Beating up the President

Out of our society, a very few are chosen to lead. Of these, a tiny percentage attain a position of power, be it political, or position-related. The seemingly unattainable position of President of the United States is, no doubt, the pinnacle of political position. Our president, besides being the Commander-in-Chief, the leader of the free world and all of that other stuff, is, necessarily, a smart person.

Any person, so deeply vetted, must have intellect, poise, charisma, and a command of the political environment. Regardless of the talk on the street, few or no dummies ever occupy the oval office. The attainment of such office requires the ability to coordinate a campaign, generate a plan and to execute it under unending scrutiny, to field each question with a rehearsed and proper answer, to incorporate always, and alienate never. One slip and you certainly will fail.

Jimmy Carter is a brilliant man. I believe that he has all of the qualities that would make a great friend or neighbor. He is honorable. He is selfless. He is of high intellect. He is tested and loyal and is stable in times of stress. I do not believe that he was a great president.

Ronald Reagan had none of the appropriate background. He was an actor. He hadn’t a background in business, economics, or even politics. He had seemingly only a handsome face and a good demeanor, yet, I believe, he became one of the great presidents of our time.

One thing that each of these great men share is this – the absolute distain of the unenlightened. I have heard people call our President names, threaten his life, accuse him of subversion. Things that they would never say about their neighbor, they say openly about our President.

It is a wonderful thing, to live in a place where open dialog is allowed that questions or even denounces our government. We are a unique and blessed society to have the freedom that our constitutional government affords us. With this right goes, too, a level of responsibility. We each are responsible to understand the issues and to form opinions on them, to voice our opinions, and to be a part of the process that is our representative republic. This is, unfortunately, not the case.

Many are drawn into these many oversimplifications of complex problems. They fail to understand the need for debate, the building of consensus, and even civility. They accuse Democrats of being irresponsible with money, of buying votes. They accuse Republicans of being elitists, uncaring for the middle or lower class of citizenry. They polarize and alienate and divide. They stand on position without compromise, unyielding to negotiation, ready to fight to the death over any issue.

They refuse to approve budgets, appropriations, they drive our government to the brink of failure – all to prove a point – yet, the point is pointless. If you look back at the political parties that we have today, you will see that they have stood on both sides of the debate over the years. You will find that they just may be simply against what the other wants.

The prime target on the top of the political pyramid is the President. Our disfunction as a society, our disfunction as a political entity, our disfunction as a country, is focused on this one man. Our ignorance, our bigotry, our judgmental tendencies, all are openly expressed without even the filters of decency, at this one man.

What we say about our President, be he white, or black, man, or woman, Republican, or Democrat, is what we believe about ourselves. Reagan showed us; the office of the President of the United States deserves a level of dignity, and every person who is enlisted by us to so serve deserves, too, that level of dignity.

In all steps of politics, we must find, again, open and honest communication. That is dependent on mutual respect and consideration. It is our own failures that we vent at our leader. It is our own ineptitude that causes us to lash out at the one person who we put in the position of ultimate power within our government.

Scott Cahill

The Transition from Warrior to Ruler

There are great warriors who win great battles. They are the victors. In war, even cold war, there are so many battles. There are the ones where men line in columns and attack across a line, but for each of these there are a thousand quiet battles, waged in alleys, prisons, in parks at dusk, dropping through the clouds on a moonless night into a foreign place alone.

There exist diplomats who are not, playing a game of chess, or cat and mouse, for life. For these men and women, there is no fanfare, little notoriety – medals given, then taken. One wrong step and a lifetime precipitates down to an etched star on a marble wall, or a simple denial. Why do men strive to be warriors?

The lucky warriors get to fight in the open. They are the ones on the battle lines, in mountains, deserts, and jungles, they load and walk, ride, and fight. The victors are the ones who hold the field after the shooting stops. How very simple.

Castro was a warrior. Alexander was too. Campaigners fight a different type of battle, a war of words, a puzzle. They parlay and jab until, eventually, one is the winner, one retires the field, wounded. Politics is some of each, subterfuge, and aggression. It has elements of war, and elements of diplomacy. Still, I assert, a campaign is a battle.

Often there is not sufficient thought to the state of affairs after the win. If it is a country or a field, a harbor, or a foothold gained, always there must be a strategy for exit, or for holding.

Obama is a great campaigner. He is a wonderful organizer, and a great speaker. I believe that he failed in many ways as a president. A friend and politician once said to me; “I must do what I need to in order to be elected. If I fail to be elected, all of the things that matter so deeply to me fail.” Indeed, this is a terrible truth. It breeds the disparity of elected to ruler. Indeed, such misleading actions are a necessary and celebrated part of warfare, as written in the book,”The Art of War” by Sun Tzu.

