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Why Do Our Leaders Break Our Hearts? ‘The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings’

Gnawing at the back of my brain for decades, eating away at the heart of my political philosophy, has been my feeling that I despise all politicians except I have to admit, “I do like Ike.”

The only President who has stood the test of my lifetime was Dwight David Eisenhower.

I didn’t like Ike when I was young, thought he was a stodgy and boring, an old man who didn’t know what was going on around him, a figurehead who was always talking about peace and prosperity — not like Adlai E. Stevenson who was an open-minded, free-thinking liberal with empathy that my parents thought made him one of us.

Things change over time, sometimes even people do.

I can honestly say today that in retrospect I LIKE IKE more than ever. He’s the only President to speak the truth directly to the people in my lifetime, even if it only came in his Farewell Address and all that he preached in his eight years was “peace and prosperity.”

Back then, I didn’t understand how lucky I was personally to grow up in a nouveau middle class family and how 99 percent of all human beings want nothing more than the chance to live in peace and prosper. Ah, the false idealism of youth!

JFK offered the totalitarian notion that I should ask what I could do for my country rather than what my country could do for me and then escalated the war in Vietnam and hesitated to defend the civil rights of people who were called Negroes back then.

Johnson was worse, Nixon a liar and criminal, Ford a bumbling boob, Carter too “good” for his own good, Reagan overrated, Bush the first a CIA stooge, Clinton an intellectual slut, Bush the second just a plain stooge.

And now there’s Barack Obama, a president who seems to only speak the truth in murmurs when he thinks the microphones aren’t on.

Back in November, Obama was with French President Nicolas Sarkozy who commented on Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu: “I can’t stand him. He’s a liar.” .

Obama replied, “You’re tired of him; what about me? I have to deal with him every day.”

Oops, open mike.

Now there’s this political disaster: “This is my last election. And after my election, I have more flexibility”

That’s what he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with regards to the U.S. missile defense shield to protect Europe from what used to threaten their survival before the fall of the Soviet Union.

Oops, don’t these people know enough to yell, “Mic check.”

I’m disappointed in Barack Obama though it’s hard to see any Republican who isn’t worse at this point.

But it’s not just him. Long ago, I concluded our own Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was betraying every promise he ever made, every belief he ever held, every person who ever trusted him. And now I’m watching Jerry Brown sell out what he knows is right for what’s pragmatic.

Pragmatic — that’s the word Richard Riordan used to justify giving up on doing what was right in the face of a system that crippled his ability to deliver anything he actually believed it, a system that had evolved from the military-industrial complex decried by Eisenhower to the bankers-union-greed machine we have today enslaving us.

To paraphrase Barry Goldwater: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And “pragmatism” in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Like Adlai Stevenson, Goldwater was a loser in no small part because they both had a bad habit of speaking truth to power:

“I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass…I wouldn’t trust Nixon from here to that phone…Hubert Humphrey talks so fast that listening to him is like trying to read Playboy magazine with your wife turning the pages….The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government…I think any man in business would be foolish to fool around with his secretary. If it’s somebody else’s secretary, fine.”

Or Stevenson:

A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular…A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation…Accuracy to a newspaper is what virtue is to a lady; but a newspaper can always print a retraction…Communism is the corruption of a dream of justice …  the death of the soul… As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.

Here’s to the losers, those who dare to speak the truth.

When you vote in June and in November, will you dare to ask of any candidate that you vote for whether they have ever spoken the truth to power in public?

And come next March when you decide the fate of this city, will you demand the truth from the candidates. Can you even live with the truth?

The truth I live is that there is hardly anyone who holds public office now who deserves your vote unless they can make a compelling case they did not buy in sooner or later and accept the corruption of the system as if it were normal.

I have covered government in Cleveland, Alaska, Alabama, Washington D.C. and Washington state, Australia, California and Washington and I can only remember a handful of people who ever won elected office and served as much as two years without losing their integrity.

It isn’t the people. It’s the system. It is corrupt to its core. Ike said it  half a century ago.

The heart of what it means to be an American was stolen away from us by phony conflicts between Democrats and Republicans while big business, big labor and big government were uniting to serve themselves and turn us into a two-class society of “haves” and “have-nots.”

