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Leadership & Terrorism by Paul Hudson
  • Jim Ramerman
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Walter Wriston, the CEO who built Citicorp, said that good leaders don’t get to do what they want to, they do what they must.  Another 9/11 anniversary reminds us that this nation must continue to lead the fight against terrorism…even though we have lost in total some 12,000 American lives, the wars have sacked our treasury for $6 trillion, and our dithering has emboldened bad actors.   But something else, dangerous and largely unrecognized, has happened:  The terrorists have hijacked the national conversation.   Our political leaders and the public chronically fail to discuss anything wisely.  Everyone is yelling, perhaps because deep down we remain afraid.  Consequently we fail to discuss investing in the infrastructures necessary to keep us secure, powerful, wealthy, self-reliant, and to create jobs by the millions—crucial programs like fresh water sourcing in the west, fixing 90,000 bridges, ubiquitous broadband, smart low cost energy, updated electric transmission grids, nuclear plants, new mega-airports, reliable public transportation, urban renewal, regulatory reform, fixing Social Security and Medicare, better sanitation and pollution controls, and improved waste disposal and recycling.  Leadership’s job is to declare direction and align resources against objectives.  It is time after 13 years to reclaim our national narrative of progress, instead of permitting whack-a-mole terrorism to dominate our national thoughts and agenda.  Our elected leaders, thought leaders, and the general public must insist on revitalizing the wellsprings of our collective strength.   Our national project cannot be limited to fretfully remaking the Middle East, it should must be about earnestly and continually remaking ourselves.