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Friday, April 13, 2007

Go Iacocca!

Lee Iacocca has a new book, Where Have All The Leaders Gone?. Check out this excerpt over at Borders (via Crooks and Liars - all empheses in original except where noted):
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!

[snip]

...You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

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.

(Good luck with that, Lee. Seriously.)
Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them—or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.

And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That's an intellectually lazy argument, and it's part of the reason we're in this stew.
We're not just a nation of factions. We're a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.[last emphasis mine]

He then goes on to series of paragraphs, expounding on these declarations:
A leader has to show CURIOSITY.
A leader has to be
CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to try something different.
A leader has to
COMMUNICATE.
A leader has to be a person of
CHARACTER.
A leader must have
COURAGE.
To be a leader you've got to have
CONVICTION—a fire in your belly.
A leader should have
CHARISMA.
A leader has to be
COMPETENT.
You can't be a leader if you don't have
COMMON SENSE.

Heh - well Mr. Bush, I guess 1 out of 9 ain't bad. Wait, yes it is. And CONVICTION is a gimme, since it matters what your convictions are. Escorting the world to the Apocalypse doesn't count.

Anyway (from this excerpt), this book, like his others, probably reads just like you'd think a CEO would read - a little stiff and patronizing when he serves his advice. But he does still have the megaphone, and at his advanced age it's good to see he's got his eye on the ball and ready and able to swing [what, the megaphone?]


Especially since we lost one America's greatest elders Tuesday, Kurt Vonnegut. I began reading his books in about the sixth grade (the sci-fi aspects of his stories grabbed my youthful attention), and there is no doubt in my mind that they helped form my own iconoclastic nature.

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