This very snarky piece came out of my annoyance with a new book written by Lee Iacocca, now 82 years old, entitled Where Have All The Leaders Gone?
Before getting to Iacocca and his book, I will first speculate about my own attitudes.
In my 78th year I fear that I will lose or in fact have lost my "intellectual relevance."
I fear that my view of the world bears little or no commonality with the views of my children and grandchildren. They are very different.
Even though I was educated as an engineer, I am lost in the 21st century land of devices as well as FaceBook, IPod, Twitter, texting, and all of that other stuff. I manage my cell phone, my Garmin and most of my TV's remote controls, but little else.
My own concerns are about old/young, today/yesterday, reasonable/unreasonable, and most importantly today/tomorrow.
I have difficulty understanding political and journalistic duplicity in that I was raised with the expectation of honesty in industry, and that "the good guys" far outnumbered the "bad guys".
In the media business things will never be as they were. The "Giants" of Disney, GE, News Corp, CBS/Viacom, Time Warner, and Comcast now rule.
Until recently we did not have CNN, Fox, and MSNBC spewing stuff about politics 24/7. We did not have irrational people calling our President a Socialist, saying that our proposed health care is designed to "pull the plug on Grandma", and that Czars from Russia are running our country.
It is difficult for me to look back on the last fifty years and say: Boy were those the golden years in our society?
And now on to Mr. Iacocca's new book.
I will quote from it and add some smart ass comments about what the most revered author Mr. Iacocca said.
"Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening?"
Mr. Iacocca: Is that a real question?
Were you less fed up when our kids were dying in Korea ?
Were you less fed up when our kids were dying in Vietnam ?
Were you less fed up when our kids were dying in Iraq ?
Were you less fed up when our kids were and are dying in Afghanistan ?
"Where the hell is our outrage?"
Were you outraged when our trusted financial community "lost" a paltry three or four trillion dollars in 2008 and our country nearly tanked?"
Where has your outrage been hidden all of these years?
"We should be screaming bloody murder! We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course'..."
Where were you sir when all of this horrid stuff was going on? Did you just find out that our mass media is controlled by a small group of very powerful companies?
Where were you and your outrage sir when President Bush was violating our constitution and invading Iraq under the banner of 9/11?
Mr. Iacocca, where were you when our political process was "hijacked" by excessive campaign contributions?
Mr. Iacocca, where were you when the right wing extremists stole a part of the political process in our country?
Mr. Iacocca where were you when "Trickle-down Economics" provided tax cuts as well as other benefits to businesses and rich individuals was sold to America in the belief that would indirectly benefit the broader population?
Mr. Iacocca where were you when so many of our regulatory oversights were removed or ignored?
Does Mr. Iacocca remember that those leaders, who are now gone, sent other peoples kids off to die in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, among other places. These brilliant leaders sent our young people off to be in harms way and possibly death for some ideological reasons. Has he been historically concerned about this?
Does Mr. Iacocca recall that we were not a gazillion dollars in debt a few decades ago but have been put there by the vaunted leadership that he most admirers?
In my never very humble opinion, the leaders we are looking for are in evidence everywhere; the problems we face are not the absence of leadership but rather the complexity of an era with close to seven billion souls looking for their version of "the good life", whatever that means.
Reading what you said in some of your book is depressing to me as you seem to decry the state of our nation and economy as though you had nothing to do with it, that you were living in a cave for fifty years and just emerged.
We do have leaders and we have a generation of brilliance yet we have left our young people with the almost impossible mess of wars and corruption following the "War To End All Wars."
We arranged for the rich to get richer, the sick to get sicker, and the uneducated to stay that way.
"Where Have All The Leaders Gone?" Well they are all around us wondering how our brilliant governance delivered us to the abyss we are now in.
Leaders are all around us. It is our tortured system controlled by a few that remains thrilled with the status quo.
How can Mr. Iacocca complain about leadership in our country when we can count on Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Bill O'Reiley, and lest we forget, Liz Cheney?
Our young people are great, however the system in which they must function sucks!
We are a country full of brilliant people but few of them are silly enough to get involved in government.