A quote from Andy Andrews: "Some of the most intelligent leaders in history have brought disaster to their nations because intelligence is powerless to modify character."
I really like quotes, whether from world leaders and philosophers or bumper stickers and campaign signs along the road. They make one think, and sometimes remember, the message they deliver. They can be comical, sad, mean-spirited, patriotic, religious or even educational.
I've read a lot of books over the years and Andy's quote brought to mind a leader, a gifted orator, once idolized by his adopted nation, whose name is still derisively mentioned from time to time in politics, most recently by pundits at the Democratic National Convention.
He personally wrote his own book, a best-seller, still in print and available today, after all these years. This book is heavy reading, tough to get through (unlike recently published easy reads), yet some chapters give an insight into political strategy, economics, psychology and human nature that, if you forget the author's name and the attached stigma, are amazing.
Other chapters reveal a thinly veiled undercurrent of intense hatred for the recent history of the nation he sought to, and eventually did lead, and utter contempt for the people he deemed responsible. He vowed to rebuild the country from the ground up, and he did. He brought the people hope and change. He stimulated the economy, nationalized industry, instituted gun control, developed youth programs, redistributed the wealth and put everyone to work.
There was no doubt he was highly intelligent but as the above quote says, "Intelligence is powerless to modify character," and it ended rather badly.
I sincerely believe if the American voter, regardless of age, sex, race, political affiliation, wealth, religion, occupation or national origin, would honestly compare, on the basis of character, the candidates on the ballot, from the local level right to the top, our ship of state would right itself as it always has in the past and we would be back on course as the greatest nation on earth with no apologies needed!
Oh, the name of the author I mentioned earlier? It's not important. With his empire in ruins and his enemies closing in, he committed suicide in his bunker in 1945.
D.F. Heimrick, McCutchenville