Thursday, March 28, 2013

Who is a great leader? Someone who is honest and wise. Someone who can make the best decisions that we would want to follow as our representative. Leading us is what we expect from our Presidents. Historically how successful any of our Presidents have been is always a topic for debate. I like what Michael J. Fox said in the 1995 movie the American President. “They want leadership. They are so thirsty for it. They will crawl through the desert towards a mirage and when they discover there is no water, they’ll drink the sand.”
We are selfish. We expect a group of people all meshed into one person. We want a combination of Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Rambo, The Terminator, Batman and Spiderman all wrapped up into one person to lead this country. So out of the 44 Presidents we have had already to lead Americans, who of them stand out as the most memorable? Did or does any of them fill that place in great leadership history? Some presidents we don’t even remember their names, so forget about their legacy.
Who can forget Ronald Regan’s humor at a presidential debate back on October 21, 1984 when he told Walter Mondale who was also pretty old at the time, “I will not exploit for political purposes my opponents youth and inexperience.” His comment broke all the hostility and quickly ended any question as to whether he was too old to lead this country. We need to laugh with our President.
We recently saw our president Obama cry as he commented on the senseless shooting of those innocent children in Newtown as he said on December 14, 2012 “ They had their entire lives ahead of them. Birthdays, Graduations, Weddings” as he wiped a tear from his eyes. We cried with our President.
We somehow remember John Adams as being one of our greatest Presidents. Well, maybe for one thing he was the only one of our founding fathers who never owned a slave when it was the normal thing to have in those days. Read any one of David McCullough’s books about the presidents and you will feel like you were in the same room with John Adams back in the 1700’s. We were civil with our President.
Carved in the mantle piece of a fire place in the state dining room of the White House at the wish of Franklyn Roosevelt says a quote from John Adams that he wrote on his first night as president in that building. “May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” We are hopeful with our President.
The great Presidents shared a set of qualities. They had courage, integrity, patience and determination. Like Teddy Roosevelt who knew that the Panama Canal would be good for American commerce and defense. He realized that it would help American ships move from one ocean to the next and he persuaded Americans to follow his vision. It was the first time a President left to travel abroad while in office. It was in November 1906 where he went to Panama to see for himself what needed to be done. We are determined with our President.
Our Presidents should be reassuring. On March 4, 1933 Franklyn D. Roosevelt told us, ”The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We have that sentence still echoing in our brains 80 years later where most of us wasn’t even born to hear those words for ourselves.
We are hopeful with our Presidents.
On June 12, 1987 Ronald Regan told the Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, who is also a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the first president of the Soviet Union from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991 “Tear down this wall” and shortly thereafter the Berlin Wall was torn down. Our Presidents are leaders for world peace.
President Kennedy reminded us to “ Ask not what your country can do for you, “ ask what you can do for your country.” and our children have been signing up for wars ever since. There wasn’t any draft in the most recent Iraq and 10 year war in Afghanistan. Most of them signed up for 2 or 3 tours of duty. Our President gives us courage.
They were all great speakers who delivered moving speeches. Speeches that lift us to want us to attain higher achievements than we might not believe that we are capable of. Yes our guys show leadership.

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