Does the game of campaigning prove the value of the office holder? Is it a reasonable way to choose? Does the winning, or the overthrow of a government make one the proper choice for the leader of a new government?

History shows us many, who were most comfortable in battle. Often, when ruling became burdensome, they returned to the battlefield. Alexander was such a leader. Castro made the jump from guerrilla to leader. Obama, perhaps, missed the simplicity of the campaign. President Elect Trump is yet to assume the role of leader. It will be interesting to see his transition from victor to ruler. I believe that he is better suited than most.

Scott Cahill

President of the United States, Donald John Trump

In only days we will swear in the 45th President of the United States of America, Mr. Donald John Trump. He is a “different” kind of President. He is, though, reminiscent of the men who formed this great nation.

Jefferson, Adams, and Washington, were not politicians who had slowly worked their way to the white house from some school board. They were business men, farmers, scientists, scholars, who were called on in time of need by their neighbors. I assert that they were exactly to their time, as President Trump is to ours.

I have heard time and again, the imperfections of President Elect Trump. All faults, true or not, that have been levied against him pale in comparison to the frailties of our grand forefathers. Even if Mr. Trump were a bigot (he most certainly is not) his supposed bigotry pales compared to Washington’s and Jefferson’s holding of slaves.

It has been asserted that he is a verbal bully, pushing back at unfair reporters, or incompetent competitors. Still, he pales compared to the actions of the great Jefferson, using a newspaper writer to falsely defame John Adams, his close friend and competitor for the greatest office, and to keep the “great man’s” hands clean of the dirt of political subterfuge.

It is charged that he is harsh in debate. He is a pussy cat compared to the open debate of our forefathers – not to mention the unfair, back-handed, often untrue, statements of newspapers and pamphlets (often written by the great men, themselves).

Many bring up that Developer Trump has declared bankruptcy. In actuality, Mr. Trump has never declared bankruptcy. He has had real estate entities (corporations or LLCs) that have declared. On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson declared personal bankruptcy many times, as did Ulysses Grant, William McKinley, and honest Abe Lincoln.

I will not bore you with the verbose discussion of extra-marital affairs in and within the White house.

What, then is the point of these attacks? Are we looking for someone more qualified than Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington? Can we not settle for those with similar human traits? Ultimately, is Marco Rubio, assuming he is a choir boy, a better man, potentially a better president for it?

We are seeing a welcome (by me) change to the scene of politics in our great nation. We are becoming a more sophisticated people, who judge men, again, by their ability, and not by some false hurdle of perfection, placed by those with oligarchic tendencies.

Scott Cahill

Vice President Pence

Some time back, I reacted to Trump’s pick of Vice President Pence as his running mate. I had never heard of Mr. Pence, and I wondered if the appointment was not some party action, perhaps to forestall conflict at the convention.

I have, since, witnessed our Vice President, his actions, and the way that he carries himself. I failed in my writing. I underestimated the man.

Vice President Mike Pence is a gentleman. He lends competence and dignity to the office. I am proud to have him as our Vice President, and I am happy that President Trump enlisted this great man to be his second in command.

He complements the President well and, thought they have different styles, each is a great leader.

Scott Cahill

Trump’s rise to the Presidency may inspire “outsiders”​ to politics

I believe that the rise of an outsider to politics to the grandest seat in our nation may mark the beginning of a sea-change in the structure of politics in this country. There was a time when business men and educators, the self taught and farmer, steered this nation. Those were great times – times of hope and promise.

Somewhere along the way, we lost our guiding documents, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence, they have been subordinated to a fashionable agenda, one wrought of singular issues or need to compensate those who paid so much for access. Bills have disassociated issues added to placate, or to buy the vote of one who would sell such a thing for a promise or a favor. Politicians became negotiators not of consensus but of the money needed to win, promising favor unapologetically, promising access absolutely.

Many hurdles on the road to the Presidency have been shattered in recent years. In my lifetime, a Catholic, a black man, and an outsider to politics has taken the grand office. All of those hurdles to entry were important progressions along the way to the place that this great nation must hold. In many ways, we are closer that we have ever been to being the nation that we profess to be.

We are at a place with many severe and difficult issues facing our nation. I believe that the issues that we face are best addressed by lawmakers who are drawn to service from our society, as the founders were, and believed. I believe that, as a whole, the career politician, the lawyer politician, the one-issue politician should never be, and should never be again, if we are to restore the freedoms that our Bill of Rights guarantee.

As President Obama proved that every african-american child can rise to the greatest office in our nation, President-elect Trump has proved that a life in politics is not a requirement to capture America’s highest office. I hope that many great men, seeing his action, will be compelled to act as he acted, and dedicate some of their life to serve this great nation, as we correct the errors of the past and put our great republic back together for the benefit of our children’s children.

Scott Cahill