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Monday, December 17, 2007

On the candidates' vision

We often question whether candidates have (or lack) vision. Are they ambitious and idealistic, or are they more pragmatic, and realize that they can only do so much? Which is better, then: a visionary, or a realist? The former would surely introduce revolutionary proposals in regards to foreign, domestic and economic affairs. But they would be prone to devastating failure. The latter would be a good steward of government: they would not push for far reaching changes in policy, and would instead work within the current system to help America at home and abroad. But this is also their downside: they aren't going to "change the world" or leave as much of a lasting legacy as their ambitious counterparts.

In this new video, Wyndam and Peter (a special guest host) discuss the historical and current implications of a visionary president, and where Bill Richardson falls on this spectrum.

1 comment:

Warren said...

With all due respect, I have two comments on Peter's speech about vision, and Lincoln specifically.

The most successful people people I've come across in business and life posses both of the qualities you mention. These are the best leaders, which is what one wants in a president who is expected to make a difference.

Having a vision, yet not being competent in the mundane business of getting things done, that is a tragic wastefulness. Certainly our country needs to be challenged by a leader, who like Kennedy, will want to aspire beyond the comfortable and current status-quo. But it is by being proficient, by actually accomplishing the vision that will ultimately be the true mark of a great leader.

In discussing visionary presidents and those that were not, it was mentioned that Lincoln was not a visionary. To cite an American hero as being only a competent craftsman, is to turn off a number of your listeners to whatever else you may say on behalf of Richardson.

Lincoln was a visionary. He had the vision to maintain the Union when it would have been easy to let it split. He had the vision to steer the country towards freedom for our enslaved people. But most tellingly as to his character, he had the vision to forgive the rebellious South at the end of the war, and to not seek the vengeance which many Northerners demanded.

Yet his vision would be probably forgotten if he did not have the determination and the focused energy to get things done, as well as the characteristic personality to rally others to do the necessary work, too.

Lincoln was a great man and if Richardson is one half the man Lincoln was, we could have another great president.