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 Cynthia McKinney On Leadership

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Posts : 7972
Join date : 2012-05-29
Location : Manchester UK

PostSubject: Cynthia McKinney On Leadership    Wed 03 Oct 2012, 08:41

Cynthia McKinney On Leadership

Paul Craig Roberts, Contributor
Activist Post
Those who have followed the Republican campaign for the
presidential nomination and current contest between Romney and Obama
know that the United States has no political leadership in Washington.

Billions of dollars have been spent on political propaganda, but not a
single important issue has been addressed. The closest the campaign has
come to a political issue is which candidate can grovel the lowest at
the feet of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu. Romney won that contest.
But for the rest, well, it is like two elementary school children
sticking their tongues out at one another.

The question of US political leadership has been on my mind for some
time. I can remember when political leadership still existed and when
bipartisan cooperation could be mustered on enough issues to keep the
country and the government functioning. But no more. It might have been
Newt Gingrich who, as Speaker of the House, destroyed bipartisan
cooperation by making war on the Democratic Party, warfare that Karl
Rove has taken to a new height.

When a country loses leadership, how does a country get leadership back?

This is an important question. Without leadership,
there is only violence. Once the Romans lost their republic, there was
no one to lead them and they were ruled by violence. Will this be our

These thoughts were in my mind when I happened to hear Cynthia McKinney
speak. Here was a leader, a person with sufficient fire, knowledge, and
compassion for others. Cynthia McKinney served six terms in the House of
Representatives as a Democrat from Georgia. In 2008 she was the Green
Party’s candidate for president. As a US Representative, Cynthia
McKinney defied the cowardly Nancy Pelosi and introduced articles of
impeachment against President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

If there had been any leadership in Congress in addition to that of
Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich, the executive branch criminals who
violated US law, international law, the US Constitution, and committed
war crimes and crimes against humanity, would have been impeached, and
today American citizens would be safe in their civil liberties protected
by the US Constitution.

But as McKinney and Kucinich stood alone in their leadership, the
Constitution is eviscerated and the executive branch is above the law.
The US government now routinely commits war crimes and violates all of
the traditional, but no longer extant, rights of US citizens.

Cynthia McKinney survived brickbats, but she did not survive the Israel
Lobby. She spoke up for the Palestinians, a taboo in American politics,
and Israeli money got her evicted from the House of Representatives.

Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with Cynthia McKinney, and I
asked her about leadership. She replied that at the local level in the
black communities there is leadership. It no longer gets media coverage,
but it is there.

At the elected political level, she said the public confuses leadership
with election to office. But many elected politicians are sycophants for
the powers who control the existing order. Real leaders are those with
the courage to dissent and to resist. It is the act of resistance that
transforms an elected person into a leader.

What Cynthia McKinney was telling me is that politics is a virtual
reality, full of paper cutout props, pretending to be leaders, while the
few real leaders are demonized, redistricted, and disposed of.
McKinney, who was brave enough to take on all the forces of evil, also
took on Israel for its crimes against the Palestinians.

shamed almost every other member of Congress, both House and Senate,
cowards who sit silently while Israel oppresses the Palestinians and
steals their land. McKinney’s moral conscience resulted in the Israel
Lobby putting her on the extermination list.

McKinney’s constituents had not seen a leader in so long that they were
unable to recognize one, and the Israel Lobby got away with it. She told
me: “The Anti-Defamation League wanted me out of Congress and filed an
amicus brief in the Supreme Court case to dismantle the District that
sent me to Washington, D.C.”

From the Washington Establishment’s point of view, Cynthia McKinney was
extremely dangerous. She spoke for the people, not for the monied
interest groups. In Washington, this is impermissible behavior. And on
top of it all, she challenged the government’s official story about

I remember when black Americans had stepped up to the demands of
leadership. In the 21st century this leadership has disappeared.

I asked Cynthia McKinney if the black leadership had been bought off
with corporate directorships, speaking fees, and executive branch
appointments, or was it simply no longer reported by the concentrated
corporate ownership of the media, which serves only Washington. In her
reply she differentiated between “positional authority” and leadership:
<blockquote class="tr_bq">This is a very good question. Glen Ford now
calls them the 'misleadership class' because what is being provided by
those with positional authority is not leadership. it is the opposite of
leadership. Leadership is not about positional authority or media
acceptance: it is about what one does and who one serves and the vision,
sense of mission, one inspires in others. Going along to get along and
sycophancy in abandonment of one’s professed values are not leadership.
Individuals paraded on 'mainstream' television and radio are not
leaders. These are people who have accommodated themselves to the
objectives of the current power wielders and shapers of US policy. The
father of a close friend of mine described them as blacks who have sold
their blackness.</blockquote>I asked Cynthia McKinney where are the real
leaders as contrasted with the politically ambitious, how are they
produced? Why are there so few? Why are they cast aside? Here are her
<blockquote class="tr_bq">This is an interesting question because there
has raged a debate for quite some time now on whether leaders are born
or made. I happen to believe that all of us have the stuff to be
leaders, but it is the extent to which and how we use the stuff we have
that determines the character of our leadership. Some people choose to
not use their stuff at all and remain bystanders in the face of
injustice. Other people choose to use their stuff in service to
injustice as perpetrators. And then there’s the rest of us who have a
moral impulsion to speak up when we see wrong; in fact, Teddy Kennedy
said it best when eulogizing his brother, Bobby: 'He saw wrong and tried
to right it; he saw suffering and tried to heal it. Saw war and tried
to stop it.' That’s leadership. This country has had authentic, servant
leaders on the national level and many of them were targeted for
assassination by the State. This country has a deep reservoir of such
capable leaders today, but the system as it is currently configured
smothers them, making it difficult for them to breathe. We need to
change this system and I believe that the people of this country still
can change it.</blockquote>Why are there so few leaders?
<blockquote class="tr_bq">They see what happens to people like me who stand up. Greg Palast says in American Blackout
that after I spoke up on the inconsistencies of the Bush Administration
story on 9/11/01, I was lynched as a signal to what would happen to
others if they dared ask questions and follow me. I’m still swinging
from that poplar tree that he mentioned. Who would walk down that path
except the bravest hearts?</blockquote>Why are they cast aside?
<blockquote class="tr_bq">We
have an increasingly authoritarian structure that countenances no
dissent. The only thing is that we, the people, don’t know who really
operates the structures. The ones we elect to represent us provide no
leadership and tell us no truths. Their names appear on the ballot, but
they are not the ones in charge calling the shots. Everything has become
a joke that is not even funny. The repercussions for those of us who
try and inject love, vision, compassion and common sense into the
political discourse are quickly discredited, chewed up, and
expectorated. Only those with the biggest hearts will take this path.
Now, why are people like me cast aside? Because we know that we can win
this titanic struggle. We know that the people can overcome this
tyranny. We know that the true power lies with the people and that we
are the majority. That’s why the others have to work so hard with their
propaganda, psychological operations, disinformation, and mind control
tactics. Heaven forbid if the people would actually turn off the
television and think. There would be a revolution tomorrow. And the rest
of the world could finally live in peace and Mother Earth could reclaim
her dignity. All of that depends on the voters of the United States to
accept their responsibility to change the policies in Washington, DC,
that are killing hope here and killing people abroad.</blockquote>I asked Cynthia McKinney why people acquiesce to the casting aside of their leaders.

