THE EXPECTATIONS OF A PRESIDENT
by Andy Weddington
Friday, 31 May 2013
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president...is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt
As I reflect back on days in uniform I recall many a conversation, amongst Marines, that was void of real words - every sound was an acronym. And yet there was absolute clarity - no misunderstanding.
Outsiders were perplexed. Clueless.
Acronyms forever seared into my brain: SMEAC; SALUTE; DRAW-D; FOCPIG; BRASS; LOGO; CASREP; SITREP; CAX; MAU; MEU; VSTOL; ENDEX; SNAFU; BOHICA; and the list goes on. I'll not bore you with spelling them out, easy enough to Google.
And new acronyms continuously make their way into the jargon. Since retiring I've overheard some conversations, peppered with acronyms, between Marines and had no idea what they were talking about. So it is.
Acronyms help keep things simple. Acronyms are memorable.
Recently I wrote commentary about integrity and turned that word into an acronym with relevance to the Obama Administration. It was not an especially fun commentary to write but it was necessary. It was warranted criticism.
While exercising this morning the word 'president' keep circling in my thoughts.
What is a president?
What should a president be?
How about an acronym for president - one that would give people a clear picture of what our American president should be?
It took less than 30 minutes to define the acronym.
P : Patriot of the United States of America, first and foremost.
R : Respectful of all Americans; period.
E : Exemplary in word and deed, a gentleman (or woman).
S : Studious of history and current events (globally). Engaged.
I : Integrity beyond reproach.
D : Diplomat of the highest order in performance not title.
E : Endearing, genuinely.
N : Negotiator for the best interest of country not personal agenda.
T : Trustworthy.
PRESIDENT - simple - with easy to remember traits and qualities.
Does President Obama fulfill the acronym?
Does President Obama fulfill any element of the acronym?
It is neither naiveté nor idealism to expect such from anyone aspiring to and entrusted with the presidency of the United States of America.
None of our presidents, human all, have lived up to the ideals of the acronym "president" as so outlined. But some have done better than others. And, in fact, some have been an embarrassment - to self and country. But that, by no means, precludes the citizenry from demanding exceptional character and morality in their president. And if we don't demand such we'll never ever seat that person.
Accordingly, those who fail must be held accountable. Such is provided for in our Constitution. And presidents past have been held to task. Congress, do your duty! Citizenry, do your duty!
Excellence not demanded is never achieved. Why do you think U. S. Marines are an indisputable cut above?
Should not our president, our commander-in-chief, be a cut above the cut above?
I, without reservation, believe so. And I am not alone. Ask any veteran. Ask the families of any veteran - especially those injured, wounded, or killed in the line of duty. Ask any American who knows their history and the exorbitant sacrifices and costs required to build our country. Ask any American whose heart swells, throat tightens, and eyes water at the sight of our flag - that which Marines call colors.
It's not a diss but an over time observation - I don't believe Barack Obama understands America. At all. A president who does not understand country? How does that happen? How do Americans allow that to happen?
As to President Roosevelt's opening thought, criticism is healthy. Criticism is necessary. Criticism is the American way. And how fitting he, our 26th president, mentioned treason.
There's lots of turmoil, President Obama and his Administration at the hub, in America these days and the criticism, disturbingly, is not welcome. That's wrong. But pursuit of that criticism will sort things out. That's right. And a must.
I don't care what anybody, president or peon, says - the United States of America will never be just another country. Mediocrity may be in our lexicon but it's certainly not in our psyche, spirit, nor soul.
In a few years we get another chance to demand excellence in our president, and all who serve that person and us. It's worth a try. Actually, it's imperative we get it right.
Think PRESIDENT - for President.
The Obama Administration Defines Integrity