GOP party structure. Congressman Dan Burton tells his story of how he got his foot in the door politically by becoming the assistant, to the assistant to the Precinct Committeeman. Today nearly half of all our precincts do not even have a Committeeman at all. No one is there representing the GOP at all during the election, no one who is authorized to deal with the votes. By doing this we are allowing the Democrats to control the election process, and we have seen what that means with groups like ACORN who have filled the void for those missing baby boomers.

This phenomenon is what has opened the doors to the corruption we have seen over the last few elections, and that are the norm in some voting districts. If we want to change this, we are going to have to go against our long held habits and get involved as alien as that has been to us throughout our generation's lives.

There is good news, the younger generation is coming on and getting involved in things again. Frankly it is my son who has put me under conviction on this. I have to admit I always figured that there was going to be someone that would take care of this stuff, and I could just stay focused on raising my family, and growing my business. The problem was everyone else thought that as well.

We the People have awakened this summer at the Tea Parties, and Town Halls, now we need to go join the GOP and fill the volunteer slots, work the campaigns, and then WORK THE POLLS to be sure that we are represented, that there isn't Democrat only polls who can fill in votes after closing. That has been going on for decades. Just last year the Mayor of Gary, IN told Fox News on election night the reason they were so late turning in their votes were they were waiting to see how many they needed. To this Bob Beckel cracked up saying that Lake County, Indiana has always been known to be the last to turn in their votes because they want to know how many Democrat votes will be needed to try to carry the State, but he had never heard it admitted on television before. In the 7th District Congress special race in Indiana to fill Julia Carson's seat when she passed, there were 3 apartment complexes in the poorest section of town that had 100% of every unit in all of them vote absentee, and 100% voted for Andre Carson.

In the last election, my son Mike, who was the GOP Political Director for Hamilton County, IN, called me and asked if I would go to the polling place at the University High School in Carmel. He told me that they only had one volunteer there and he was just a young 20 something kid who looked 16. This kid was finding himself powerless to stop the 12 ACORN/Obama supporters who were telling those people standing in those 4 hour long lines to go home, that they wouldn't get in before six. They were also telling the voters in line that they were attorneys and if the voter would give them their names and addresses and how they wanted to vote they would do it for them.
I got there and stood between them and the voters and told them to stay behind the lines and I would. It got somewhat tense, but conflict is my favorite thing.

Governor Elect Christy in New Jersey said that he had attorneys sitting in EVERY polling place to watch to make sure that the voting was going to be handled legally and no ACORNing would be allowed. He was elected.

If we are going to take back our nation from the overt and audacious corruption that we have been dealing with, it will take us sitting in those polls. Call your local counties GOP head quarters and find out what they need you to do, if your precinct doesn't have a committeeman, run this primary. My son Mike ran unopposed last fall, and is now the first GOP Precinct Committeeman in his precinct in nearly a decade. The funniest thing is that he can car pool to the polls with the Democrat Precinct Committeeman, they live next door to each other.

Uncle Sam used to stand in his posters with his finger pointing saying We Want You!
We the People Need You! I am willing to change to save America, are you?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Obama's Christmas Suprise

During the Christmas Holiday season while families were enjoying their traditions and basking in the warmth of the spirit of the season. While those who are politically active on the left and right were locked in the debate on National Health Care, President Obama blindsided all of us with the biggest sea change in policy in American history. Nothing has ever compared to it, it truly changes everything. This is a bigger afront to your freedom and liberty than was John Adam's Alien and Sedition Act that was quickly repealed, or Lincoln's temporary and limited removal of Habeas Corpus along the rail system between Phildelphia and Washington targeting specifically Maryland due to the Civil War, or FDR detainment camps for Japanese Americans. As wrong as all of those may have been, they were for short times, and only effected a small part of American population with each. This is an attack on EVERY American's rights.

