Back when I was a stock broker, I worked alongside a legendary stock broker named Wil Rondini. One morning I asked Wil just how hard he worked when he first got into the business. In a matter of fact tone, he told me that he worked from six in the morning till nine in the evening Monday through Friday and 9-1 on Saturday and he did that for two years straight.
I believe there are two types of people in this world. There are those that are in love with the idea of success, and then there are those, like Wil, that will actually do anything and everything necessary to be successful. Most people fit into the first category and a select few are like Wil.
While there is actually a strain of American society that hates America, I believe patriotism works much like the idea of success. Most Americans are patriotic in the sense that they love their country, but they aren't necessarily willing to make a real sacrifice for the country. On the other hand, there are the select few that are willing to actually sacrifice everything for their patriotism. Those are the Wil Rondini's of patriotism.
This brings me to Barack Obama and John McCain. There was recently a bruhaha over the perception by some that Bill Clinton implied that Barack Obama wasn't a patriot. I don't think that is at all accurate and frankly slanderous. Obama is not only charitable but has served the nation as an elected official for more than a decade. His credentials as a patriot are not in doubt.
That said, the Presidential campaign is not merely about passing some sort of a threshold. It is about a choice. Ultimately, the President is the head patriot, and thus each candidate's credentials as a patriot become very relevant. Here is where things get dicey for Obama, and that's because McCain's credentials as a patriot challenge and surpass Rondini's credentials as an individual willing to sacrifice for success. McCain has served his country since he was eighteen years old and entered the Naval academy. He went to war. He wound up a POW and he was even tortured for six years of his life in defense of his nation. After he came back he has spent the rest of his adult life in public service...continuing to serve into his seventies.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, stood by for twenty years while his country was attacked by his own pastor and did nothing. Many people have hypothesized as to why, but to me that is totally irrelevant. As my favorite Latin phrase goes, Res Ipsa Loquitur (the facts speak for themselves). When the chips were down, Obama stood by and did nothing while his country was attacked for twenty years.
The facts can be a very revealing thing, and in this case I believe they show a clear picture of who would make the better President. When he was old enough, McCain signed up to serve in the Navy. He went to war and spent six years as a POW. He even refused to leave early unless and until the rest of his comrades left with him. When he returned from being a POW, he dedicated the rest of his life to public service. Res Ipsa Loquitur.
For twenty years, Obama's pastor attacked his country and Barack Obama stood by and did nothing. Res Ipsa Loquitur.
Which of those two makes a better President?
Please check out my new books, "Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall" and also, "The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers"