Chapter 2: Leadership Heroes and Role Models Companion of Merit Recognition National Military Academies

I. Leadership Soldiers watch what their leaders do . . . if you want them to look good, you’ve got to look perfect. If you want them to work hard and endure hardship, you must work even harder and endure even greater hardship. They must see you sacrifice for them. ---Colin Powell But will they come when you call for them? –––William Shakespeare. If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. — Matthew 15:14 Although responsibility is necessary, it is not sufficient on its own. What this country needs now are more leaders and fewer politicians. We desperately need leaders like the founding fathers who valued freedom for its own sake and valued it sufficiently to make the sacrifices as so many did (loss of life, loss of their homes) in their fight for freedom. We need leaders who will act without blatant self-interest. We need leaders who will accept unflinchingly the responsibility given to them. As the old sailor’s adage says “it is lonely on the watch.” As Dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos may have been hated and took advantage of his role but he understood the loneliness and responsibility inherent in his position: “Leadership is the other side of the coin of loneliness, and he who is a leader must always act alone. And acting alone, accept everything alone”. President Clinton is the antithesis of a leader; he is hesitant to commit any act that may upset some group; he follows the polls if the polls say the people want clean air, so will he. He is not lonely but neither is he a leader. He follows the prevailing wind of the moment. Many of us are willing to accept the responsibility needed desperately so as to take back our country and to move it away from dependence and eventual bondage. However, to have a true leader encouraging us in this so desperately needed endeavor, may not ensure success, it will go a long ways towards providing success. The public itself, the 270 million Americans, cannot effectively govern the republic. It is through the selection of leaders that it can influence events and the course of history. Moral leadership, having trust of the people who are ones’ leaders, is critical. And the only way we can do it is by trusting in our political leaders and the only we can get political leaders that we trust is to get an apathetic citizenry to become more aware and more interested in the government, a more alert citizenry. This would result in a more serving leadership. If our leaders are trustworthy servants of the people instead of having people serve them, life will be much easier. However if they have many qualifications and ability but are self-serving and insecure, decisions made will not be as good. What is a good leader? What is leadership? How should the United States revise its current system to insure the production and selection of adequate leaders? America must determine whether it will be run by an establishment--an elite group of decision-makers who act in the best interests of the country, confident that they will ultimate prosper in a prosperous country or by an oligarchy, an insecure elite group that always acts in its immediate self-interest. Japan has an establishment in its bureaucracy (elite civil servants who keep the country on track regardless of what the politicians do) while most of Latin America is led by oligarchies who tend to stash funds in Swiss Bank accounts. The existence of an establishment in America depends upon having a President who is willing to lead. Jimmy Carter tried a wake-up call for sacrifice and realistic expectations in his now infamous ‘national malaise’ speech. It was a disaster which ended in his defeat for reelection in 1980. However, self-interest will always result. Both the aristocracy and socialists share a faith in centralized rule, in rule by command rather than voluntary cooperation, they differ in who should rule. Both proclaim, sincerely, that they wish to promote the well-being of the general public, that they know what is in the public interest and how to attain it better than the ordinary person, thus a paternalistic philosophy. They end up, however, promoting the interests of their own class in the name of the general welfare. Rule by the elite will more often than not end up in promoting the self-interest of the elite in the name of society as a whole. Leadership works by reciprocally engaging two wills, one leading (often in disguised ways), the other following (often while resisting). Leadership is always a struggle, often a feud. Why should one person do another’s will? Two former presidents understood clearly the dilemma. Eisenhower defined leadership as “ The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Harry Truman, said leadership “ is the ability to get men to do what they don’t want to do and like it.” In the past, the answer was simple, the leader was superior to whom inferiors submit (parent-child). It is rare in history to have leaders such as Churchill, Lincoln, Washington who are superior and which the populace blindly faithfully follow the leader’s dictates. In these rare instances, the leader is worthy to be followed and the masses do so willingly. In this view of leadership, a man should be above the pressures of the multitude telling people uncomfortable truths. These leaders are the ones we most desire; they are also the ones that are far and few between, that seem to rise to the occasion when history most demands their presence, in times of crisis and survival. For not every president is a leader, but every time we elect a president we hope for one, especially in times of doubt and crisis. Leadership is as much a question of timing as anything else. The leader must appear on the scene at a moment when people are looking for leadership--Churchill in 1940, Roosevelt in 1933, Lenin in 1917. He must offer a simple eloquent message. Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everyone can understand and remember. Churchill warned the British to expect “blood, toil, tears and sweat.” FDR told Americans “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Ronald Reagan in his own way cut through the technical jargon and presented the options (and his beliefs) in a simple, understandable way that generated confidence among the public and allowed the Reagan years to be the longest sustained economic boom in modern history. Leaders must not necessarily be tall but larger than life. Commanding features, Ike’s grin; a trademark such as Lincoln’s stovepipe hat. We expect our leaders to stand out a little, not to be like ordinary men. A leader should also be able to do something most of us can; we don't want our leaders to be just like us, but better, special, more so. But not too different. Adlai Stevenson was too intellectual and usually came across to the American people as a leader they could neither understand nor follow. The list of a leader’s requisites includes determination, focus, a clear goal and a sense of priorities. The first and all-encompassing need, however, is for followers. The leader needs to understand followers far more than they need to understand him. A good leader must know what is appealing to followers and what risks losing that appeal. This is the time consuming aspect of leadership. It explains why great thinkers and artists are rarely leaders of others, as opposed to influences on them. The scientist absorbed in the solution to a problem does not have the energy or patience to understand the needs of a number of other people who might be marshaled to deal with the problem. The great scientist does not tailor his view to whatever audience he hopes to influence. Businessmen, likewise, generally make poor leaders. They tend to be pragmatists who think that once you've explained why something makes sense, people will do it. When times get tough, the people don’t want to be told what went wrong, lectured, given a lot of complicated statistics and plans they don’t understand. The public wants to be moved, excited, inspired, consoled, uplifted and led. Leaders can be selfless in their very selfishness—they must see things as the followers see them in order to recruit those followers. If the followers get marshaled toward action by a leader, the leader need not be loved or admired. In a democracy, the leader does not pronounce God’s will to the people but carries out what is decided by the people. Does this mean the leader is actually a follower? Does this mean the modern American leader is one who bases what he or she does by what the community says when it speaks through elections, polls, constituent pressures? Such leaders cannot displease their followers. But they fail to lead as well. Winston Churchill said in 1941 before the House of Commons, “ I see that a speaker at the weekend said that this was a time when leaders should keep their ears to the ground. All I can say is that the British nation will find it very hard to look up to leaders who are detected in that somewhat ungainly posture.” Policymakers bear the responsibility of setting agendas. If the leader is just an expediter of what other people want, a resource for their use, the people are not being led but serviced. The story goes about the 'leader’ who was running down the street. Someone asked where he was going. He said, “There go my troops and since I am their leader I must get in front of them.” Oftentimes one will see a flock of birds in the typical ‘V’ formation with the leader at the tip; periodically, the flock will go a different direction and the leader will have to hurry back to claim his position at the front. President Clinton routinely has been holding focus groups to find out what the people want to hear and in his next speech, he tells them what they want to hear. Is that leadership? Telling the populace what they want to hear because they told you that is what they are interested in, is not necessarily leadership. Similarly, charisma is not leadership. The four giant charismatic leaders of the twentieth century have been Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, and Mao, not exactly role models that modern Americans would have in their leaders. Charisma creates arrogance, a belief that charm alone will win the day. Yet, without a program charisma is ineffectual, one only has to look at Bill Clinton. Charm might win over voters; but it is an ineffective means of projecting power; for charm without credibility, threats without action, cannot convince Serbia to stop fighting in Bosnia nor a Somalian generalissimo to yield to UN authorities. We have had leaders that were not charismatic and capable and we have had leaders that are charismatic and not capable. Elected political office typically doesn’t necessarily give us leaders but those that can sustain themselves. We must have people in high places who have the ability wear well. We have a lot of good campaigners that are poor leaders. The United States in the selection of their leaders seem to judge people by the