Can American leaders lead?

Can American leaders lead?


By Alan Hart

The longer version of the headline question is this: Given the corruption of the American political system which puts what passes for democracy up for sale to the highest lobby bidders, will any U.S. President (not only a second-term Obama) ever be able to shape and implement policies which best serve the longer term interests of all Americans rather than the short-term interests of the most powerful lobbies?

Usually that question or something very like it is asked in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict, when a president has demonstrated with rhetoric a desire to advance the co-called peace process and has been blocked by the Zionist (not Israel) lobby and its stooges in Congress. But today, following the slaughter of the innocents in Connecticut, the question has a domestic context.

Something close to despair could be detected in a piece written for the New York Times by op-ed columnist Charles M. Blow. His opening words were these: “Another day, another mass shooting in America. When, and how, will this end? In fact, will it ever end?”

Blow quoted the words of a visibly shaken and tearful President Obama. “As a country, we have been through this too many times. We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

Blow went on: “I agree. I only hope that in coming days we flesh out what ‘meaningful action’’ means in policy terms. If not now, when? After the next shooting? How many more deaths and mass shootings will it take for Washington to begin to lead the country in a deeper conversation about sensible gun controls?

What will it take for our politicians to take firm and principled positions on gun policies and stand up to the gun lobby in this country? Surely this is a moment that calls all of us to reckoning.”

Echoing Blow’s despair, the New York Times concluded its editorial with these words: “The more that we hear about gun control and nothing happens, the less we can believe it will ever come. Certainly it will not unless Mr. Obama and Congressional leaders show the courage to make it happen.”

The comment of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is also co-chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, seemed to be driven more by real anger than despair. He said in a statement: “Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough, We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today.”

Fine words but they take me back to my headline question – Can American leaders lead?

The short answer it seems to me is “No” – they will never be able to lead so long as America’s political system remains as corrupt as it is. And the only way to clean up the corruption is by putting election campaigning off limits to lobby funding.

That is the real reckoning to which Americans are being called.


The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT, VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians, or the Veterans Today Network and its assigns. LEGAL NOTICE - COMMENT POLICY

Posted by on December 16, 2012, With Reads Filed under Veterans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

21 Responses to "Can American leaders lead?"

  1. neddelaney  December 17, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Washington has shown it’s not in the business of regulation, let alone leadership. It practices a warped form of what it calls “free trade.” The concept bleeds into every fabric of life. We deregulate under the guise of promoting business, sometimes including the term “competition” in the discussion. Most institutions within the country are now top heavy with too many executives making too much money while sacrificing little for the benefit of those who rely on the system. Gun issues are just another aspect of social decline. How many times have you heard a pulpit message stating that you should not worry about things you have no control over? Surprise – most of America have checked out with that very defeatist attitude regarding our central government. Expect little to change as long as the same people are in charge and the laws and regulations originally established to protect society remain trashed by those very same people. Consider this kind of tragedy a form of “blowback.” This will speak clearly to those with an understanding of karma.

  2. joesigur  December 17, 2012 at 5:43 am

    question;do these kind of terrorist activities happen in Israel like here? If there is no unexplainable domestic terror occurring in Israel one must ask, “Is it the water?”

  3. joesigur  December 17, 2012 at 5:37 am

    no, you are not, also, I believe, they all envoke the jewish excepttion, which means they want jews in Israel armed to the teeth. Kind of like that multi culturalism thing they promote everywhere but Israel

  4. stephanaugust  December 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I just found this headline:

    Jewish politicians lead chorus calling for tighter gun laws


    Maybe I am paranoid.

  5. xx  December 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    The civilization on this planet is primitive.

  6. xx  December 16, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    “one as many”, “many as one”, all are leaders in advanced civilizations, obvious reason. Who taught you there should be few leaders and many followers? The difference between advanced civilizations and primitive, is the thinking is often the “inverse”. Therefore simple thinks become complex to achieve.

  7. xx  December 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Advanced civilizations “look outward”, and primitive “look inward”, advanced civilizations see “many as one”, and primitive “one as many”. Has nothing to do with technology, advancement is achieved through ideology, then other follows. When above is not understood, such things mean nothing. Why simple things so complex? Maybe answer was given, not my words from another.

  8. duay khwaam nap theuu  December 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    The U.S.A. is not “just like” Australia

    Guns are best used as deterrents.

    As defense when necessary.

  9. duay khwaam nap theuu  December 16, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Nor American ; )

  10. duay khwaam nap theuu  December 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Actually, that ‘imaginary world’ you refer to–the principle you point to is sound–the one where the underlying intention is the Common Good, the betterment of all, may be closer to blooming than events as commonly perceived indicate. It’s not a super secret, it’s just lost in the clutter.

