Thursday, June 9, 2011

"General" Sarah Palin

Stonewall Jackson (between 1861 and 1863).                                     Image via WikipediaEvery United States war has had its share of famous Generals.  The list contains such great names as: Washington, Andrew Jackson, Taylor, Scott, Stonewall Jackson, Lee, Grant, Stuart, Miles, Crook, Shafter, Dewey, Pershing, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Buckner, Ridgeway, Clark, Walker, Westmoreland and Abrams.

We could do well to ask ourselves, just what is it that makes a General great?  What is it that makes a General successful in battle?

While historians and military tacticians debate this on end, there are some characteristics upon which most agree are hallmarks of the great General.  As I read in one blog on the subject: 

“A General leads his men by his example. He expects his men to do their duty to fullest extent of the word. He will send no man to do what he himself would not do of his own accord. He will enforce discipline, and will establish that he is in charge. He must never hold himself higher than a deity, or have his men treat him as such. He must approach warfare from many angles, being flexible, direct or aggressive as the situation warrants. He must also not be afraid of losing everything. The General who does not commit himself fully to victory will lose without honor.”

 Perhaps Sun-Tzu, ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher (who is traditionally believed, and who is most likely, to have authored The Art of War), described it best by stating that command is a combination of wisdom, integrity, compassion, courage and severity.

Certainly, a great General must have tremendous leadership abilities.  He should lead in a way that his army would follow him into hell and back willingly. Yet, he does not simply stand by and watch them do so.  A great General is one who fights alongside his men --as an equal – not from behind a desk and not from above on a pedestal.  A great General knows what it is he is asking of his men and cares that he is sending them there.  He cares about his soldiers as much as if they were his very own sons.  In doing so, he will instills in them that desire to be willing to go to the “gates of hell” for him, to willingly face death for him.

 A great General also must be able to step out of the expected norm and respond to the changing dynamics of the enemy, addressing them head on, using sound tactics and knowledge.  He must accurately assess the options available, be willing to adapt, to create new plans on a moment’s notice and to take actions that might have never been tried before.  This audacity of leadership is what sets apart the great General from the simply good General.

 A great General never overestimates the capability of his own forces and never underestimates the capability of his enemy’s forces.  He knows his enemy and utilizes that knowledge to every conceivable advantage.  Not only must he be able to make a accurate assessment of the tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses of his opponents, but of himself and his troops as well.

A great General must also exercise self-control.  He must be able to control his own actions and to keep the secrecy of the movements of his troops as well.  According to Sun-Tzu, a great General tells no one, not even his own troops, where and when his next operation will take place.

The most important characteristic of a great General is that his decisions are made not to advance his own career or to protect his own reputation.  His sole objective is to protect and serve his country.

Finally, a great General expects victory.

THIS General is the nation's treasure.

 As we head into the Presidential campaign of 2012, look at the potential Republican field in light of these characteristics.  Surely the person who will become our Commander-in-Chief should embody the characteristics of a great General. How many out there fit this description?  There may be a few good Generals, but are there any great “Generals” to rally the troops around them and lead us to victory November, 2012?

Do we have any who lead by example?  Who are willing to do away with the perks and pleasures offered to most politicians in favor of what is best for their country?  Surely none that have served in Congress have lived up to that standard.  Only one stands out as having not only as having been one of the “troops”, but having also willingly given up expensive perks to lead by example for her state.  

While governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin dismissed the personal chef at the governor’s mansion, stating she could cook for her own family.  To cut costs, she gave up the governor’s personal driver, choosing instead to drive herself from Wasilla to her office in Anchorage.  She also sold the private jet purchased by the previous governor, stating it was impractical and an unnecessary financial burden on the state.  She chose to lead by example for all the other government officials in her state and show the people of Alaska she wasn’t going to ask them to do anything that she wasn’t willing to do.

Who among the current field of GOP contenders has the courage to step out of the norm and use tactics never before heard of in a political “war”?  Taking great criticism for not following the accepted and usual path, Sarah Palin has accessed the changing dynamics of our nation and our culture and has adapted her tactics to reflect those changes.  Her “One Nation Bus Tour” and the movie “Undefeated” are both examples of this, as well as her unparalleled use of Twitter and Facebook to reach her three million-plus followers.

Which one of those who wish to be the next Republican nominee for President has had the courage to take on the “enemy” head on?  Who has openly challenged President Obama, not only for his unwise and dangerous policies, but for clearly lying to and purposely misleading the American people with false “facts”?   Time and time again, Sarah Palin has called President Obama on the carpet of the Oval Office by challenging his questionable math regarding jobs creation, the effectiveness of the Stimulus bill or the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare.  

Who has been willing to forsake any personal gain and seek the best interest of the country?  Other contenders appear to stick their fingers in the air to judge the wind of popular opinion before they dare give theirs.  They want to make sure they don’t do anything to disturb their chances for what they want for themselves in the end.  Not Sarah Palin.  From the time she first stepped on the political scene her attitude has been, “If I die politically, I die, but I will do what is right.”  Right she has been, and right she will be.

Which of the GOP hopefuls instills a sense of excitement and expectation for victory?  Several contenders have entered the ring with their announcement to run causing barely a ripple to stir the surface of the water.  Sarah Palin hasn’t even entered the race – yet – and she is the most exciting person out there.  She leads in polls without even having a candidacy.  She draws incredible crowds wherever she goes.  And when she does announce, she will have no problem raising money.  Her “troops” are ready and waiting and eager to follow her all the way to the voting booth on November 6, 2012.

Which candidate for President in 2012 could be considered our country’s national treasure?  Only one.

Mayor, Governor. . .Commander-in-Chief.  Run, Sarah, Run.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment