I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me.
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family,
Spare him his life from this monstrosity.
~ Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)
Self-exoneration. It’s all the rage with contemporary progressives. The University of Missouri’s Melissa Click the White Chick, she who just had her career options freed up because she is white (according to her), does it. Hillary Clinton has made an entire political career out of being “attacked” by every meanie from the infamous VRWC (Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy) to the FBI. Both of these marvelous role models share common modus operandi – they self-exonerate themselves of infractions committed through concocting VSMC’s (Vast Strawman Conspiracies) to explain away their less than Marquis of Queensbury behaviors.
If one remembers their own childhood, one can assume that there will be remembered at least one situation where some unfair punishment or major injustice was vested on one’s person. I can vividly remember being punished for a crime I clearly committed (I snuck a piece of my own chocolate birthday cake a little early) and got punished by both parents…on my birthday…on a Saturday…and before my birthday party. Can life get more unfair? I can remember crying on my bed then getting angry and saying under my breath that “Nobody loves me.They all hate me.”
I was five…and guilty as sin.
I got what I deserved. It was all on me.
As far as I can tell, Melissa Click and Hillary Clinton (as well as a majority of progressives) are chronologically older than five – even if that seems to be their mental age. They would prefer you to believe that everybody (anybody, actually) but them is responsible for their situations.
It almost seems that true leaders, people of true character and substance, have a pathological need to accept responsibility rather than to blame others. I have been privileged over my business career to work with management teams where there is never enough blame to go around. Every member of the team wanted to shoulder responsibility – I have come to believe that people want to take on such responsibilities, even in negative situations, because that acceptance gives them license to go do something about it. They seem to be saying, “I own it, it is mine and because it is mine, it is mine to deal with.”
After a trip to Normandy in 2012, I began to study the situations surrounding the D-Day Invasion. One of the stark contrasts between then and today was the clear-eyed, steadfast leadership of the men entrusted with our civilian and military leadership. I am no fan of FDR due to the damage he did to this country in pursuit of his “progressive” ideals but I am completely in awe of this quote from 19 June, 1941. It implies a clear view of a threat to the nation and one that would necessarily need to be met by men and material:
“We, too, born to freedom, and believing in freedom, are willing to fight to maintain freedom. We, and all others who believe as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.”
The following was prepared by Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in the event that the D-Day invasion failed:
“Our landings have failed and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”
Not a drop of self-exoneration here. Eisenhower was already prepared to say “This is all on me.” He wasn’t concocting stories about how everybody had an email server in their basement, the weather was bad, the quartermaster didn’t provision the troops correctly or the beer was warm. “It’s mine. In success or failure – especially failure and unimaginable loss of life – I own it,” he was saying.
The success of Operation Overlord launched on D-Day was by no means a sure thing. Many don’t know but the invasion on June 6, 1944 was not the first attempt to secure a beachhead in France. The first, Operation Jubilee, was an unmitigated disaster:
“The Dieppe Raid (Operation Jubilee) of August 19, 1942, landed nearly 5,000 soldiers of the Second Canadian Division and 1,000 British commandos on the coast of occupied France, in the only major combined forces assault on France prior to the Normandy invasion of June 1944. While a large number of aircraft flew in support, naval gunfire was deliberately limited to avoid damage to the town and civilian casualties. As a result, the Canadian forces assaulted a heavily defended coast line with no supportive bombardment.”
While Dieppe did provide valuable information on the absolute necessity of close communications in combined operations, of nearly 6,000 troops landed over a thousand were killed and another 2,340 were captured.
Compare Eisenhower’s last line in his prepared remarks to the actions of Obama, Hillary, Susan Rice and others involved in the disastrous Benghazi chain of events and the ensuing years of stonewalling and misdirection:
“If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”
Like FDR or not, he recognized and was not afraid to name the enemies of the United States. Eisenhower was willing to take personal responsibility for a failure that could have resulted in the useless deaths of thousands of Allied soldiers. These men were true leaders. It stretches the imagination to think that Hillary or Obama could ever contemplate a statement like Eisenhower’s.
The act of self-exoneration – I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me – is not a mark of leadership, it is a mark of immaturity. Since this is a basic feature of progressivism, it would seem that no contemporary progressive (nor any who exhibit progressive tendencies) should be allowed anywhere near the levers of power.