“RESULTS OVER TIME”
August 2, 2019
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Watching the “debates” over the past couple of evenings, one is despaired to wonder, “Where is wisdom?” Why has it been abandoned for “flash and bang?”
The Framers were on to something when they prescribed the qualifications for the president. They set out that he (or she maybe someday) must be at least 35 years old. Of course in those days, near the end of the 18th century, a person’s life expectancy was about 45 years. Wisdom is usually associated with those in their later years. Of course, not everyone who is older is necessarily wise. But, wisdom is seldom (if ever) associated with the young. And for the most part, Americans have most often elected presidents aged in their 50s and 60s.
In the military, one comes in contact with some really bright young officers – some from the top of their classes at the academies. But, no matter how smart they are, they are never raised to positions of great authority (made general or admiral) until years later when they had proven themselves mature and experienced, as well as highly competent. No serious nation would place the reins of its military in the hands of someone untested over time. There was only one Alexander the Great in history. He did unbelievably great things while very young and flamed out in his early 30s.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, age 38, did a good job of deconstructing some of Kamala Harris’s myths and seems to be pretty smart. But wise? I’m not convinced. I’m not picking on Tulsi. Beto and some of the others in the debates are also relatively young and inexperienced.
Success in trying situations cannot be gotten from books. It has to be experienced and lived. Decisions are not always easy and good ones are not always popular. Success does not depend on popularity – which is fleeting – but on results over time. And, time on the job, in tough jobs, usually involves making an occasional error or misjudging or misapplying the facts that were known at the time. That sort of more negative experience adds to wisdom also.
My point is, many folks seem inclined to write off the more seasoned citizens in the race for 2020. Is such inclination “wise?”