I think it started with former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's speech last night at the GOP convention. I found his vicious words and blood-thirsty mockery more disturbing than at other times. I wanted to yell, "ENOUGH!"
Watching and listening to the display that followed said a great deal about him, McCain, Palin --- and all we've all become as a nation living under the "Karl Rove Playbook" of hate and fear and intentional culture wars and mean-spirited attacks on others for political gain. Even seeing Sarah Palin come on stage, looking sweet and beautiful, then transforming into a "smiling snake" with venom spewing out at key moments in her introduction to the nation with thousands cheering the distortions, the put-downs and the sarcasm of personal attack---another "wolf in sheep's clothing" in a female form.
Based on the morning headlines, hailing the "success" of GOP convention program last night, I am in the minority in my view. Of Palin, the headlines read, "She hit the ball out of the ballpark..."
What I know for sure is ...
- we can't heal a nation with these techniques.
- we can't lead in the world modeling this kind of leadership behavior.
- we can't be a beacon of peace with leaders stooping to this level of rhetoric.
- we can't teach our children by setting the example we witnessed last night.
- we can't repair our standing the world with this kind of thinking and behavior.
Funny, as I watched, I remembered a young friend, age 8, a purple belt with green stripe in Karate, who mentored me by teaching me his daily mantra:
Watch your thoughts, for they become your words.
Watch your words, for they become your actions.
Watch your actions, for they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
I have personally worked to advance and support women and think of myself as a pioneering women executive. This morning women have been saying, "She's just like me!" She's just like us!" Isn't this what we swallowed when we chose George W. Bush --- a real regular guy and look at the devastation we are left with as he exits.
Somehow, in my vision for who would breakthrough the glass ceiling, my hope was for a women of substance, one mastered in the human dimensions of change; someone with knowledge and know-how about all the issues and pressing problems we face. A woman willing to respect and protect women's rights that so many worked and sacrificed to achieve. A leader who's behavior is above reproach; a beacon of strength, integrity, and goodness.
Sarah Palin doesn't fit this bill and I recognize she is not just like me. Debbe Debbe Kennedy
author and founder, President and CEO
Global Dialogue Center and Leadership Solutions Companies
Sarah Palin doesn't fit this bill and I recognize she is not just like me.