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded…

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

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11 Responses to Why Do Our Leaders Break Our Hearts? ‘The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings’

  1. Teddy says:

    There is a truth in life (not just politics) It is: People often lie.
    Just look at how the people who have been elected throughout
    the many years – Congress, Senate and President – have changed the laws
    in their own favor – they get health care for life, pensions for life, regular
    increases in salaries, trips, housing – it sure is different from being a volunteer
    so we must never think of candidates for any office as volunteers.

    I pledge allegiance to our country, taught my children how wonderful it is
    to be here. When it comes to voting, I vote at the polls and my vote is private
    often decided on election day, so I can have as much information as possible
    before I decide. A lot of people trust and vote according to somebody else’s
    decision and are often disappointed. Take the Nixon campaign – who left
    that door unlocked? I am sure it was Richard Nixon. Could have been
    anyone, in either part. What you see is all you get Look at the present president.
    Who is he really? We may never know.

  2. Teddy says:

    I wish I had re-read what I wrote. It reads “I am sure it was Richard Nixon.”
    I do not mean that at all – I am VERY SURE it was not Richard Nixon. T.

  3. anonymous says:

    as previously posted:
    just imagine, your life, your future, represented, manipulated
    by ego crazed, self-serving, ethically challenged underlings…for example,
    Senator Villaraigosa, Congressman Cardenas, Mayor Garcetti, Controller Zine etc…
    the thought sends chills down your back & you know, they speak lies disguised as truth…
    so, STOP VOTING FOR THEM!

  4. I can’t recall the exact words, but when Stevenson was running against Ike, he was informed by an aide that he was the favorite of intelligent voters. Stevenson replied, “That’s wonderful, but I would prefer to win the majority.”

  5. Philosophy 101 says:

    Every thing that was said here is true and has been since man climbed out of the slime. It all boils down to two words: being human. It would take a colossal change in our DNA to be any different from the tiger who can’t change his stripes.

    We are naive to think we can change anything. You even said Eisenhower didn’t speak truth to power until his farewell speech when it didn’t matter.

    Yet hope remains. We always hope a change in regime will bring what we’re looking for, just as we hope as we gaze at every new born as the ‘perfect’ little human being. Then he turns four — all hope is dashed — and he become just another grubby, conniving little creature just like the rest of us. But we keep hoping. Maybe that what keeps us going.

  6. Teddy says:

    Yes, I remember Adlai and did not vote for him.
    I do not remember why, but I remember thinking about what I would do.

  7. Anonymous says:

    On sale of Dodger Stadium to Magic Johnson led group–Here are the comments of our dumb political leaders.

    “Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes, whose district includes Dodger Stadium, welcomed the news, saying Johnson “brings good memories to L.A.”

    “Magic Johnson is a great face for this city. He’s been amazing in his community activism, his community programs. He’s gone places people don’t typically go in terms of investment. He’s made a difference,” he said.

    The news was cheered by Councilman Tom LaBonge, who said a $2-billion purchase would mean a lot more pressure on the new owners to develop the stadium site.

    “I would have no problem with a football stadium there myself, if it was done appropriately,” he said.

    Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, who is a mayoral candidate, also issued a statement celebrating the news.

    “What could be more exciting than having one of L.A.’s most iconic sports figures buying one of baseball’s most iconic teams?” Greuel said. “With Dodgers’ opening day just around the corner, I know this news couldn’t come at a better time to raise the spirits of our fans who have been hoping for an owner to put the resources into putting a championship team on the field. I can’t wait for Magic to bring ‘Showtime’ to the Ravine and deliver even more championships for Los Angeles.”

    Do not vote for anyone of them for any position.

