So went to see Spielberg's latest historical piece, Lincoln last night. An early scene when a couple of new recruits as well as veteran black soldiers are speaking with Honest Abe and repeating his words from the Gettysburg Address. His reaction is to move them along back to their companies and kind of laughs at the idea that they would have memorized his speech. The rest of the movie we see how Lincoln uses his position as Chief Executive to push through his agenda as well as his struggles on all fronts.
What I really got out of this was his concentration on the end game. He focused on a single large opportunity that he felt would move the country forward. Everything else was trivial. He totally bought into his belief and as the countries leader, felt that it was his obligation to move forward.
There are two Presidents who I remember in my lifetime who had to play similar roles. Reagan had his Supply-side trickle down economics. Coming out of a recession, putting those theories to work including tax reform, interest rates came down and the economy exploded. Using the increased revenue, Reagan outspent the USSR and watched the wall come crumbling down. Of course not everyone was able to rise up and participate, but that would be impossible to orchestrate from the White House.
George W. Bush came into office after the largest expansion of global growth since the Industrial Revolution. Things were getting soft and then the country was attacked. He had to put the economy to the side and focus his leadership on the War on Terror. We could let things stay soft at home, but to lose focus on the position of the US on the world stage, would have made thing worse over the long run. Mission Accomplished, was a bit premature, but as President, you have to move those chess pieces based on probability. That is the name of the game.
What will we be looking back on in 87 years from today? What moves are the leaders of our country making now to keep the United States a prosperous and strong world leader? If you want my two cents, well, they are not up to the challenge. Things may change, but Hope is not a strategy that has worked in the past, and probably won't in the future.
Thank you for letting me take a few seconds of your time today.