Friday, December 12, 2008

Reprise:Lee Iacocca: Where have all of the Leaders Gone? Part 1

Originally posted in June 2007:

On Father's Day, my daughter gave me a copy of Lee Iacocca's new book, Where have all of the Leaders Gone? This Border's link gives some excerpts from the book. My daughter shares my anger with the current administration in DC; she and I, along with my wife and son, are very worried about our Democracy. Something has gone terribly wrong. My children worry about my grandchildren as do I: they know that, unless something drastic happens, the America that they grew up in will be only a memory. WE, as a people, are in terrible trouble.

Mr. Iacocca is also a grandfather and in the introduction to the book, he says what others have suggested to me.

My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to—as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.

Exactly. I've been saying that for years. My family and friends and I understand the cry, 'Wake UP America!' I am one lone voice, but Mr. Iacocca voice adds thunder to our message. Perhaps after reading the book, other voices will be raised in anger and patriotic fervor.

I am going to discuss the salient points of the book as I read it. This morning I'm on page 35, but what a powerful 35 pages! The man knows the problem and tells it like it is. Here's his opening volley to set the stage:

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? 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."

There it is. Clear enough? By the way, where IS the outrage? Where are the hordes of people in the streets with signs shouting? Not in Toledo. Well, a handful each Sunday at least. The Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition continues its patriotic protest every Sunday since 9-11, urging the citizens passing by to raise their voices in protest, in protest against the war and in protest against the fascist government now running our nation. Some passers-by honk and wave, and there is an occasional middle finger salute by some right-wing punk. This is a great improvement over the 'reaction' they received at the onset of Bush's War on Iraq. Fingers, spit, and hateful remarks greeted these same people then. They were called 'unpatriotic communists' by many passers-by. Not so much these days. Folks have wised up some.

So where's the outrage?

Are we sheeple? Have we been drugged? Thoroughly propagandized? Or don't we realize what is happening to us?

Some of each, I suspect. It's the frog in the pot. You know the old story: if a frog is put into a pot of cold water, it will stay there as the water heats up because it can't detect the difference in temperature. It gets cooked.

Middle America is being cooked, slowly cooked. And, like the frog, most don't know that the pot we are in is being heated. The frog never jumps out; we can.

Gasoline is $3 a gallon; milk is $3.59. Americans still buy both as if there was no other choice. Sheeple. Many are still 'buying' the War in Iraq as a war on terror. Propaganda. Our wires are tapped, our civil rights are taken away, our nation tortures and we keep on watching Dancing With the Stars.

We spend a billion dollars every two days in Iraq, but can't fund our neighborhood schools. Our states are choking on debt, yet Congress doles out money as if it were candy to corporations for political payback. Congress would rather tussle with gay marriage and stem cells than alternative energy research and environmental stabilization. Health care reform? Of course not. Building a fence on our southern border is more important and so this week, Congress will use up one of its precious weeks discussing that rather than the public health of its citizens.

And the American people watch the ball game and eat themselves into obesity.

What will it take to awaken the citizens? Will the 'pot' need to get steamy before they wake up and jump out?

Or will their obesity weigh them down so much that they can't escape?

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