    I hesitate to make a target of it in this particular setting. (Not that it’s vulnerable to petty clownishness, but I’m pretty sick of petty clownishness.)

    A real leader these days best be cautious. And correct. Given that, the political arena is probably not the place to be. Nor the religious arena.

  11. duay khwaam nap theuu  December 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    If you were a despotic leader, if you helped run a despotic corporation, or a cabal, and you were faced with a spontaneous and legitimate popular revolt, wouldn’t you deploy your resources to subvert the revolt, maybe send them to get out in front of the parade and lead it to your advantage? If you controlled (or owned) the press and media, would you allow them to broadcast ideas which supported the revolt? Would you be transparent in your actions or secretive? Would you work all alone or conspire with others?

  12. gritzle70  December 16, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Nothing will change until the “federal corporations” currently masquerading as “nation state” governments are dismantled. All politicians currently work for their board of directors and their shareholders.


    [quote]There exists a secretive Satanic elite, that consists of perhaps twelve men at the very top, who rule the world through banking and international finance.[/quote]

    The Three Cities;read=139227

    [quote]The seed is the Vatican. The Vatican is the last true remnant of the Roman Empire.[/quote]

    The City of London Corporation

    Are Corporations Masquerading as Government in Australia and Worldwide?

    [quote]Would you be surprised to find a company with the same name as your country registered with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington DC?[/quote]

    Corporations Masquerading as Government (Part II): Which “Government” Can We Trust?

    The Commonwealth of Australia is a corporation registered in Washington, DC

    What the FUQ? – Frequently Unanswered Questions of the “Australian Government

    UNITED STATES is a Corporation – There are Two Constitutions!

    Canada, Australia & NZ Are Still Colonies

    UNGRIP – Declaring Our Inherent Independence – Canadian citizen vs. the Corporation

  13. Shalom Juitsie  December 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Australia was easy!

  14. Shalom Juitsie  December 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    yea, that’s how we get what we want!

  15. Warlord Moneybags  December 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Agree to negotiate on gun controls if there is a thorough and honest 9/11 Commission.

  16. daquamarine  December 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    This was a crappy article that belonged in the NYT. Some of recognize the thrashings of a dying beast. The convulsions have been more frequents since 9/11. This was the psychopaths crapping on christmas. Shock and terror in our stockings. Now the deluded want Santa to take our guns too. Alan is a good man, but he is showing his sappy side here. Consumed by grief his reasoning faculties have shut down.

    Problem, action, solution. That is what we have here. Alan is allowing himself to believe the magician is really cutting the woman in half.

  17. Mike Kay  December 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Personally, I do not find the NYT to be of any consequence regarding policy, or lack thereof. Isn’t this the same paper that has been taken to task for employing “editors” who fabricated stories? Isn’t this the same paper that screamed about Iraqi WMD’s?
    So, what exactly is meaningful gun control? Whose guns get controlled?
    Few things disgust me more than politicians and their lackeys who take up a tragedy-any tragedy, and turn it into a moment to favor their agendas. Once again, the NYT fills the role of lackey with little room for improvement.
    Can I ask if the NYT has ever written an article demanding the disarming of the many para-military police organizations set up and run by the government, despite the horrific numbers of unarmed civilians regularly shot and killed in a hail of bullets?
    Has the NYT ever come out against the persistent use of drones and missiles against the innocent?
    Or, is it that the paper of record is not worth what it is printed on?

  18. Markus  December 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    As long as Alan Hart and like-minded Americans allow themselves to be manipulated into supporting gun control through domestic terrorism, the senseless shootings will continue.

  19. xx  December 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Yes there is problem, and solution does start with leadership. It is only by example we can lead.

    If one had the monies for a single tank, fighter craft, drone, or other items in such abundance in our world today, many things can be accomplished?

    Let’s discuss an “imaginary world” for one moment.

    Imagine the businesses that can be created for alternative energies, education, clinics, hospitals, and so much more. New technologies are gifts that help us move forward into the future, and yet such things are often exploited. Often hidden, and used for purposes other then the health and welfare of all. Such monies can be allocated toward start-up businesses with grants issued to peoples, young adults, and many more, whose desire is to start new companies with hopes of doing things in better ways, with ideas to stimulate our global economies.

    If one asked for a deterrent against war, why the above stated is not the first consideration or option for providing solutions. Shall we make a tank or clinic, jet or hospital, global commerce or drones?

    When one pursues the means for destruction, then destroying is the solution and all will be destroyed. However, if such pursuits are for the better of all, then all will be better. The health and welfare of all, is simple measure of resource distribution in above stated functions.

  20. Warlord Moneybags  December 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Ooops, sorry, try this one —


  21. Warlord Moneybags  December 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Man arrested in woods —



You must be logged in to post a comment Login

From Veterans Today Network