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I AGREE WITH ROBERT GATES

I agree with Robert Gates that these times call for the right kind of leader (The Kind of President We Need, The Washington Post” 12/3/15). However, we need to do more than to just elect the right kind of President in 2016 This is about more than party affiliation. This is about preserving our government for future generations. We all know the world has changed greatly since our Constitution was ratified 227 years ago. The fundamental principles are classic and still set the pace for how free people live. The problem is with all that has been “added” to the simple truths that we hold “self-evident”. The devil is in the details. How do we on a day-to-day basis run the federal government that assures our freedom – or loss there of?

Systems develop by design . . . or default. Our Founding Fathers designed a basic balance of power and tossed it into the future. Presidential leaders, such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, used their personal power of persuasion coupled with canny awareness of how to “steer the ship” through difficult times. An interesting panel of presidential biographers (Face the Nation: Web extra: Presidential book panel, 11/29/15) examined how some of our exceptional presidents shared commonalities on their motivation and the wisdom they used to get things done. However, someone should do a study of how presidents have worked to make the government “long enduring” by leading the abandonment of what was no longer needed, re-inventing what was no longer working and focusing on the system of the executive branch of the government and how effectively it functions.

I am not suggesting we do away with the basic premises established by our forefathers but rather re-examine over 200 years of piling on “barnacles” to the engine of how work is done. I hear presidential candidates, both Republican and Democrat, talking about “what needs to be done.” These suggestions in isolation do nothing to right the ship that is making many of us seasick. Weight is added to one side of the ship by one party - only to be counter balanced by adding something to the other side of the ship. Many of us are donning life jackets and jumping into hopeless disengagement.   As we are adrift in a system long in need of repair, the USA Ship is sinking under the weight   The abandoned ship, listing without the right captain and crew, creates a void that opportunistic power seekers can fill. The future of “we the people” is threatened.

How do we solve a systemic problem? We solve it with solutions that change how we do “the business of government.” In my experience whenever a change is suggested to the system, the harping gulls circle overhead squawking “that will never work”, “it’s never been done before”, “what a stupid idea!” They fear change – we need to embrace change. We should not embrace change just for change’s sake – we need to examine “how we have always done things” from a systems standpoint. We desperately need to evaluate our federal systems from top to bottom to determine where systemic problems are present, identify the solutions and get to work to establish a stable platform for effective government going forward. Even in the face of ISIS, global warming and whatever is the concerning topic of the day . . . nothing lasting will be achieved without “cleaning up” our federal system of government. I believe that unless we do this non-sexy, tedious work that will be ferociously fought from every corner, we will cease to exist as a world power – in fact I can feel the waves lapping over the sides of the ship as I write. . .

 Kathy Seei

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