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Leadership Luxury Between Laws And Lies


leadership luxury

President Gerald Ford swearing in. Image via


Leadership luxury on boomerpdx say if you testify in court you do it after being sworn in with the same words as anyone else who ever testified in court. I know this from watching TV, since I’ve never testified. Which I believe is a credit to the people and places I know and go.


Wiki gives this interpretation.


Oath: I swear that the evidence that I shall give, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. Affirmation: I solemnly affirm that the evidence that I shall give, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


Since being in court means something happened regarding law, and laws are the rule of the land, shouldn’t we be ready with the truths? Screw up a testimony and you might be more than a witness. The television I watch calls it contempt of court.


By now we know in our packet of decency born from experience how important laws are. Not a luxury item like a five star cruise of the Mediterranean Gold Coast, law is the glue connecting diverse societies. I learned this in college, where a professor said that ignoring one law weakens all laws.


Did he mean bring the hammer down equally hard in similar legal cases to prevent judicial interpretation? Mandatory minimum sentencing to hold judges more accountable? Or are some laws just unenforceable?


For example, outside a downtown Portland liquor store things happen that might get you tossed in the slam anyplace else, like Boston. The store worker said he’s seen illegal activity that gets passed over. He knows it, the police know it, and if you happen to be walking past and stop for a hip flask of gin, you’d know it.


Instead of a rant on the homeless population, the store worker said he’d seen the police arrest people one day and they’d be back the next day. Eventually the laws were bent because the people being arrested didn’t respond to the law, or the penalty, and just clogged up the legal system for more serious crime. Is that a leadership luxury in the community, or common sense being applied to a difficult situation?


We don’t often find a chance to vote for non-violent crime issues on the ballot, but if you read the candidates’ biographies you find people who agree with the difference between violent and non-violent criminals. One hurts others, one hurts themselves. One needs time away, one needs help.


Laws and lies often work hand in hand, the wrong hand. If a leader finds it difficult to tell the truth in one instance, how do we believe them the rest of the time? If they lie from one side of their face, and talk law from the other side, how are we supposed to keep track? Or is it better to quit trying?


Leadership luxury used to be defined as trust. Like a good marriage where one partner takes a fishing trip to Nevada and the other partner is confident they won’t gamble away the house, catch the rot from a ranch hand, and bring a showgirl home, we like feeling our elected officials operate under the same system as the rest of us.


We all agree on the same numbers 0 through 9, the same math like 2 + 2 = 4, and the same laws without lies. Outside of reputation and record, we elect people based on promises. And whether we think they’ll keep the promises made.


Then there’s the hidden agenda, the lump in the rug, the mask that slips a little too much to hide what we’ve suspected.


Let’s agree there is plenty of leeway in the Presidential oath of office. From wiki:


“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”


How hard would it be to follow a Constitutional professor educated at Harvard after their term in office, a man married to a Harvard lawyer with two young daughters and his mother in law living in the White House? Talk about checks and balances, that’s a full load before the day even begins.


For the same reason a touring music act doesn’t hire a superstar to open for them, to keep from looking bad and losing the audience before they start, the Obama Presidency throws shade on most other Presidents.


It’s an important point to remember when you feel the new guy is up to something shady, when his fans explain away his actions and talk as misunderstandings and jokes.


Was FDR lying by not coming front and center that he was paralyzed? Was JFK lying when he didn’t disclose his health problems? Both were men who understood the nature of national service as a family tradition. They knew their audience well enough, and their advisors knew them.


Now ask yourself who you’re an audience for and if you feel unconditional leadership luxury? But first consider President Gerald Ford’s remarks after being sworn in. From


“To the peoples and the governments of all friendly nations, and I hope that could encompass the whole world, I pledge an uninterrupted and sincere search for peace. America will remain strong and united, but its strength will remain dedicated to the safety and sanity of the entire family of man, as well as to our own precious freedom.


I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our Government but civilization itself. That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad.


In all my public and private acts as your President, I expect to follow my instincts of openness and candor with full confidence that honesty is always the best policy in the end.


My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule. But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy.


As we bind up the internal wounds of Watergate, more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars, let us restore the golden rule to our political process, and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate.


In the beginning, I asked you to pray for me. Before closing, I ask again your prayers, for Richard Nixon and for his family. May our former President, who brought peace to millions, find it for himself. May God bless and comfort his wonderful wife and daughters, whose love and loyalty will forever be a shining legacy to all who bear the lonely burdens of the White House.


I can only guess at those burdens, although I have witnessed at close hand the tragedies that befell three Presidents and the lesser trials of others.


With all the strength and all the good sense I have gained from life, with all the confidence my family, my friends, and my dedicated staff impart to me, and with the good will of countless Americans I have encountered in recent visits to 40 States, I now solemnly reaffirm my promise I made to you last December 6: to uphold the Constitution, to do what is right as God gives me to see the right, and to do the very best I can for America.


God helping me, I will not let you down.


Thank you.”

About David Gillaspie
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