Thank You, Nelson Mandela
On February 11, 1990, the day Nelson Mandela was released from prison, I was coming out of a “prison of my own mind.” I had just moved away from home for the first time at the age of 27 and was preparing to enter graduate school in pursuit of a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Akron. My employment with the Coca-Cola company was drawing to a six-year end with substantial enough changes to relegate me from the sales force to the position of cashier in accounting. The post was surrounded by plastic bars and a steel door which housed the enormous safe. Leaving both home and that position signaled a newfound freedom for me and led to a successful career in the mortgage industry. Madiba influenced that.
Nelson Mandela spent 27 years behind bars in a prison very similar to Alcatraz. Rather than become bitter and angry, he used the time to think through potential public policies that he could promote once he was released (something to be emulated by aspiring public leaders in our country). Upon his release he was elected president of South Africa. He treated both Afrikaners and Africans the same, as equals, rather than resort to the butchery of the opposition, as most often happens when governments are overthrown.
Those who held critical positions within the government were not fired because of their political positions. Rather, Mandela offered them inclusivity—just as another great president did when he was sworn in on March 4, 1861. He, too, only served one term but was denied a second term due to his assassination. Mandela could have been killed as well, but his calming presence and wise approach to politics prevented that from happening. He also only served only one term, but that was by promise and choice.
I won’t meet Mr. Mandela until I exit this world, but I indeed look forward to communicating with a man of peace, love and charity, a man who fought the good fight and definitely kept the faith. After his release he did not shout or cry out in the streets. He did not become discouraged in his efforts to bring forth justice, to open the eyes of the blind, free captives from prison and release from the dungeon those who sat in darkness.
What the United States needs today is someone with the stature of Mandela, Gandhi, Lech Walesa or the Dalai Lama, who will come forward to lead a movement for change in America.
I love you, Madiba, and thank you for what you did to improve the human condition.
Obama’s Appeasement Weakens U.S.
P resident Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry continue to promote an agenda of appeasement. Kerry has played a leading role in formulating and implementing an agreement with Iran to put a limit on Iran’s uranium enrichment program for six months. Iran can continue enriching uranium to 5 percent. In return, Iran gets access to $7 billion in frozen funds and, more importantly, is able to get partial relief from the crippling burden of the economic sanctions.
Although inspectors will be monitoring the temporary agreement, Iran will probably continue a higher-grade uranium enrichment program in secret facilities. As the end of the agreement approaches, it can stall and hinder negotiations and ask for the continuation of six-month temporary agreements until it has nuclear weapons. Iran cannot be trusted.
While Kerry is appeasing the Iranians, Obama is busy appeasing China after its power play in the East China Sea. China has declared an air defense zone and wants to be notified if aircraft enter the international air space. Japan has refused to comply with the demand, but the Obama administration has asked U.S. commercial airlines to make the notifications.
The Obama administration continues to weaken our stature in the world through unbridled appeasement.