On December 16th, 2009 President Obama signed Executive Order 12425 granting full Diplomatic Immunity to Interpol, and international police agency with a very checkered past. Even if they had been an organization of angels this is something of great concern, by signing this order Obama Surrenders U.S. Sovereignty. We as Americans no longer have any civil rights.

You no longer have the rights of innocent until proven guilty, you no longer have the right of Habeas Corpus. or the right to a trail in front of a jury of your piers, speedy trail, nothing. With full diplomatic immunity this agency can detain and question you for any reason, hold you without filing charges, detain you indefinitely, seize anything you may have, question you without a lawyer, they could torture, or kill you and your family and no one would have any recourse to stop them. Why on earth would President Obama grant such authority to anyone, most so for an international agency.

With this not only could any foreign power who is part of the Interpol agency could enact a vendetta against any American, or American company, or organization with no recourse to worry about. It could also be used by the political power of the administration who could "call in a favor" with Interpol to go after their politcal enemies. Since the Obama Administration has already admitted that they monitor Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin, and others social networking sites for comments adverse to this administration and their policies, as well as monitoring blogs for the same Orwellian purposes, who is to say that I am not putting my life and those of my family in jeapordy for writing this? However, evil florishes when good men do nothing.

For those who support and trust President Obama and those currently in power. If you look at the polls and read the "tea" leaves of the mood of the American people, it looks likely that the House, Senate, and White House will most likely be turned over the most conservative representatives in history by no later than 2012. Now, if you love Obama and his administration and are comfortable with him having this type of power, how will you feel in 2013 if someone to the right of Dick Cheney sits in the Oval Office. You have to consider what power your guys have, will soon be in other hands. That is why our Founders wanted to keep power limited in D.C.

Who is Interpol?

From their own website;

"INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 188 member countries. Created in 1923, it facilitates cross-border police co-operation, and supports and assists all organizations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime."

And from their site on new developments in 2009;

2009 - A milestone year for INTERPOL

"30 December 2009

"The unprecedented INTERPOL-United Nations Ministerial meeting which saw more than 60 ministers backing a plan to bring the enhanced role of police in peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations to the forefront of the international security agenda, the official opening of INTERPOL’s Office of its Special Representative to the European Union and the new INTERPOL Regional Bureau in Yaoundé were just some of the key events for the world’s largest police organization in 2009.

The year also saw the launch of the first-ever INTERPOL passport, and the organization further strengthening its commitment to supporting each of its 188 member countries in combating all forms of transnational crime with INTERPOL’s databases, tools and services now reaching more law enforcement officers in more locations than at any time in its history."

Here is an excellent article on this topic for your further review.

I ask that if you are equally concerned about your and your families freedom, that you forward this to others. Most have no idea what just happened. If you are an Obama supporter, please let me know what you think about this.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Servant Leader vs Leader Looking For Servants

During the 2008 campaign we all saw maybe the most polished speaker rise to the lead and then win the Presidential election. Obama, when reading a teleprompter, is slick, engaging, and draws people into his charisma. What bothered me most was that I had lived through a charismatic leader who lacked the depth of character to lead those who followed him. I could see it happening again, but on a much larger scale as I would watch Obama.

In the late 70s and early 80s I was part of a large multi-level marketing business that was growing like wild fire. The charismatic leader of the organization I was involved I will just use his first name, Bob. He was one of the best speakers I have ever heard, one of my favorites of all time. He had a nearly a magician's skill of holding an audience in the palm of his hand drawing whatever emotion he wanted from them. He could have you laughing, crying, or ready to charge Hell with a water pistol, and all without the use of a teleprompter. Obama isn't nearly in Bob's league as a speaker.

As a speaker myself who has spent years teaching sales, doing motivational talks, and some evangelizing, there are skills and speaker tools that are used to move an audience, to engage them, to get them to buy in and to emotionalize your message. I was interested in watching Obama use them all, it showed me that he had been trained in how to speak in the style that motivational speakers have used for decades, if not longer. He is one of the first politicians I have seen who has used them, at least as effectively. Anyone not trained in speaking wouldn't realize that they were being manipulated into their response to his talks. There is nothing wrong with using these techniques unless the intention of the speaker is wrong.