  8. Wayne from Encino says:

    Ron likes IKE and GOLDWATER? THERE’S HOPE FOR RON YET! I look at this Supreme Court we have—what a Skull N’Bones group we have here! They wont let a camera see the debate about the Illegal Obama-Care? Why? Because You’d see how frail, weak, and FOOLISH 9 old FOOLS look wearing those Black Robes from the Middle Ages in 2012! You’d see how utterly SHAMEFUL our legal system is to have two groups of DUMBER THAN DUMB LAWYERS stand up to the podium to these 9 MINDLESS JACKASSES FOR JUDGES and “debate” this incredibly ILLEGAL healthcare SCAM!
    Heres the TRUTH OF WHAT OBAMACARE SEEKS:
    1/ EVERYONE MUST BUY HEALTH INSURANCE or 2/PAY A HEAD TAX!
    Also, did you learn yet when you sell your UNDERWATER OR VASTLY UNDERVALUED HOME YOU PAY AN ADDITIONAL OBAMACARE-SURTAX ON THE PURCHASE PRICE STARTING NEXT YEAR????
    Did you learn yet that starting next month YOU PAY MORE INTEREST ON YOUR HOMELOAN TO FUND THE ONES WHO DON’T PAY THEIR MORTGAGE?
    If this group of 9 JUDICIAL-DOUCHES UPHOLDS this rotten piece of trash of Harry Reid and Obama, then THE SUPREME COURT HAS NO MORE POWER in the game!
    See, that’s why by 6-3 OBAMACARE WILL LOSE—not because THE LEFT sold out, not because the RIGHT won—because these 9 old sorry sacks of CRAP want to HAVE THE POWER OF GOD TO ALTER LAW. All 9 LOVE how you and me get SCREWED BY THE OBAMACARE, but…They’d give away their precious power to alter and create law by giving all the power to the President/Dictator.
    Your majority will be: SCALIA-THOMAS-ALITO-ROBERTS-KENNEDY-KAGEN.
    Here’s what the real wrinkle is going to be: 5 will vote to TOTALLY THROW OUT THE WHOLE LAW, but KAGEN (Obama’s pick) will vote DOWN ONLY THE MADATE TO BUY INSURANCE! BUT THE PRESS WILL GIVE IT A 6-3 VOTE AND
    GIVE MODERATE VOTERS “ASSURANCE” THAT IF OBAMA GETS ANOTHER 4 YEARS—HE’D PICK JUDGES LIKE KAGEN THAT ARE “TRULY INDEPENDENT AND MODERATE!!!” GET IT!
    The truth is, if the stupider than stupid population gives Obama another 4 years in office, you might not have to worry about voting for a while. That might become unnecesary for like, lets say, 20 years or so. With wars in Iran, a 2nd housing crash, a 2nd major Stockmarket crash, and a new Korean War that will move forward to a ground war—we’ll all just be too busy DOING THE MAN’S WORK, NOW WON’T WE?
    If Romney gets in with a Republican slim majority in the Senate and House, It’ll take them 3 years just to find the washroom. You’ll trade a do-nothing load of criminals in for the World Revolutionists. Take your pick.

  9. Transparency says:

    Why Do Our Leaders Break Our Hearts? Because we have been the fools that have given them our power to rule us. As long as we hold them as something especial and superior to us as so many people do, they will continue to do as they please.

    We have fallen for the two party system which the only thing it accomplishes is to divide us. “Divide and Conquer”. Just imagine how much could we accomplish if we united as ONE and publicly and loudly denounce the unethical acts of these leaders, every where and at any opportunity. Use our energies not to promote our party or candidate but to make these leaders accountable. As long as we continue to be divided we will be control by these hypocrites and liars.

    They do control us, by passing laws, taxes, fees that we have to abide by and they can simply ignore. They live the rich life while they continue to impoverish ours. We have to grow up and act like adults not like obedient little children. It takes courage to question authority but this we most do. IT IS TIME TO GROW UP.

  10. Transparency says:

    The ruling of the masses has been going on since ancient times, by those cunning individuals that sought to rule others by calling themselves gods and by virgin births, making themselves the chosen ones and above other mortals so they could rule. Religions have battle each others to have control of the people. Thru fear and by keeping the sheep ignorant they have been able to rule them.

    President Kennedy, not a perfect man, but one of the reasons he was killed is because he wanted to get out of Vietnam, another one is he passed a law that freed the dollar from the control of the Federal Reserve which is a PRIVATE entity managed by bankers. It does not belong to the U. S. As soon as he was killed Johnson reversed that law. By the way, Johnson knew Kennedy was going to be assassinated that day he was part of the plot, he refused to ride with the Kennedy. These are not Conspiracy Theories these are Conspiracy Truths.

  11. JEAN FLEMING says:

    Hi Ron, I think the best president during my life time was Harry Trueman. What do you think of him? The first president I remember that I was just old enough to vote was IKE. I was hired to pass out “I Like IKE” buttons. My parents thought President Roosevelt could walk on water.

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