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Knowledgeable Rule

Rulers are considered knowledgeable according to how much they have seen, and are considered capable according to how much they have heard.

Everyone knows the saying that an intelligent ruler is constant through the day and night, discharging the affairs of office by day and attending to personal matters at night. Yet there may be grievances that do not get a hearing, and there may be loyal people promoting good who are not trusted.

If grievances are not heard, the bent cannot be straightened. If promotion of good is not accepted, the loyal are not trusted and the treacherous enter with their schemes.

Those words are about 1,800 years old and written by a Chinese strategist that people really only know about today if they’ve played the Dynasty Warriors video game series. The strategist, named Zhuge Liang, was considered an expert on military formations and judging generals and rulers. His accomplishments are legendary, some fact and some myth, but still pretty freakin’ sweet.

These three paragraphs come from one of the sections of his work, Mastering the Art of War in a section called “Knowledgeable Rule.” Since Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, he has run counter to all good advice and is, at the very least, un-knowledgeable in his rule. These 1,800-year-old words still hold truth as we look to the leadership we have today.

Rulers are considered knowledgeable according to how much they have seen, and are considered capable according to how much they have heard.

Barack Obama has no private sector experience. He has been a public entity since he left college. What he has seen and what he has heard has been directly imbibed from sources that also hear and see nothing of how the majority of Americans experience their lives. Obama’s entire life has been one that is far outside the American mainstream, and leaves him with little comparative knowledge to what has made and continues to make the country great. Instead, he has been filled with ideas and theories unproven in real world application or just plain counter to the American experience.

But by the same token, what do some of the Republican leaders in Washington do? They conspire with those of similar views. They see and hear only the talk in Washington and rarely to they give any attention outside of their offices. There are few exceptions to this, but even those who hold town halls do not properly address what we have to say to them – they give us generic, run-around answers and we are left wondering just what it was we saw and heard.

Everyone knows the saying that an intelligent ruler is constant through the day and night, discharging the affairs of office by day and attending to personal matters at night. Yet there may be grievances that do not get a hearing, and there may be loyal people promoting good who are not trusted.

During the day, there is deadlock. At night, it seems business sometimes gets done. The maxims delivered here are followed by almost no one in D.C., but that is not even the worst of it. Our grievances do not get a hearing and we are all sure that no one is promoting true good. We get calls for social justice from the people inside the halls of Congress, but is it really for the good of all that these issues get put forth? Look at immigration or the farm bill. What actual good comes from these “vital issues” that we are supposed to support with little actual need?

What grievances of ours do get a hearing? What good gets promoted?

If grievances are not heard, the bent cannot be straightened. If promotion of good is not accepted, the loyal are not trusted and the treacherous enter with their schemes.

The problems of this country, the real problems every day Americans not trapped in the insulated lifestyle experience, do not get received. They are ignored by both sides. It is political showmanship that rules Washington D.C. now, and the issues don’t get fixed. The treacherous long ago entered with their schemes.

The man who wrote these words would laugh at the leadership we have today. He was bright and, much like other versions of The Art of War, his words are still applicable today. There is one more quote, unrelated to the others, that I love to use from time to time. It is one of the best centuries-old pieces of advice I have ever heard.

It is said that when officials are severe in everything, no one knows where it will end. If they feed off the people so severely that people are hungry and impoverished, this produces disturbance and rebellion.

Encourage people in productive work, don’t deprive them of their time. Lighten their taxes, don’t exhaust their resources. In this way, the country is made wealthy and families secure.

Huh. Imagine that.

 

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For less serious talk, tweet me at @joec_esquire on Twitter.

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