When I was a very young man, I heard Zig Ziglar explain the difference between motivation and manipulation. The techniques uses might be the same, the difference is the purpose the user of these techniques uses them. If they are doing it to try to cause someone to do something for that other person's best interest, then it is motivation. If they are however talking someone into doing something for the one using the techniques best interest, it is manipulation. There is nothing wrong with it being win win, but it has to be first and foremost in the best interest of the person being motivated. As Zig says; "You can get everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."

Watching Bob rise to the top of the organization was like watching a meteor race across the sky, it was truly inspiring. In just six years he went from nothing to one of the largest organizations in America. His personal lifestyle mirrored his rise, with mansions in Tulsa, California, and Atlanta, private jet, and hiring the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Abbey Road Studio to produce an album with his wife singing. However, as an insider in his organization I was able to see the beginnings of cracks in the armor.

Once while I was on a set of headphones helping run one of the big seminar conventions, I was listening in while Bob was informing the lighting crew to back light him with a blue light. He wanted the blue light to reflect off his white tuxedo to create an illusion of an aura around him on stage. Bells started going off in my head on that one. Another time I was working in a function and was able to notice a woman in my own organization standing near Bob trying to get his attention as he held court with admirers, something about this caught my attention. At one point she reached out and took his hand and held it in her two. What really surprised me was his lack of reaction, he never turned to look at her or acknowledge her in any way. I thought "why not just turn, pat her on the hand and smile?" She would have been ecstatic, granted she was far too much into hero worship, but I thought as a person she deserved to at least be acknowledged.

Eventually, Bob's ego was too large to be constrained in a larger organization. He decided that he was going to pull out of the company and start his own that was going to be just like the parent but better since he would own it. Unfortunately, while brilliant at motivating people, he knew nothing about running a manufacturing company, and didn't have the personality to deal with those details either. It was a total failure, this entire ordeal destroyed hundreds of businesses like mine. My full time income from the business that had us living in a 4,000 square foot home on a 10 acre horse farm, driving Cadillacs, and traveling to some resort monthly, dropped to just 300.00/month in just 45 days. This left people all over the country scrambling to try to salvage businesses built with blood, sweat, and tears.

Years later Bob decided to write a book about his rise and fall. He contacted me about it, I had no interest in reading it, I lived it. However, later that winter I was on a ski trip with a some friends who had bought the book and had it with them. With it laying on the coffee table of the condo was too much not to peek. I read the first and last chapters, it read like a three hundred page apology to those who had mentored him that he had turned his back on. He mentioned the pain of watching his furniture, home, cars, and more be repossessed, but no mention of the pain he caused to thousands who had followed him. Remorse over his embarrassment at failure, but no remorse for the consequences to others.

One day while driving with Rick Setzer, one of the great leaders in the business, and in life, I was talking about Bob who was mentored by Rick until Bob thought he was smarter than anyone else. I was talking about how I thought it was such a waste for someone of Bob's obvious talents to have wasted them so. Rick's words have always stayed with me. He talked about how much he liked Bob, but how obvious it was that just having the ability to be a great speaker, to be a great motivator, or manipulator isn't the same as being a great leader. That unless you have true character all that talent is never going to make a leader worth following.

As Dexter Yager, one of the greatest leaders of leaders ever told me, "When making a decision about your organization, always make it that most benefits your people over yourself. If you take care of your people, your people will take care of you." As Dexter always said, "I eat a lot of crow, it pays very well." In other words in Dexter's world no matter what goes wrong it is his fault, what goes right is always to his people's credit.

What Dexter and Rick taught me was the difference between a servant leader and a leader looking for servants. When you look at Obama what do you see?