Guest contribution by Gregg Updike
Back in WWII, when we were still looking to win wars and solve things, our military and civilian leadership recognized that a certain number of peacetime generals and admirals were going to fail when the bullets started flying. History is replete with leadership failures on all levels when push comes to shove. Even taking out the subversive nature of many of today’s politicians, many otherwise good people are better than others at certain things.
In WWII when military leaders failed, or didn’t meet expectations, basically two things happened: Culpable inefficiency was eliminated by the complete removal of the deficient officer; others, who fell short, were shifted to positions where their talents were better suited to overall success. Failed combat leaders often failed because they were “casualty adverse”, or myopic, but they often excelled in training or logistics for example.
Since WWII our military gradually became more bureaucratic, technical, robotic, and political; we have more political (butt kissing first) officers than military (win first) officers. Consequently, we can win tactical victories against any enemy, but we lose strategically due to politics (political correctness) at the pentagon and on the national civilian leadership level.
Thus we have what is going on when our nation faces new and heretofore unknown threats. Think of it this way:
Our fifty states represent fifty army divisions led by fifty governors with the mayors being the lieutenants in charge of the various components within the division. All, by necessity, have a certain amount of autonomy, but they must all fall under a certain overreaching controlling doctrine (set of laws, rules and guidelines/structure) to ensure a relatively uniform response to most anticipated crisis/problems that emerge from time to time. Some leaders are destined to succeed to various degrees, some are destined to fail to various degrees, in their positions – it is as simple as that.
Unfortunately, in the political spectrum there is – with a few state exceptions – no mechanism to remove or transfer failed or marginal governors, mayors and others in positions of leadership, authority, or responsibility.
For example, the citizens of New York State and New York City must now endure the consequences of electing such marginal leadership and cannot remove it until the next election which is years away. This China pandemic shows why it is so vital to elect good solid people rather than hacks just because they have certain name recognition, or belong to a certain political party.
Take the NY Governor:
A constant Trump critic who neglected to adequately stock a reserve of medical equipment in past years so he could address (“combat”) the dubious threat of climate change by funding “green energy”. He probably had problems with Trump’s early Chinese travel ban, then for sure criticized the president for NOT being a dictator and mobilizing the military soon enough. Now as the actual facts have come out and as certain areas of his state have suffered greatly, he has become one of Trump’s greatest fans – we’re all in this together…
Now politics comes into play: With the disaster that is the Democratic presidential nominating process, the DNC desperately needs a competent (looking) alternative to their current candidates. Suddenly the New York Governor becomes “gubernatorial”, and praises Trump’s response and actions ON A NATIONAL LEVEL.
Now he is griping and moaning that the TWO TRILLION DOLLAR economic “cure” doesn’t have enough funding (pork) to help New York. Which is it governor? Is Trump and Congress doing a good job, or not. Make up your mind.
Take the NYC Mayor:
Bloomberg’s successor, and a marginal mayor to begin with, he actually felt he had a real shot at running for president, until his embryotic campaign crashed and burned. Also a major critic of the president, he and his health department early on discounted the threat of the China virus and called for massive celebrations in the city’s Chinatown district to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Now we have this infected cluster in and around HIS city. Naturally he calls on the federal government (Trump) to fix it, yet still undermines that effort with words and deeds.
To conclude: There have been many political leaders who have stood up and have tackled this head on and are doing very well, some are doing ok, and some are absolutely failing their citizens. This threat allows for a very short learning curve, and some leader’s poor decisions are quickly rectified; others are not. Hopefully, the deficient ones will be removed at their next election.
In the interim, the failed leaders, if they had any decency, would either learn from their mistakes, put politics aside, and get on board and unite for the common good and accept shared sacrifice. They could also do the right thing and admit that they are not up to the task and resign. However, in most cases, pride and ego will not allow them to do that.
To conclude, like in the military, we need a recall mechanism to be put in place that would allow for the recall and removal of failed or incompetent leaders and judges, nationwide. In the past, we could sort of survive poor political leaders and their actions when the threats moved more slowly, or happened very quickly in an episodic nature (9-11 for example), or were known. That is not the case today. Many things just move too quickly and need for calm and competency in needed more now than ever.
We need to make sure that we elect the best people to important positions and have the means to remove people for cause when they fail in their duties to protect and serve their citizens. However, the removal process cannot be for frivolous reasons and recall mechanisms must be put in place that are fair and allow for mistakes and unpopular decisions.
I realize this could become a slippery slope, but our nation cannot continue to be held hostage by individual and near permanent members of congress, judges, and other officials who completely defy the will of the vast majority of the people for years on end. Several states have recall provisions in their constitutions and occasionally recall attempts are made and some succeed (Gov. Davis of CA) and some fail (Gov. Walker of WI).
The point is, just having a recall mechanism would force politicians and judges to be more aware of and responsive to the needs and desires of the people. In the states that allow for recall we do not see massive or frequent recall efforts, or political chaos, so, if done right, a recall system could become an important safeguard to liberty and be a big benefit to the country. It would need to be a constitutional amendment to ensure fairness and consistency.
That is all.
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