Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Lesson from General Eisenhower for Hillary Clinton©

I was born in the middle of World War II, so, I am old enough to remember some of the heroes of that war.  Memorial Day has brought some of those to my recall. The first president of the United States that I remember with any clarity was Dwight D. Eisenhower. The famous general of D-Day was a national hero.  During my boyhood I liked Ike.

I am currently reading a book of quotations collected by Elizabeth Dole, former U.S. Senator, and Secretary of a couple of agencies of the government. In her section on “Leadership” she began with a quotation from Ike which I have read many times, but which had a special appeal for me tonight.  In anticipation of a possible failure of the D-Day invasion Ike wrote the following:
“Our landings have failed. And I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air, and the navy did all that bravery and devotion could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine, and mine alone.”
Elizabeth Dole’s short commentary about this statement is worth reading too. She said, “‘If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine, and mine alone.’ There in one simple sentence, is true leadership. How many of our societal problems would vanish overnight if we could just get those words right: The responsibility is mine alone.”  She continued, “In the final analysis, that is what great leaders do .... They don’t pass the responsibility or blame to someone else. They stand ready to make the hard decisions, and to live with failure or success.”(1)

Cliche?  Maybe.  True?  Absolutely!  Consider then, Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s near total silence for a month over growing questions about her responsibility in not following policy to use government e-mail accounts; in being her own arbiter about what e-mails to give to the government and what e-mails to delete; or her knowledge about the Islamic extremist attack on the embassy in Benghazi; or the fact that her boss Barak Obama did not want Sidney Blumenthal in his government, but Hillary used him as an adviser surreptitiously; and worst of all, consider her response to the mounting evidence of a pattern of influence peddling while she was Secretary of State.  When questioned about these matters she dismisses them with a wave of the hand, saying this is the kind of attack you expect from the conservative right.

I argued earlier that she owes it to the American people to let us know as much as we can about her so we can make enlightened judgments about her suitability to lead us. Good luck on that one Dan! It is crystal clear that she is self-serving in the extreme; she wants all the power she can get, but none of the responsibility for what she does with it. When stacked up against Dwight Eisenhower’s example of accepting responsibility for possible failure on D-Day, she is on a totally different and very barren planet.  She is not the man for me.

Let's think together again, soon.

1.  Elizabeth Dole, comp., Hearts Touched With Fire: My 500 Favorite Inspirational Quotations, (New York: Carroll & Graff, 2004), pp. 139-40, emphasis added.

No comments:

Post a Comment