The Veteran’s Perspective – The Next President #1

By Elmer Ellsworth

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The first request for the “Veteran’s Perspective” to address an issue ….no surprise given the hype these days – who should be our next President? Yup, and we are not even in November yet. As we move forward in this election cycle, I expect we will revisit this topic. But for now, here is our first application of the Veteran’s Perspective:

Nation Over Party – As Soldiers we took an oath to defend the Constitution and our Nation against all enemies. We agreed to go wherever needed and face any enemy knowing the cost could be our life. Nowhere in our oath is there any mention of a particular political party.

It is very disturbing when politicians talk as if their party’s success is more important than the success of our Nation. Furthermore, it is offensive when politicians view their partisan fights as doing combat with an enemy. After all, there are in fact very real threats to our Nation. The “other party” is not the enemy.

Now, more than ever we need a President who stays above the fray of the daily partisan political debate.

Victory thru Unity – While in uniform we intuitively understood that our unit’s success, and in to a large degree our own survival, depended directly on our unit’s ability to remain united. A divided unit is weak and causes good people to die. We have all seen it first hand to one degree or another.

There are far too many instances of Americans insulting, demonizing and denigrating other Americans simply because they disagree on some political issue. It’s not just the politicians anymore. It has now become routine for ordinary citizens to view every daily event and circumstance within the context of the Democrat v Republican partisan fight. This is a trend that must be reversed.

We need a President that can unite this Nation.

Leadership Matters – Anybody who has been in the chaos of battle knows that leadership matters in ways that cannot even be described. We have all seen examples of dysfunctional units and organizations which have been turned around by effective leadership.

A true leader can develop and articulate a vision of the future that rises above his or her own party affiliation to bring people together. It is not expected that a leader must make everybody agree with him – or make everybody happy. By creating the right atmosphere and implementing the right leadership philosophy, a leader can bring respect, civility and common purpose amongst people who are not all in agreement.

From the Veteran’s Perspective these are the primary qualities or attributes that should be used to select the next President. Let’s hope that the process runs its course and leaves us with two candidates that demonstrate these qualities!


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