Monday, November 24, 2014

Defining and Defying Reality

A leader’s role is to define reality and to give hope.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), self-proclaimed emperor of France

Ken Chenault, CEO of Amex, the third African-American CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and Harvard Law School graduate, often quotes Napoleon’s maxim about leadership.

Chenault should pass on Napoleon’s advice to the White House.

President Obama is aggressively defining reality on his own terms. Without consulting or working with Congress, Obama has announced a climate deal with China, seeks to order more carbon-emission cuts , says he will close Guantanamo Bay, vows to veto any changes in health law mandates, raise the minimum wage for all Americans, and shield five million undocumented immigrants from deportation.

He is being petulant in defeat. He is creating a legacy that will be remembered for short-term gain, and long-term pain.

He is building a second term defined by unilateral action rather than bipartisan reality. He has struck a defiant tone about his powers to act on his own. He is inviting confrontation rather than compromising .

Exit polls after Obama’s midterm drubbing indicate compromise is what the public wants.

On ObamaCare, the Public wants the health law to be fixed and modified, not repealed. The citizenry wants the President to back off and deliver on his promises - keeping their doctors and health plans, expanding choice, lowering premiums, lowering overall costs, covering the uninsured and underinsured. He may have done the latter but not the former through massive redistribution of benefits.

In addition, the Public wants less government not more. They want economic growth, more hope for the middle class, more full-time job opportunities and less regulations, less meddling with small businesses, fewer health plan cancellations, more access to health plans and doctors of their liking.

More than anything else, they want more hope for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren.

They want a realistic, not a defiant, leader. They want a President, as defined by the Constitution, not an Emperor, as defined by Himself.

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