Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rooney, Romney, and a Key Question On Leadership...

“I don’t believe it when they tell there ain’t no cure/ the rich stay healthy, the sick stay poor…” God Part II- U2

This week I chose the article Nigeria World Bank because of this quote from the lone contender in the running for President of the World Bank who was not an American, Nigerian Finance Minister/coordinating minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: “…who is the leader in this world? The US is looked on for that leadership.” While the person speaking was not chosen, this insight I found valuable given the weeks reading/lectures.

 The Republican candidate is known to go on at some length regarding his appraisal of the current president’s leadership ability (poor). I find this awkward, at least, given the philosophy espoused by the right, and by default, Romney -let the free market fix the problem, whatever the problem is-- government is the problem, not the solution—the solution cannot come from the government without sacrificing some sense of self-worth or individual liberty. Minorities in the position of highest leadership in the company Romney captained (Bain Capital) totaled zero (Astonishing? When did he begin to see non-whites as human? Before his church condemned their own stance? After? When? If he's is going to bring up a child eating dog meat while living in Indonesia, the clear implication being "See! He's a Muslim!" then questions regarding the candidates own upbringing are only equally necessary and appropriate) and only ten percent of presidents during his tenure were women. What strikes me about this is that the free market has already come up with a rule to help ensure the hiring of minorities,  and it's called Rooney rule. 

In the NFL, the Rooney rule is that owners have to interview minorities before making their choice. Odd that Mitt Romney didn’t apply this common sense mechanism to his company, unless he didn’t think such appalling lack of diversity was a problem. Leadership? A guy who never went out of his way to ensure dignity and freedom for those not at all like him berates the duly elected President publicly over leadership? Won’t condemn Allan West’s outrageous comments about Communists in Congress, but is “outraged” over an essentially true statement regarding his wife’s availability of choice (if only everyone could afford that rather lovely choice)? 

In his speech to the NRA, Romney made clear he believes the Constitution was perfect when it was written. This is not a mindset to trust with the power to sign off on ending foreign aid, it is a mindset I must condemn, as all are worth equal dignity and deserve equal opportunity. Yes, our Constitution did originally assert this, but the law was not equal, the laws were not applied equally (many still are not) and we all know it took federal intervention to make desegregation the norm in American society. I do not believe I am making a controversial statement when I say a President Romney never would have chosen someone like newly confirmed World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim. 

“Outside is America/Run into the arms of America.” Bullet the Blue Sky-U2

It is our military might as much as our political process that the world looks to for leadership---withdraw aid (from enemies even more so) and our only presence, should Romney be the US President would be a renewed American military might. Is that the brand we want? The World Bank isn’t going to quit using HDI/GDI/the Gini co-efficient just to appease the Governors “severely conservative” views on the role of government (ensuring liberty not inflicting it by “force”.) The World Bank is going to continue asserting an agenda of equal opportunity for all to the democratic and economic structure of the developed world. We don’t sell “republic freedom” by the way—it’s always the democratic process that matters. Who among us will not condemn the mindset that says these institutions are no longer necessary? Do rights evolve or does our human recognition of them?

“Where you live should not decide/Whether you live or whether you die/Three to a bed/Sister Anne she says/'Dignity passes by'…” Original Of the Species- U2

Article Analysis Assignment

First, read a news story from the newspaper or the Internet.  Answer the following questions regarding your news story: 1) What is the main issue, who are the main actors being discussed;  Then, choose one of the assigned articles you read for this week.  Answer the following questions regarding the assigned article: 1) What are the basics of this article (who, what, when, how, why, etc.);  2) What is the overall main point the author is trying to convince you of?  3) Do you agree with the author’s argument?  Why?  Why not?   Finally, tie together your news story with what you learned from the assigned article, textbook readings, podcasts, videos, etc. for this week.  Type your answers in the box below using your own words, no outline or bullets, complete sentences and paragraphs, single-spaced, full-page. 

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