way they campaign and by what they say and how they look without really knowing what they have really done nor in most instances caring. It often is how they say it and not what they say or do that makes the difference. Neither, charisma with political substance nor charisma without it are needed or desired in one’s leaders. A salesman may be said to have charisma, but would we want him as our leader? Too many of our leaders are but charismatic salesmen not with solid leadership but with thoughts built on sand, ever-changing, never permanent, always porous, never solid. Competent leaders are preferable; Harry Truman had little charisma nor the physical attributes of a John Kennedy; he was merely extremely competent. Instead of charisma, vision, faith, duty, willingness to work hard, morality, seek best advice are the desired characteristics in one’s leaders. Modern America seems to have too many leaders that aren’t leaders, politicians who are merely campaigners; we can’t seem to separate the difference between a perennial campaigner and a leader and there is a substantial significant difference. Leaders must be able to: 1) devise and articulate a vision; Followers respond to it. 2) organize and plan and set a strategy for achieving it; Followers get sorted out to fit the plan. 3) build a network of people who agree with and can help to accomplish the vision. and 4) motivate those people and others to work hard to realize the vision. Leaders have willpower. Followers let that will replace their own. Followers, though, have a say in what they are being led to. A leader which neglects that fact soon finds himself without followers. One does not trumpet one’s own certitudes; one must sound a specific call to specific people capable of response. Leadership is conditioned entirely by the attitudes of contemporary followership. A leader must know how to use power (that is what leadership is about) but he also has to have a way of showing that he does. He must project firmness. Power is the capability of achieving one’s objectives by one’s mere presence. A Chinese proverb says that a leader must have the grace of a good dancer. A leader should know how to appear relaxed and confident. His walk should be firm and purpose. A sign of weakness is to the populace the same as it is to a pack of dogs, an open invitation to be ripped to pieces. People can only be led where they want to go. The leader follows, a step ahead. A leader rides the waves, moves with the tides, understands the deepest yearnings of his people. He cannot make a nation that wants peace at any price go to war or stop a nation determined to fight from doing so. His purpose must match the national mood. His task is to focus the people’s energies and desires, to define them in simple terms, to inspire, to make what people already want seem attainable, important, within their grasp. He must dignify our desires, convince us that we are taking part in the making of great history, giving us a sense of glory about ourselves. A great leader must have a stubborn refusal to face facts, infectious optimism, the ability to convince us that all is not lost even when we are afraid it is. The leader is alike a mirror, reflecting back onto us our own sense of purpose, putting into words our own dreams and hopes, transforming our needs and fears into coherent policies and programs, Today’s citizen is demand more from the government, more service, and a fair return for the taxpayer’s money. In essence, the modern citizen is demanding better leadership. The classical definition of Leadership comes from James MacGregor Burns: ”Leadership over other human beings is exercised when persons with certain motives and purposes mobilize, in competition or conflict with others, institutional, political, psychological, and other resources so as to arouse, engage and satisfy the motives of followers.” A leader is one who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by both leader and followers, one whom takes others toward the object of their joint quest. The different types of leaders can be distinguished more by their goals than by the personality of the leader. The difference between an administrator and a leader is that an administrator does things right while a leader does the right things. Leaders, followers, and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership. The goal must be shared no matter how many other motives are present that are not shared. People follow when they are convinced they are doing what is right. To have great leaders you must have great followers; A corrupt people is not responsive to virtuous leadership. Great leadership is not a zero-sum game. What is given to the leader is not taken from the follower; both get by giving. Leadership is the responsibility to direct the actions of others in carrying out the purposes of the organization, at varying levels of authority and with accountability for both successes and failures. The power of the American presidency as a leader is only what one makes of that office which creates real followers. Characteristics for leaders and leadership include: empathy, appreciation for an understanding of the values of others, a sensitivity for other cultures, beliefs and traditions; Decisiveness, knowing when to act and when not to act, taking into account all facts bearing on the situation and then accepting the responsibility; proper timing of recommendations and actions; a Desire and competitiveness to win, not necessarily all the time but the important