After a jam-packed week of nearly 20 speaking and listening events in Texas, Iowa and New Hampshire, I hear a consistent message from people. They are so concerned about the lack of leadership in the White House and Congress that they are now scared for our future.
People are certainly justified in their thinking when you consider that the economy is stalled, despite claims by the administration and the Obama Broadcasting Networks that we are in a recovery. They should go ask the 15 million people who can’t find jobs, because only a few are being created in this economy.
People’s fears are justified when there is no apparent strategy for responding to the crises in Libya and other Middle Eastern countries. Members of the administration have sent mixed signals about what the United States should be doing other than condemning the violence. People do not feel we should try to be the police force for the world, but where is the strategy anticipating these social eruptions?
The thirst for liberty and freedom is exploding in the Middle East! If our intelligence agencies and our State Department did not anticipate these events, then we should be fearful. Good leaders anticipate, respond, and then make corrections.
Right now, anticipation is not apparent. The response has been unclear, and people are uneasy about what the administration might do next — if it does anything.
We can, and rightly so, anticipate gasoline prices going up dramatically because of what’s happening in the Middle East. Shame on us for not having put in place years ago a real energy independence strategy, especially since we have plenty of natural resources right here in this country that this administration chooses to suffocate.
And the idea that the president should release some of our strategic oil reserves to help keep gasoline prices down is just plain dumb! What part of strategic national security purposes don’t some people understand!
People are also sick of this budget nonsense going on in Washington. Passing a two-week budget resolution to keep the government from shutting down is wasting the taxpayers’ time and money. In fact, many of the people I talked to expressed that shutting the government down except for national defense and sending people their Social Security checks was not such a bad idea.
When the president proposes $6 billion in cuts for the current fiscal year’s budget and then says he has met the Republicans halfway on their proposed more than $60 billion in cuts, somebody’s using fuzzy arithmetic.
It would make more sense to pass a resolution to finish this fiscal year at last year’s levels, since this fiscal year is nearly half over, and then focus on fighting over a budget for fiscal 2012. But that might make too much sense.
The principles of effective leadership have not changed since dirt! Identify the right problems. Establish the right priorities (where we spend our money). Surround yourself with the right people (sometimes that means people smarter than you). Develop plans with ideas from people closest to the problems. Then execute, communicate, execute, communicate and listen to the customers.
Oops! Taxpayers aren’t customers. We are viewed as sheeple.
The sheeple are starving for leadership.
As a man named John put it during an in-home New Hampshire event last week, November 2012 will be the “end of an error.”
Herman Cain is a former CEO, a radio talk show host on AM 750 and 95.5 FM WSB in Atlanta, and a Fox News contributor.