Speaking Truth To Power......
Speaking truth to power is a maxim of the Quakers.....one of moral requirements of a world citizen. Speaking truth to power requires clarity of vision, courage to act, and a willingness to accept the consequences of pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes.
The flip side of STTP is Listening to Truth From Power......
This week we have been working around the Cypress Point Seniors golf tournament. Folks fly in from all over to play in a four day tournament. It is nice, because it is men and women....not just the boys like the ATT in February.
The Seniors must be the single most expensive golf tournament in the world.....in terms of lost time and pay for the players. What is the average hourly rate for a board member of Home Depot, or ATT, or J.P. Morgan?
The first early morning phone call I heard one side of was: "What kind of money are we talking here, Johnny? I mean eight figures? Ten figures?"
For those of you unfamiliar with Cypress Point....it is most probably the most exclusive golf club in the world. One of my favorite clients and members once described his clubmates: "Michael, we are Black Republicans here. Not for the color of our skins......but the color of our hearts!"
I am just flipping eggs this week, but I am all ears. The groups are small and therefore more inclined to talk to the help. The first thing I heard when I reported for duty on Monday morning was: "I've been reading the blog....and I sent it to all my friends....."
Oh, shit. Do I just get right back in the car and go home?
No......it is all good, it turns out.
Despite the horrid press about overblown CEO salaries, what these guys do for themselves and us is manage things. Manage people, manage money, manage production of stuff and services. Believe me, very few of them are any happier with George Bush than I am. From a basic managerial standpoint the guy is a disaster and an embarrassment. He would have been fired or farmed out long ago by any decent modern corporation. I mean, really......Yale is an hour by train from New York City. Why did George Bush have to go all the way to Texas to find a job when he graduated? (Oh, shit.....maybe these guys did farm him out to a meaningless job!) Anyway, as practical, solution-oriented individuals.....these guys are looking around for a solution. McCain is not looking good. So......
There are Obama people lurking around the links at Cypress Point. I heard lots of admiration for the way Barack has managed his campaign....for his organization. Wow. High praise, however grudgingly given.
Didn't hear much about Hillary. Actually.....nothing at all.
Anyway, the part of the blog that folks were talking about was Phil Butler's letter about John McCain. Rare discretion on my part forbids me from naming names but this is what I gleaned from the back chatter.
The surviving POW's all have pretty good jobs. These guys were our best and brightest. (Like the French at Crecy and Agincourt, we gird up our best and brightest in armor and send them off to be killed by peasants fighting a new kind of war....over and over again.) Unlike the run-of-the-mill G.I., the ex-POW's PTSD angst seems to be vented in board rooms and golf courses.....not in bars and under bridges, gathered around fires in oil drums. After all, they were almost all West Point, Annapolis or Air Force Academy grads to begin with, and their experience in Hanoi does not seem to have dulled their skills or competitive drive. So, my early morning egg guys know many of the other POW's than McCain.
The consensus is that Phil Butler is right on the money.....and possibly even too kind. No one knows any former POW who is supporting McCain. No one will say why.....it is a very tight lipped fraternity......but something happened in those years in Hanoi with John McCain that cost him the ultimate trust of his brother prisoners.
All of them.
Now that is scary.
I don't suppose the Mainstream Media will be adopting any Quaker principles anytime soon.....which is even scarier.