occasions; a feeling of assurance and self confidence, which must be signaled through to one’s followers, otherwise they will not have confidence in you; one must have Accountability for personal actions and those of subordinates. A true leader never lays the blame on others for what they themselves achieve or fail to accomplish. Leaders are credible, their actions and words must be believable to both friend and foe; Leaders lacking in credibility will not gain proper influence. Leaders must possess dependability to carry out the roles and responsibilities asked of him. A leader must have a caretaker or stewardship quality, serving in a manner that encourages confidence, trust and loyalty. Subordinates are not to be abused, they are to be guided, developed and rewarded for their performance. Leaders are caretakers of the interests and well being of those and the purposes they serve. Committed leaders, those with a lust for leadership, a willingness to serve, will be distinguishable by their wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, authority, and courage, human quality, and strong commitment to their cause and to that of those they serve. Leaders must have resilience to overcome personal misfortunes, discouragement, rejection and disappointment. They must have the courage and creativity and stamina to focus on accomplishing their responsibilities through the directed, delegated efforts of subordinates. Success of a leader often depends on their sustained willingness to work hard. Leaders are committed to persevere in the face of opposition and challenge. They always accept the responsibility and privilege of their office seriously. Never exercise your authority to the disadvantage of your subordinates. A leader’s reputation is golden. A leader does not expect to be liked by everyone, or have everyone agree with you. Do not consider all opponents to be enemies. Do not try to conform everyone’s behavior. Do Not micromanage. Not underestimate the power of an enemy. Leaders are responsible for establishing the atmosphere in which they lead. They must create a state of mutual trust among subordinates and with peers. They value high standards of performance while at the same time encouraging creativity, freedom of action and innovation among their subordinates so long as these efforts are consistent with the goals. Leaders must provide direction, never misuse power, encourage competition but within limits, never shed the cloak of honor, morality or dignity, must accept full decision making responsibility, have prompt determination after appropriate deliberation and act in favor of the common good, examining the benefits which outweigh the risks and costs of the decision. Self confidence is critical to decisiveness. Delegation--both what should be and what should not be are critical. Grant both authority and responsibility to those delegated. Leaders must maintain their confidence, ambition and determination. Leadership is also a matter of trust. You can not say, it is okay for this person to be our leader but, on the side he can do what ever he almost likes because this is not part of his government function. You cannot separate the man’s character from his achievements. If a man doesn’t have character than the public can’t trust him. The key to leadership is Trust. Trust is the whole man, his private as well as public side. Trust evolves from his entire life, not just from his present office. If a man can not stand across the whole spectrum of his character whether it is private or public, his trust is conditional and we don’t want conditional leaders, we want permanent ones. A person can be trusted or he can’t be trusted. And we must have trustworthy leaders. How do we secure proper leadership for the United States. If we can presume that the modern leaders are our politicians, the President, Congress, Governors, then most of the country has little faith in our leaders. It is not too presumptive to say that we have chosen poor set of leaders and we need to revise the way we choose leaders in order to have proper leadership. As we desire more serving political leaders, the ultimate goal is to have political leadership which is the most respected profession in the United States. Today, politicians are, for good reasons, mistrusted. What we want to do is create an atmosphere in our leaders by selecting the right people. Our aim is to make politicians trusted as civil servants, highest respected professions, and the best and most qualified people would want to serve. If the public trusts its elected officers, those officers are going to be to accomplish much more with the public’s acquiescence than previously. We need to select leaders that America can be proud of, that Americans can look up towards and model after, not the current ones that we so often make fun of (often rightfully) in Congress or in the Executive Branch. For a country to be successful one hundred years from now the political profession should be one of the most greatly admired. If we can not develop a system providing leadership to the point of that we can admire and trust them, we will never have a government that can be bettered. Two items must be accomplished: a better means of selecting leaders and a more responsive government so the leaders chosen once there can act in their elected role as leaders. Currently, the scenario often takes place where an idealist runs for Congress with a set of beliefs that are commendable that he wants to accomplish when he gets there. He works hard on his