Her reply:
<blockquote class="tr_bq">Bob Marley sang, 'How long shall they kill our
prophets while we stand aside and look?' I wish I could answer that
question. I am not one who has accepted injustice quietly. I don’t
understand the bystander mentality. Election fraud right inside the
Democratic Convention on two platform issues and there was no press
conference of complaint, no protest, no sit-in, no nothing. The meeting
is gaveled adjourned and the people are just left staring. Had I been
there, of course, I would have done more than stare. In a room of 20,000
people, where were the leaders? The good news is that new leaders are
being made every day. With the excesses of the State, more and more
people are waking up. And I am glad to reach out to Independents,
Republicans, Democrats, Constitutionalists, and every political stripe
in-between to find some common ground so we can advance on that ground
together. It’s crazy that the Department of Homeland Security is going
to tell me who I should fear and not talk to. As a Southerner, I know
that people can come together; I know that people can hear and listen
and adapt to each other if someone is willing to start the conversation.
As the values of the policy makers become more and more distant from
those on whose behalf policy is made, we have no choice but to come
together and save each other from the growing threat of our own elected
officials quietly ripping the Bill of Rights to shreds.</blockquote>I asked McKinney why some Americans can recognize a leader and others cannot:
<blockquote class="tr_bq">Leadership,
it seems, frightens some people. It holds them up to a standard that
they could never attain. And they know it. Therefore, that’s something
better ignored. When one person sacrifices for you and you have
rationalized away the need to sacrifice for anyone or any principle
other than yourself, you’ve set a pretty low standard for humanity. On
the other hand, persons who stand on conviction, and suffer the slings
and arrows that come with that, evoke awe in some.</blockquote>I asked
Cynthia McKinney why President Obama had deserted the leadership role
bestowed upon him by the American people and instead had fallen into the
agenda of the Bush/Cheney/neoconservative Republicans. She replied
<blockquote class="tr_bq">the policy of killing that is being carried
out by President Obama has wiped out all of the moral credit that Black
America accrued over their years of resistance to slavery, Jim Crow,
racism, poverty, and militarism. The world understood that Black
Americans had a different set of values. That they were against wars,
against interference in the affairs of other countries, against
imperialism, against colonialism, and against White Supremacy. Now, too
many Black Americans cheer a President who defends targeted
assassination, drone wars in Africa and elsewhere around the world,
boots on the ground globally for the military-industrial-complex, and
even torture. Sadly, now much of Black America has chosen to abdicate
its moral responsibility and spend whatever moral credit they have
earned globally in support of an African descendant President who has
ripped to shreds the Bill of Rights, damaged life for tens of thousands
of innocent individuals here and abroad hurt by the policies of this
Administration, not to mention those who have been killed and will be
deformed due to the massive depleted uranium being used.</blockquote>I
asked Cynthia McKinney if Washington’s doctrine that “might makes right”
would bring “freedom and democracy” to the world. She replied that:
<blockquote class="tr_bq">The military might of the US is being used to
benefit a very small group of men and women who have the rest of
humankind hoodwinked as to the true nature of what is going on. The rest
of humankind can’t imagine that amount of greed and willingness to kill
and so, are easily fooled and tricked by the individuals who control
the new system that is being created. It is, sadly, a case of 'willful
blindness.'</blockquote>McKinney, an extremely realistic and
well-informed person, unlike anyone in Washington or the media, remains
confident that truth and justice will prevail.

Her final words were:
<blockquote class="tr_bq">We don’t have to go very far to find the
authentic leadership that this country needs at this very moment. The
leaders we need already walk among us. In the Black and Brown
communities, we have always had tremendous leaders who give their all
for dignity and justice. I see them every day. They are ubiquitous
around us. Given the right context, they will thrive and they will help
us to thrive. What we must do is create the environment that will allow
them to find their voice and thrive in positions of authority.</blockquote>All
of us must work to create the environment in which decent,
compassionate people can become our leaders. America and the
Constitution will be safe the day Cynthia McKinney or a similar person
is president of the United States. Until then, we are in great peril.

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