Punchinello’s Chronicles

October 2, 2008

Palin: We Have Experts for That!

Filed under: Just Thinking — Punchinello @ 4:48 pm
Tags: , , , ,

From what I’ve read everywhere and heard across the airwaves, it seems that Sarah Palin’s lack of direct experience in foreign policy and complex financial structuring makes her a “joke.” One would conclude that lack of experience in what ordinarily would be a lifetime career means that one should be sidelined as a complete fool.

Following that logic, since I’ve got no experience at all in flying a plane, I would be a joke.

Well, that’s not really true, nor is it really what people are saying. It’s one way to use language and logic to create an appearance. On the other hand, those making the “joke” comment are adding in a second piece of logic. “Since Sarah Palin is applying for the job of foreign policy and financial structuring leadership, and since she has no experience in either of these areas of expertise, therefore her application for the job is a joke.”

The key questions here involve the meaning of executive leadership, and whether or not Sarah Palin is applying for the job of Secretary of State, or the head of the Federal Reserve. To my knowledge, no, she’s not.

Interestingly enough, there’s quite a substantial difference between someone’s application being a joke, and the person themselves being a joke. But, where it comes to liberal opposition, let’s not quibble. Let’s not split hairs. Let’s not get all caught up in “semantics.”

Only a fool would believe that executive-level and board-level strategic thinkers should have expert knowledge in every field under their management. Bill Gates has some basic knowledge of programming, but that isn’t why Microsoft became the most powerful and influential enterprise of the 20th century.

And far more importantly, the CEO and Board of Directors are not fully charged with the strategic thinking and planning! The true function of the high-level executive management is to make decisions! Those decisions take into account the recommendations and scenarios developed by hired experts. But those experts are not charged with making a decision.

The President and Vice President of the United States are not being hired to develop tactical solutions. They’re being hired to take the full responsibility of making final decisions as to what actually to do in situations involving the future and continuation of the entire country.

The critical expertise for a decision-maker is just that, their experience in making irrevocable decisions. It’s the fact that the decisions don’t allow “do-overs” that calls to question the character, values, philosophies, and fundamental nature of candidates.

Barack Obama has repeatedly shown that he cannot or will not make critical decisions. He votes “present” more often than not, rarely makes clear statements of what exactly should take place, and has never indicated what his underlying philosophy is for making decisions.

The reason Sarah Palin has captured the imagination of so many people is that she is decisive, isn’t afraid to stand by her decisions, and clearly states her core values. Those values inform all her thinking and decision process. America is tired of flim-flam politicians without values, whose decision-making process is the public opinion poll.

Executives are charged with defining the overall direction for the organization. Their job is to manage the strategic plan, keep the enterprise best interests in mind, continue the leading position of that enterprise, and grow the business. EVERYTHING else is the job and business of their expert advisors, management team, tactical planners, and production line.

To say that the President of the United States must first have expert knowledge of every process involved in the day-to-day operations of the country is ridiculous. What fundamentally matters is that the President (and by assocation, Vice President) must have a strategic vision for the future of the nation.

A strategic vision is exactly that; a vision! Such a vision, which becomes a plan, can be built either on values and a moral structure, or built on wishes and dreams. Either way, when interviewing a candidate for the position of CEO, the key questions are more about the quality of their decisions, how they arrived at those decisions, and the resulting consequences of those decisions.

Barack Obama has routinely made decisions, only to discover that they were the wrong decision. When confronted with the results, based on what actually happens in reality (not someone’s delusions), Mr. Obama has either denied that he made the original decision, or tried to say that everyone can be wrong and he would have made a different decision had he known the future. His main regret, apparently, is that he isn’t experienced in clairvoyance!

When Bill Gates went to capitalize Microsoft, the lenders weren’t all that interested in whether or not he understood the ins and outs of Wall Street, and whether or not he’d ever taken a company public. There are specialists who can be hired, whose job it is to guide the company through an IPO.

Likewise, the captains of the world’s largest ships and tankers, in almost all cases will bring on a pilot with special knowledge of a particular port, when bringing that ship in for docking. Sarah Palin isn’t required to have any special expertise on the details of foreign policy, international business, investment banking, money supplies, fighting terrorism, and running a national military. There are experts who already know all about those fields.

Nobody believes that Barack Obama is an expert on international politics or financial management. It doesn’t matter because he, like McCain, Palin, and Biden don’t need to be an expert on these fields! But what experts will Obama choose to make recommendations? Will he include recommendations opposed to his ideology? Will he be objective in his analysis? And fundamentally, what is the Obama vision for the future of America?

Nobody knows; it’s a mystery.

John McCain and Sarah Palin (his backup) are required to make irrevocable decisions with far-reaching consequences. Those consequences will not only affect all Americans right now, but will affect the United States into the future across many generations. It’s the irrevocablity of these crucial decisions that matters! There won’t be any “do-overs” if a bad decision about terrorists leads to a nuclear explosion over New York City.

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