campaign and gets elected since the public seems to agree with him. Once there, the system either grinds him up and out, or he gets locked into the seniority system and the perks offered, the power provided, the ominous pull of the interest groups (see Chapter 3), and he gets lost in the office and eventually part of the system he in the beginning was to fight. In this case, we perhaps selected the correct leader but the system defeated him. Therefore, both the selection process and the system needs to be revised in order to have any meaningful long term result. It is our desire to offer the best qualified leadership for this country, to encourage people to run for elected office because it is their civic obligations, not for self-interest purposes. People should be proud encouraged to run for elective offices, not to be politicians but to be civic leaders, a significant difference in perception. This means that the system has to be revised to provide earned respect for our elected officials which will draw the best and brightest to government, as a means of serving his fellow man and not one demanding power and self interest. And hence, better government will result which will only provide more incentives for others. With the intense media scrutiny, the stressful political environment, the crisis-of-the-moment mindframe which tends to occupy the land and the ever-increasing reliance on polls, will we ever again have such leaders as we had in the first two hundred years of the republic? In 1888 Lord Bryce wrote his famous essay about American politics entitled “Why Great Men Are Not Elected President.” Over the next sixty years, Americans then preceded to elect Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman. Not a bad track record then. Hope still exists today. III. Heroes, Role Models, and Attitudes Civilization in those periods of history in which freedom has been permitted, in which divergence and difference have been tolerated, has shown greatness. Civilization is expressed when the teacher is honored more than the slaughterer, the physicist more than the boxer, the poet more than the football player. The work of the boxer, the football player, the bullfighter, however valued, cannot deserve civilization’s highest praises. When the situation reverses, when the basketball player is hero and the scientist a no-name, the decline of civilization approaches. That is the situation we find ourselves in today. O.J. Simpson, the Heisman award winning, Hall of Fame Football ‘Hero’ was put on trial being suspected of murdering his ex-wife and her male friend during June 1994. Despite past occurrences of wife beating, a known violent temper, and the now legendary chase down Los Angeles’ Freeways, many wrote and called the media, asking that the state quit ‘persecuting’ their hero. Being black, racism was automatically called into play. The thought that he may have been guilty obviously did not enter into the equation. Is this the type of role model we want for our children? Too many black urban students are taught that doing well in school only leads to being called ‘goodies’, ‘nerds’, “trying to be white, get ahead in the white man’s world, being disrespectful to the rest of us.” To be openly smart makes one a target. “The best way to avoid trouble is never do well on tests.” In assemblies to honor top students, few voluntarily show up and endure the sneers of classmates. The gang members and bullies who run such schools are destroying the kids who want to improve themselves. The heroes are the gang members and bullies who run the schools, not the students who work hard at excelling in unbearable conditions. Are those the type of role models we want? Wilt Chamberlein bragged about having sex with over 20,000 different women; Magic Johnson was treated as a hero when he announced he was HIV positive. Are these the types of American ‘role models’ we want our youth to emulate? Real heroism apparently does not sell many newspapers or command media attention or TV ratings. Ask young Americans to tell you their heroes; most will name sports figures, Hollywood actors, or music stars. Only 3420 Medals of Honor have been awarded in the last 150 years. These are true heroes. Past generations learned about patriots and heroes and modeled their life after them. Not the current youth. Most American youth want it all but don’t want the responsibility or want to pay the price for the freedoms given. Many kids don’t respect the flag, work hard, or know the heroes and patriots of the past. A nation that does not honor its heroes and prays at the altar of superficiality will follow down the path of Rome. Attitudes should be to encourage following standards of true heroes and patriots rather than plastic selfish impostors. If you are to examine any school in the country, what does that school consider achievement? Who are the heroes in that school? What are the types of students that are admired and looked up towards? Chances are the top student in high school anyone can remember or for those present will be the football star. The smart kid, the future scientist or engineer, what do people think of him? He is a nerd, he is bullied, he is laughed at. The smart kids in class, instead of being emulated and supported are pressured not to preform because it makes all the other kids look bad and raises the curve. Is that what we want? Don’t we want our kids to succeed? Don’t we want our kids to be ambitious? Now whose fault is that? Education people say it is the public’s but are the