Non est vivere sed valere in vobis …. merentur melius quam tu tibi semper sit.
Personally, I am tired of soft speakers who speak platitudes and inwardly are ravening wolves. Pres. Obama spoke softly, carried no sticks, drew red lines without consequences, and America is far worse for having had him as a president. President Clinton also spoke well; but, severely lacked morals, courage, a sense of honor, and America suffered. Both President’s Bush spoke well but lacked intestinal fortitude, grit, backbone, and ultimately were bad presidents for America. President Reagan had grit, spoke eloquently, was respected, and was a bastard whose enemies honored him and feared him. President Trump for all his good qualities is plain and abrupt. But, inwardly he has a spine of iron, and demands accountability first from himself, and then from those around him. Recently, I heard President Trump referred to as a “Bastard of a Bully!” I think we need to elect a few more bastards. People with grit in their teeth, iron in their spines, tongues that can lash and whip, and hands with calluses from doing actual work.
Anthony Liccione is quoted as saying, “A company of wolves, is better than a company of wolves in sheep’s clothing.” For too long America has been electing legions of wolves in sheep’s clothing. People who can utter pleasing words, but lack a spine, morals, convictions, and calluses from doing hard work. We have elected the political poison we currently suffer because they make a good speech. I remember an election, in fact, it is the only time I ever voted for Senator John McCain. His opponent was lackluster, the race was a non-presidential year, and I had heard a couple of speeches and thought Senator McCain was worthy of my vote. Not two days after McCain’s victory, I witnessed how spineless and useless McCain truly was and my eyes opened. McCain was a traitor to America, and unfortunately, he had excellent company in the long-term emplaced members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle. I am glad to say, I never made the mistake of voting for McCain ever again.
As an independent thinker, armchair historian, and a morally upright citizen, I have been doing more work every election to scrape the shield of whipping cream off the crap sundae the electorate is handed, and know who is being offered for election. The more I scrape, the more worthless those running for office appear. Terry Pratchet is quoted as saying, “He was the sort of person who stood on mountaintops during thunderstorms in wet copper armour shouting ‘All the Gods are bastards.’” That is the type of person America needs in political office. Not the namby-pamby, wishy-washy, flim-flam artists, but people who insist that the government needs to be smaller, thus consequentially more flexible in crisis. We need people who have suffered under the rule of bureaucrats and beat the hell out of them to achieve, despite the bureaucracy. We need more grit!
What is “Grit” you might ask; well, since America has not seen a lot of grit, please allow me the opportunity to describe this precious commodity. Grit is a positive, cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a specific long-term goal or end state. At least, that is what the academics call grit. Of all the people America remembers who have had a positive and long-lasting influence upon American culture, John Wayne is near the top, and if anyone embodied grit, it was John Wayne who is quoted thusly, “True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be done. No moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows they should have done.” In understanding grit, I have oft called upon T. S. Eliot, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
As a child, I once watched the Boston Marathon, it was as interesting to me as watching a dandelion grow, only the finish line really mattered. As an adult, I saw nonedited pictures of runners during a marathon and understood that which I could not see as a child. I saw men and women who had bowel movements, torn large pieces of skin away and were bleeding copiously, or thrown up on themselves and still kept running, and I came to understand why grit involves the mindset of living life as a marathon and not a sprint. Marathon runners are not pretty at the finish line, they know about heartache, failure, blisters, torn muscles, dog bites, shoes failing, weather changes, and so much more. The marathon is effort incarnate, planning that fails, sorrow, misery, and a finish line. A marathon is grit embodied, sticking to a plan day in and day out, not for a small period of time days/weeks/months, but months/years/decades, because the goal is worth the effort.
On the Maine coastline, just south of Belfast, is a marina called Bayside. As a child, I spent time delivering the Bangor Daily News to Bayside homes and got the honor to meet and talk to several of the lobstermen who came and went through Bayside’s docks. I never expected to see professional lobstermen and fishermen in Bayside. I was told Bayside was where the rich Boston people had summer homes and playboats. One very senior lobsterman taught me a lesson one day about grit that I never forgot, “Without grit, pearls are impossible.” He talked about how small amounts of grit wore down large rocks, that lobsters used grit to clean, and how grit polished. My grandfather a few summers later taught me how to polish steel until it shined using grit. I look at President Trump, and for all his faults, I can also see how grit has polished him until he shines. Maybe a little more grit, that comes with 4-more years as President, can soften more of his abrasive character; but, when I see the growth that the first 4-years has brought, I cheer for President Trump!
America, I think it is time we learned a valuable lesson where the selection of politicians is concerned, “Be a good enough person to forgive the losers elected in the past, and smart enough to never trust them again with political office.” America has lived the words of Soren Kierkegaard, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to accept what is true.” It is true, at all levels of government, poor choices have been made, rotten and unintelligent boobs have been placed in power above their ability. In the military, we called this “being promoted to a person’s maximum level of incompetence.” Well, this is an election year, and we will have another next year and the year after. We have been cheated and abused by the smooth-talkers long enough. Let us elect some true bastards!
Let us elect people who buck the system, who take the bureaucrats on and win. Let us elect some people who have grit, backbone, and knowledge from experience, not just a degree from a wealthy school and experience as a lobbyist. We need police officers who know about laws, we need farmers who know about growing things, ranchers, and dairymen who know about long days and short pay because of taxes and dumb decisions made in capitals that kill their businesses. We need manufacturers who make things, and we need people who do not want to live their lives in the capitals of America feeding off the work of others as a parasite, but who work while elected and long to return to doing what they love.
General George Patton was a bastard; but, he is remembered for being the biggest bastard of them all in WWII, and when the chips were down, he won by being the biggest, grittiest, most hated bastard America had ever sent to war. I suggest ripping a few pages from General George Patton and Ayn Rand’s book, and electing people who have trod the gristmills of life with bloody feet and callused hands, who live the following: “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me!”
America, you are the superheroes in your own story, rise!
Thomas Watson said the following about friends, but it applies to politicians desiring to lead just as well, “Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up!” Politicians should be forcing us to leverage ourselves up, to rely upon ourselves, not the government, and the politicians America needs, know that government is a necessary evil and nothing else!
© Copyright 2020 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the pictures.
All rights reserved. For copies, reprints, or sharing, please contact through LinkedIn: