politics { 'Where have all the Leaders gone?'

This appeared in my inbox and I thought I would share:

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from
death throes?

He has a new book, and here are some excerpts.

"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."

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding! This is America , not the
damned Titanic.

I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker,
and maybe I have.

But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore.

The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore
the Constitution,

tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress
responds to record

deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy. (thanks, but I
don't need it)

The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys
in handcuffs.

While we're fiddling in Iraq , the Middle East is burning and nobody
seems to know

what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard

That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled
across the ocean for.

I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're
not outraged.

This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have

The Biggest C is Crisis

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis.

It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory.

Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a
battlefield yourself.

It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other
time in our history.

We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. Where was
George Bush?

He was reading a story about a pet goat to kids in Florida when he
heard about the attacks.

He kept sitting there for twenty minutes with a baffled look on his

It's all on tape. You can see it for yourself.

Then, instead of taking the quickest route back to Washington and
immediately going

on the air to reassure the panicked people of this country, he
decided it wasn't safe

to return to the White House. He basically went into hiding for the
day, and he

told Vice President Dick Cheney to stay put in his bunker.

We were all frozen in front of our TVs, scared out of our wits,
waiting for our

leaders to tell us that we were going to be okay, and there was
nobody home.

It took Bush a couple of days to get his bearings and devise the
right photo op at Ground Zero.

That was George Bush's moment of truth, and he was paralyzed. And
what did he do

when he'd regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq ;
a road his own

father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush
didn't listen to Daddy.

He listened to a higher father. He prides himself on being faith
based, not reality based.

If that doesn't scare the crap out of you, I don't know what will

A Hell of a Mess

So here's where we stand.

We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan
for leaving.

We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country.

We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia , while our once-great
companies are

getting slaughtered by health care costs.

Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent
energy policy.

Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves.

The middle class is being squeezed every which way.

These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask:

"Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative

Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence,
and common sense?

I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than
making us

take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo?

We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and
all we

know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina.

Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to
the hurricane,

or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the
crucial hours

after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping
it doesn't happen again!

Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan.

Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we
can restore our

competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that
there could ever be

a time when "the Big Three" referred to Japanese car companies?

How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do
about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying
down the debt,

or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem.
The silence is deafening.

But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and
milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on
your asses and do nothing

and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our
greatness is being replaced

with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some
bobblehead on Fox News will

call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some
spine for a change?

Had Enough?

Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm
trying to light a fire.

I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America . In my
lifetime I've had

the privilege of living through some of America 's greatest moments.
I've also

experienced some of our worst crises: the Great Depression, World
War II, the Korean War,

the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis,
and the struggles of recent

years culminating with 9/11.

If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by
standing on the sidelines

waiting for somebody else to take action Whether it's building a
better car or building

a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's
the challenge I'm

raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me,
believe in America .

It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off
the horseshit

and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had enough."

Excerpted from Where Have All the Leaders Gone?.

Copyright C-2007 by Lee Iacocca. All rights reserved.

(I'm posting without permission but the message is good and should go out.)

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