education people properly moving the public in the right direction? Many High School principals are former athletic coaches. Even if the superintendents are for education but if they emphasize entertainment, popularity, athletics, that is not the purpose of education. A school is not set up for athletic purposes, to field winning sports team with education as a mere secondary function which provides legitimatizing the sports function of the school. This is not what we want, not the priorities which we should have. If we are to have a world class education system, one that not only every American is able to be proud of but one that everyone in the entire world envies, we must change the priorities from athletics to academics. One potential alternative and a very simple procedure would be for the principals of all High School in the United States to announce that they are going to emphasize education saying it is not enough what you want to do is accept it. To do this, one way would be to start publicizing the kids that do well, let the world know when they have made honor roles. Right now, nobody hears about them or cares about them or anything else. National Honor Society who knows about it. Make it a big deal. Encourage the local paper to have a scholar page as well as sports page. Have banquets for national honor society, school wide induction ceremonies. Provide them with sweaters and jackets as well as sports figures. Instead of having school pep rallies only for the football team, have a pep rally for the scholar bowl team as well. The trick is to make the kids down in the school realize what is important is getting good grades and achieving. Instead of beating up on nerds, the tide will turn when the nerds are befriended and asked to join in. When the head cheerleader starts to date the president of the debate team instead of the football star, that is when we will have accomplished something. We generously grade them on their abilities and then we emphasize those. In other words, the education system is fostering our society’s encouraging of athletes and entertainers to be the role models for our children. Do we really want a Magic Johnson or a Michael Jackson to be the role model for our children? And the school system is doing this just as much as anybody else by the athletic programs they sponsor and by the entertainment they sponsor. How about the kids that are on the Debating Team or Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) why shouldn’t they have as much publicity? Why aren’t they as respected as much? And why are these clubs and their members not given their proper position the educational system. The educators can change it around gradually make it popular for the kids to look up to a kid that just won in a debate on the Debating Team. The schools have the control and can make the changes if they so desire. The families are another part of it. Community, Schools, Standards of what is important and the fact that the kids are looking up to Drug Dealers, Basketball Players, more than they look up to another kids on the block who happens to be a good scholar. The school is to blame, the family is to blame. Both need to begin to make changes. We need not just a High School education but an education in High School that students can apply to the real world.The motivation to learn is a key to education. If you put a student in there you can force anybody to learn. You have to develop an attitude of desire to learn. To do that you have to create a certain maturity of certain experiences and certainly this type of program we feel will give them that. The education system we want to emphasize scholarship. The Goals 2000 program should do this. One is to create an attitude or role models which the student is going to follow and improve the importance of scholarship money versus athletic and entertainment and so on. When a school spends more on a football or basketball stadium than on the science department, the priorities are not right. Spending on football to the detriment of the science labs must be stopped. There has to be the proper balance and the balance should be towards education and scholarships should be more readily recognized rewarded and admired. Role models should be people that achieve in the field of advancing civilization. This is not an expensive proposition; it is simply an attitude adjustment that needs to happen. If some of our leaders would start a system, implement it correctly, reward it properly, the public would eventually accept it, believe in it, and become fanatic for it. III. National Academy: Companions of Merit In the great mass of our people there are plenty individuals of intelligence from among whom leadership can be recruited. — Herbert Hoover Behold, my son, with how little wisdom, the world is governed. Axel Oxenstiern One alternative which would encourage development and provide sources for selection of leaders is to establish a ‘national academy’ chartered by the American government to annually publicly honor American citizens who perform outstanding service to the country and humanity. Honorees would become life members of the academy. Initial membership would be selected by a committee appointed by the President, subsequent membership would be chosen by the academy members themselves. Annually the new honorees would be recognized at a ball held in Washington, to be designated the most important national social event of the year, chaired by the President. The event would receive the widest news media coverage