It is well known, by now, that our sitting President took to the microphone recently, presuming to speak on behalf of all of the American people to argue that our challenges in dealing with the perpetrators of modern-day forms of crimes against innocent civilians is little-different than similar acts throughout the history of mankind wherever there has been a struggle for religious or ideological supremacy. With the caterwauling now raging under a full head of steam, I leave it to the countless authors and experts out there on the inter-tubes to defend or lament the content of his observations on matters such as these, but it brings to light a more obvious and fundamental problem: when the few speak for the many, we are collectively forced to share the cost and repercussions of their poorly worded and ineptly expressed folly.
One man, trained and highly skilled in the field of reciting the ghost words of others… himself struggling every day to develop and perfect how he will be remembered in the annals of history and what will become of his legacy… was able to take it upon himself to speak for all of us about matters far beyond his personal scope of understanding or intellectual depth or credibility, and serving no greater purpose than to ultimately further malign the view of the American people in the minds of those who are are already predisposed to harbor a negative view of us as a collective “people”.
The truth is, sadly, that we have no one else but ourselves to blame for what has happened here; when our people choose their leaders based on anything other than their experience, proven ability, and desire to do right by the people they were elected to humbly serve in good faith and humility and fidelity to their oath of office, nothing more is gained then one or more terms of self service and personal aggrandizement.
Rather than having seized on the opportunity to engage the rest of the planet in a dialogue about the ways in which we might come together to face a common enemy and solve our problems together rather than magnifying them, the so-called leader of the free world (and a duly elected holder of the Nobel Peace Prize), he has only furthered the cause of global fear, acrimony, and mistrust among the 7+ billion of us out here that have to live with each other every day.
There is an old saying, credited to the Batekes of Congo, that goes something like this:
“Words are like water: once poured on the ground, you can’t take it back.”
Interestingly, I came by this quote accidentally… while looking for something else… but the irony was not lost on me when I read the accompanying snippet from an article back in 2006 in which Presidential candidate John McCain and Presidential candidate Barack Obama were being discussed in the context of the state of the economy at that time. In it, the statement was made that then-Presidential hopeful, Barack Obama should “pick carefully his words about this complex bailout bill”… advice he clearly ignored all those years ago, and continues-now-to ignore in matters of even greater import.
In most cultures, and most certainly in the American culture, it matters far more what you do then what you say and in matters of the human race cohabitating on the planet… nothing matters more than our daily struggle to survive. It is incumbent upon our culture, and every other, that we don’t allow our leaders to lead us over the cliff and in to the abysss of our own destruction.
Maybe even more than that, it is incumbent upon all of us that we choose our leaders with a little bit more in mind than just how pretty they talk or how nice they look; to do otherwise is a potentially fatal proposition.