Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lee Iacocca is my personal savior

If you aren't sure how the legendary Chrysler CEO feels about the Bush administration, just know that his new book is called Where Have All the Leaders Gone? In the excerpt linked below, Iacocca uses his well-known and well-tested leadership gauge to thoroughly excoriate George W. Bush and the government. This is kind of writing that's so vicious that it defies explanation, like when Andy Rooney or Bill Gates supposedly tells everyone that they need to buck up, shut up and fend for themselves. Except that Snopes assures us that this one is absolutely true!

Though Iacocca's essay deserves nothing as demeaning as an excerpt, here are a couple of tantalizing paragraphs anyway. If you are not fired up to consume this after these select sentences, you are not human. And you probably don't have a pulse.

On Bush: You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). ... That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to -- as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because it is my patriotic duty.

On the Katrina mess: Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

On Congress: I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

This is the most blunt, yet most eloquent, essay I've read all year. And because it comes from one of America's most respected CEOs, no one can simply dismiss it. I can only hope to express myself this well someday.


Becky said...

Do you remember that book that we had to read in high school that was written by Lee Iacocca? I have a sudden urge to read it again.

You have made my morning, my friend. Thank you.

Ian McGibboney said...

And thank YOU, Becky! I too thought back to that book. Bet I'd appreciate much more this time around.

yournamehere said...


ashley said...

Leaders emerged since Katrina:

Drew Brees
Sean Payton
Bart Everson
Karen Gadbois

That's about it...