and should more than rival in importance and prestige the Queen’s Honors List and the Nobel Prizes. Each honoree would receive a medal on a chain as a member of the august academy and the title of “Companion of Merit” with the privilege of adding ‘C.M.’ after his/her name. The people go back to their homes and they have behind their names, CM. If you see CM behind a name you know it is like the Legion of Honor in France. The British has their titles after their names. This means that that person has accomplished something. Eventually the CM would carry a greater distinction than any other honor this country has to give, and also, receive world recognition. Foreign nations could also be honored and receive associate membership (non-participating, non-voting). Regular members would become associate members upon reaching a prescribed age or when unable or unwilling to serve as active members. The academy’s functions would include, but not be limited to: 1) annually selection of new members; 2) advising the President in their professional capacity as a corporate body, and 3) acting as centers of influence in their local areas for local or national civic or political improvements. If properly established, administered, and nurtured, the academy could be an unprecedented positive force for good, both as a corporate body and as individuals, inspiring millions of Americans, young, old, present, and future. The academy would be an instrument for the recognition of genuine heroes and to the young, worthwhile people to emulate and respect, to role model after. The news media could feature the honorees and their accomplishments, thus reducing space and time currently allocated to sordid and sensational subjects and to the glorification of pseudo-heroes, filling the present vacuum. The entire fabric of American life could then be lifted. The Medal of Freedom, currently awarded by the American government, falls somewhat short of this proposed program. The current problem with such a system is the American public does not really know who the real achievers are. If three names were proposed, very little is typically known of these achievers except by those within their particular domain. How does one judge their accomplishments? One of the major reasons to have such an award system is to provide the nation with another pool of people from which to choose their leaders. As has had been indicated in the previous section, current politicians are extroverts, typically charismatic who can talk a good talk and campaign a good campaign. The real achievers may not want their private life completely investigated as is typical for a campaign. The real achievers that will compose the academy are not always extroverts and charismatic, against such natural politicians, their chances for winning are nought to none. Our system, therefore, provides disincentives for potential leaders and provides incentives for charismatic campaigners, exactly the opposite of what we really should desire. By having such an academy, by publicizing the members, by providing the members with a public role such as advising the president, this should provide sufficient public exposure to the academy members so as to become widely known. Their leadership potential would also be reflected in their academy offices and achievements. Thus, the academy would hopefully, even the odds in the political process and perhaps assist with the selection of leaders that we are so desperately in need of. To get the Companion of Merit awards and the academy of members started it becomes necessary for the President of the United States to very carefully select a group of Electors, people who are going to elect the initial Companions of Merit. These would be a blue-ribbon panel of academics, business persons, and renown artists. The Congress of the United States and the Senate should approve the initial electors in the way they do now of Senior Cabinet Officers. Perhaps 30-40 nationally recognized achievers would be selected as a cabinet-level quasi-public task force to select a cadre of leadership of people in our country who have really accomplished something. These award winners should be people with integrity and who have demonstrated leadership and demonstrated achievement. The academy will have people in Business, Law, Academics, and Public Life. The academy should be limited to perhaps, 200 to 250 members, limits like the French do in the Immortals. These people will then be selected, voted upon, by the initial group of electors. The electors will dissolve after five years when the initial membership of the academy has obtained sufficient critical mass, afterwards they will perpetuate themselves. Members of the academy will meet once a year to select a number of new members. These new members will be limited to replacement (as current members die or retire) with no more than 25 new members a year. One possible suggestion is as people reach 75 years old they become Associate Members with advisory but no voting authority. The academy should provide the United States with a braintrust. The President should be able to call upon this group occasionally to meet for and ask for their advice on certain problems an situations. For governmental planning purposes, members can also be called upon to serve on national committees. To prevent the academy from becoming a bureaucracy, members will meet no more than twice a year for no longer than a week at a time. Honorariums will be provided to cover costs of serving as a member and traveling and per diem expenses will be provided for the semiannual meeting. To prevent a Beltway mentality, meetings will be rotated throughout the United States. Activity within the D.C. area will be limited to the annual ball and festivities to swear in newly elected members. No permanent board will be established to conduct the affairs of the academy; members themselves will do this. Another purpose of the academy and the merit award winners is to provide the nation with respectable heroes and role models for America’s youth to emulate. Hopefully the newspapers, media will pick up on this. Perhaps each CM’s biography will be produced and aired on PBS or A&E as they become members. The national press will be provided with their life’s accomplishments and why it is so important. The people may be interviewed by the media. A CM perhaps will be used by the local community as a source of knowledge and expertise, whose opinions would be widely respected. By a CM recommending a particular candidate, the public will say if this person thinks he is pretty good maybe he is good maybe it won’t be a perfect choice but it probably will be better than just picking a person who you have never heard of. Instead of naming public buildings for politicians, local CMs can now get public works named after them. Instead of politicians, perhaps CMs will be asked to speak to the Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis. It is our hope that selection of CMs will be carried out in a non-partisian method with accomplishment as its only criteria for selection. In addition, the CMs, after their election to the academy, may be encouraged to run for elected office. From this group we would have a better class of potential leaders. This system should be much better than the current haphazard system for running for public office. From this group also can come our future heroes, role models for the next generation. Changes in role models through encouragement of academics and the empowering of the national academy are hoped to change the dangerous moral dilemma we find ourself in today. IV. National Military Academies A last thought on the question of leadership deals with the future of National Military Academies. We don’t believe the Academies are serving their original purposes anymore. Soldiers and sailors who did not go to the academy (like Powell) are more than able to become Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Officers come from any of three sources: the formal academy, from ROTC at the college campuses, or from officer training school provided by the military itself. Is there any difference between the caliber of leadership provided by Academy graduates and those who earned their commissions by other paths? The Academy graduate may be the more prepared graduate but by the time of first or second promotion, no difference exists. Who would you rather have your son lead by? During wartime, the ninety day wonders, officers with little or no prior experience, do not typically fare as well as those who have won their commissions from battlefield promotions. You are likely to be encouraged by the knowledge the leader has been there and been through what you have done, rather than the fact that he may be smarter than you. The military spends approximately one-quarter of a million dollars per academy graduate. Are they getting their moneys worth? Our belief is no. There is another, more effective, easier, inexpensive method. The entire purpose of an academy is to train your military officers to do their jobs properly; you don’t need the academy for that. Natural leaders and preferred individuals will easily show up during the two years of active duty that those that choose military service as their national service must serve. It would be the job of their commanding officers to encourage the best to go to college and take ROTC while getting one’s degree. The courses required from ROTC and the summer training programs will instill in individuals military history and doctrine comparable to anything which would have been taught at the academies. Afterwards, the best of the best graduating from ROTC could be given regular commissions. You would receive just as good, if not better quality individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, who have had actual experience, then what would have graduated from the academies. What we do is offer them 4 years of college ROTC and then get our leadership that way which means we have already known from their 2 years experience, their capabilities for service and leadership. You go to the whole college population and pick out the ones that are obviously best leaders and motivate them to go ROTC in the long run you will have a much better quality of officers then you do from the academy selected group. One of the reasons the Israel Air Force is one of the top Air Forces in the world is because the Israelis are so security minded that they give every single person in Israel a chance to go for the Air Force. So what they do is they have a much broader spectrum of individuals to select their best from. Home Page Preface & Introduction Chapter 1: Responsibility Chapter 2: Leadership Chapter 3: Government Chapter 4: Congress Chapter 5: Regulations and Bureaucracy Chapter 6: Defense Chapter 7: International Affairs Chapter 8: Crime and Justice Chapter 9: Civil rights Chapter 10: Economic Chapter 11: Education Chapter 12: Health Chapter 13: Planning and National Goals Conclusions
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