Posted by: Lazy Jack | October 6, 2010

Leadership?


One upon a time a man named Barack Obama came to prominence in the United States of America. He was elected to the highest executive office in the land. He was regarded as the greatest orator and leader in generations. The intelligentsia trumpeted these descriptions from every media outlet and political machine available. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace just because he was elected President. One would presume he should be studied, his words remembered and recorded, so that we can all learn from his example. A sampling of his words would presumably be enough to frame both his oratory skill and his leadership philosophy. Better still; a comparison of his words to other so-called leaders that preceded him would throw into stark relief his towering presence over the lesser lights of history.

I invite you to review such a sampling below. In selecting these quotations from the thousands of pages of words spoken or written by each individual, we tried to select those fairly reflective of the individual’s personal beliefs.  

What better place to start than with Barack Obama’s view on the people of the United States of America.

On the People:

It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Barack Obama

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.
Mohandas Gandhi

People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.
Frederick Douglass

You’ll be free or die!
Harriet Tubman

On Framing Difficult Choices to Make About the Future:

Issues are never simple. One thing I’m proud of is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues.
Barack Obama

If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.
Nelson Mandela

If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.
Margaret Thatcher

A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.
Mohandas Gandhi

On Commitment in Time of War:

Al Qaeda is still a threat. We cannot pretend somehow that because Barack Hussein Obama got elected as president, suddenly everything is going to be OK.
Barack Obama

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
John F. Kennedy

On Race:

We’ve got a tragic history when it comes to race in this country. We’ve got a lot of pent-up anger and bitterness and misunderstanding. … This country wants to move beyond these kinds of things.
Barack Obama

I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.
Nelson Mandela

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.
Nelson Mandela

On Government and the People:

I think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody.
Barack Obama

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Thomas Paine

Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
Ronald Reagan

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Ronald Reagan

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
John F. Kennedy

On Religion:

I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
Barack Obama

I’m a Christian by choice.
Barack Obama

I hope that no American will waste his franchise and throw away his vote by voting either for me or against me solely on account of my religious affiliation. It is not relevant.
John F. Kennedy

But for my faith in God, I should have been a raving maniac.
Mohandas Gandhi

On the Greatness of our Antecedents:

I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator.
Barack Obama

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.
John F. Kennedy

On Advancement:

We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.
Barack Obama

In a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.
John F. Kennedy

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.
John F. Kennedy

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
John F. Kennedy

On Politics:

Politics has never been for the thin-skinned or the faint-of-heart, and if you enter the arena, you should expect to get roughed up.
Barack Obama

I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.
Frederick Douglass

On Whining:

I found this national debt, doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office.
Barack Obama

Why can’t I just eat my waffle?
Barack Obama

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
John F. Kennedy

On Humility:

We are the ones we have been waiting for.
Barack Obama

Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.
John Madden

I prefer you draw your own conclusions from these words. For myself I am deeply saddened that we have forgotten so many great leaders,  their words, their sacrificses and their passions that we are unable to recognize a real one when we see it.

Lazy Jack

© Edward Hunter and Thanks for the Laughs, 2011

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Responses

  1. Well hello again. Great compilation of quotes. Kinda sad, though, to juxtapose the eloquence of the past with the garbage being said today.

  2. Well, they certainly had better speech writers but remember politicians rarely write their own words, or their own books


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