Rudyard Kipling, the great storyteller of British imperialism, in 1895 wrote a compelling poem of advice for a son in a hostile world - "If". Some of the wisdom is pertinent for today's American leaders.
" If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you"
So the Tea Party is at fault for pointing out that mounting deficits and government spending are unsustainable; and S&P is at fault for doing their job with an obvious downgrade.
"Or being lied about, don't deal in lies
Or being hated, don't give way to hating."
So the vice president calls political opponents "terrorists" and the vitriol aimed by the media and the Democrats against George Bush, and then Sarah Palin, and then the Tea Party will soon pivot to the 2012 Republican presidential candidate - with a $1 billion dollar war chest and a "kill Romney" campaign under development. The Republicans should continue to resist the temptation to respond in kind.
"If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools"
So Paul Ryan presents a budget which would reform the tax code and start to address entitlements and it gets demagogued as an attack on Seniors.
"If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch"
Inability of the president to relate to Joe the Plumber or the Cambridge police is bad enough, but a total lack of relationships with foreign leaders is an unreported problem. George Bush had a personal connection with Vicente Fox of Mexico, Angela Merkel of Gemany, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. For Obama - David Cameron of the UK? Nope. Stephen Harper of Canada? Nope. Felipe Caldedron of Mexico? Nope. Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel? Nope. Nicholas Sarkozy of France? Nope. Naoto Kan of Japan? Nope. Pick a country - China; Russia; Brazil; india; Pakistan; Egypt; Kenya; Indonesia. All Nope's.
Kipling wrote around 1900, shortly before the British Empire passed the torch to America. Lets hope that we can put new leaders in place who understand his wisdom before we drop it.
This week's video is a short perspective by Mark Rubio. He is definitely one of the top "new generation" stars of the GOP.
bill bowen - 8/12/11
P. S. Last week's blog, "Machiavelli's Obama" had the highest number of hits on any RightinSanfrancisco posting to date. If you forwarded it - by Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, or some other way - thanks. If not, you might consider doing so.