Monday, May 18, 2009

I Wrote a Comment on a SLATE Article...

You can find my response to the SLATE question "Is Obama Arrogant?" here:

Oh, what the heck. I'll re-print it here, too. It's my article, with my byline, so they can't call it plagiarism!

Obama Ruthless -- Like RFK and Mr. Spock?

Every time a truly effective leader comes along -- whether it's President Obama, Lyndon Johnson, Hillary Clinton, Golda Meir or Robert F. Kennedy -- one of the first charges leveled against him or her is ruthlessness.

Mr. Spock of STAR TREK had the same problem. Not that he was ever actually "wrong" when he elected to sacrifice one or more crewmembers (including himself) for the good of many others, but it seemed somehow less-than-human to be so blasted blase about it. At times like these, logic sometimes sucked, big-time. (Lucky for Spock: he was a half-breed and, as such, more-than-human.)

Logical thinkers look for ways to move the ball forward. And while it isn't simply a matter of "whatever works," depending upon the moral uprightness of a person's spirit, the avenues that great leaders take and the decisions they make often rub less-logical folks the wrong way.

If President Obama is seen now by some as arrogant because he believes in himself as fully as our lapsed president believed in himself (horrors!), the fault lies in the eye of the beholder, not in Obama. Belief in oneself should be an absolute prerequisite for anyone aspiring to occupy the highest office and the bulliest pulpit in the land.

And if he's viewed as ruthless that, too, is myopia, not fact. Ruthless people don't do all he has tried (mightily) to do to bring diverse, passionate people to a table where issues can be discussed and responsibly wrestled with, resulting in ways forward which can never be accomplished as long as we're busy throwing barbs, bricks, slurs and silliness at each other.

I plan to vote for Obama again in 2012. I don't see anyone else on the horizon of either major party (or any of the minor ones) who can do for our nation what Obama has dedicated himself to doing for it and for the world.

The term "civilization" (heavy emphasis on "civil" ) is beginning to look possible again!

May Gene Roddenberry's -- and Obama's -- warm regard for IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) live long and prosper.

Without it, we can kiss our continuing existence on this beautiful planet goodbye!

No comments: