08 August 2005

Acevedo's "Angst"

"...the only one here who has risked everything is the Governor; it's time for the people to start taking a little risk."

The quote above is from the governor of Our Fair Island. (No, I won't capitalize it.) There are so many things wrong with the above statement that dissecting it is like rearranging vomit. But if all the governor can produce is upchuck, then that's what We have to work with.

First of all, the quote above is taken from an interview Aníbal Acevedo Vilá had with El Nuevo Día, a paper founded on the support of statehood for Puerto Rico (and thus in opposition to the governor's party.) The cover photo shows a hands-outstretched, shoulder-shrug, chin-tucked-in governor in what anybody would recognize is a "What can I do?" gesture. Quite fitting, for the answer has been obvious for some time.

First of all, "governor", ditch the third person. You're neither talented nor eccentric enough to pull it off.

Second, you've been in office--let's see--seven months. Seven whole months! What the hell is this "everything" you claim to have risked? You have been in office less than 18% of your expected term and you have already "risked it all"? So according to you, you have nothing left for the next 41 months of your existence as governor, right? THIS is supposed to help your (pathetic) case?

Third, here's an interesting experiment for when you read about leadership in the future: Take any statement, such as yours, and pretend it was said by any of the truly historical leaders. Your whiny statement makes no sense in any true leader's "mouth" for the simple reason that true leaders don't equate personal strife with a nation's struggle. They may represent it (Churchill, FDR, Lincoln), they may embody it (Gandhi, Mandela), but they never ask for national repayment as trade for the personal. True leaders don't lead by trying to shame people with a transparent pseudo-moralistic scam. Those that do go down in history as buffoons, scalawags, criminals and/or despots.

Fourth, The Jenius will grant you these points:

1) You face a legislature caught between a nincompoop and a maniac. You couldn't have anticipated it, but with any sense of political savvy, you could have turned it in your favor. Neither you nor your "advisors" have been able to do so. Set an example and save us some money: fire them.

2) It's true you inherited an office ravaged by nearly eight years of demostrable corruption at the highest levels followed by four years of the most inept gubernatorial period in Our history. But instead of being prepared with Plans A, B, C and even down to Z, you waffle, wiggle, whine and wait. That all adds up to "weak."

3) It's also true that Our People are amongst the most risk-averse in the Western Hemisphere. The Jenius would add that many, especially those on the government teat, are amongst the most spoiled as well. The attitude is to expect everything on a silver platter and without making much of an effort to even reach for the damn thing. But you knew that going in, so rather than present a government-reduction plan that could control the risk and serve as a positive first step, you fling the half-assed idea at the masses and expect--no, beg!-- for them to step up and "do the right thing." There's a good word for that kind of "planning": stupid.

[What would have been better? Reducing middle management across the board. By attacking the fat cat layers that clog every department and agency, like the 17 Supervisory levels in Education, you would (a) attack higher salaries that are wasted, (b) reduce the empty-headed fat, not the working muscle and (c) placed the legislature as the enemy of the people because their knee-jerk reaction would be to protect those jobs, an easy position to attack as The People's Governor. Too late now, whine-boy.]

4) It seems obvious you've already given up hope for re-election in 2008. You have no solutions, can't sell the obvious (reduced government spending) and have the charisma and leadership skills of tapioca. This Island needs--deserves--much, much more. Here's an idea: talk to a random selection of professionals in their 20s and 30s. Ask them what would make this Island turn around and head for a prominent position at the global level. Take their best ideas and present them to your advisors (because you're too wimpy to fire them.) Take everything your advisors hate...and do it.

Yes, The Jenius is saying "Take a risk. Not in Puerto Rico, but for Puerto Rico." It's not like you have anything...else...to lose, right? (See quote above, guv...)

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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