Jack Welch, retired CEO of General Electric, and his wife Suzy, former editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review, have co-authored their first column for Reuters, titled "Ron Paul and the pink slip that could decide the election." During an interview this morning on CNN, Suzy let slip the little truth bomb quoted above, which led to this Tireless Agorist's commentary.
In this excerpt from that column, they demonstrate a superficial awareness of the symptoms of the political malaise infecting the country that leads them, unfortunately, to an incorrect diagnosis of the cure.
"But Paul is not really the GOP’s problem. It’s his followers, perhaps as much as 15 percent of the general electorate, many of them young, vocal and highly energized. Like Paul himself, they’re not exactly party regulars. No, Paul and his followers promise to be a lot like that fired employee who, if “handled” incorrectly at farewell, will make it his life’s work to, if not bring your organization down, at least show you how very wrong you were to cut the cord."A very astute observation, as far as it goes. Unwisely, however, they go on to analyze the battle between the Republican wing of the political establishment and the movement toward increased personal liberty, with Ron Paul as its chief proponent, as similar to the political battle between Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden four years ago -- leading to this totally erroneous summation:
"All we can say is, in this kind of setting, as in the best-practice business parting, the “victor” must err on the side of bigheartedness and dignity. Whatever speaking role Dr. Paul wants at the convention, give it to him. If he wants some sort of advisory role in the new administration, the answer is: “Of course.” Like a business leader designing a severance package with a key player, the GOP leadership’s mindset must be: “When he walks out that door, Ron Paul is going to be a friend for life.”Their failure of analysis is common to virtually the entire self-proclaimed leadership of the country, and the media who sing their song; those who sit well above the fray and somehow manage to convince themselves that the distancing provides an accurate vantage point. They see the battle between the ways of the old and the new as just another replay of the battle played out every four years for the reins of power. They fail to grasp that the battle is not for control of a system that their opponents consider anathema to personal liberty, but for an opportunity to deconstruct much of the edifice that has been constructed to benefit the privileges of the few at the expense of the liberty of the many.
Because if he isn’t, Ron Paul and his followers will make their unhappiness known. And for the mishandling of this defining moment, the GOP will deserve their ire."
Jack and Suzy Welch are operating under several inaccurate assumptions. They assume that the movement is a cult of personality, ignoring Ron Paul's own statement that "I am an imperfect messenger, but the message is perfect." They assume that Ron Paul owns the votes of those engaged in the movement, and that his endorsement of an establishment candidate would paper over the very real differences that exist between the status quo and a movement that intends to fundamentally transform society.
They assume that Ron Paul himself will take the politically expedient path of settling for unenforceable promises in exchange for setting aside a philosophy he has championed for forty years. They assume that the movement for personal liberty is a phase that a society that is increasingly free in every area except their relationship to their government will soon outgrow. And finally, they assume that the insurgents of today will not become the party regulars of the future.
In a profoundly parallel era, Jack and Suzy Welch would have been British Loyalists, convinced that their children's membership in the Sons of Liberty was a passing fad, soon to be outgrown. It is no more possible for the political establishment to "give" voice and dignity to Ron Paul and the liberty movement than it would have been for King George to impart already-existing voice and dignity to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the patriots. To the patriots of this century, there is no discernible difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The political establishment has nothing to offer them, but to depart from the playing field more quietly than King George.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, the first Great Emancipator: "Government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations, shall soon perish from the Earth."