Letters to the Editor

July 11, 2010

Obama exemplified 'Peter Principle'

To the editor:

As a young man, I read a fascinating book written by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull. The name of the book was "The Peter Principle." It was published in 1969, long ago enough for many younger readers to never have heard of it. This book sets forth a very valid theory of how individuals perform, or fail to perform, within an organization.

In a nutshell, "The Peter Principle" states that within an organization, individuals tend to rise to their highest level of incompetence, and that the work within an organization is done by those who have not as yet reached their highest level of incompetence.

I have been quietly observing the performance of President Obama since he took office and I have kept my mouth shut about his ability to perform the duties of president because I needed to give him an opportunity to prove that he had the skill set necessary to perform the duties of president.


There was no question that Obama had the skill set necessary to be a world-class campaigner and speech giver. However, since he had never had any executive experience, I needed to give him a chance to show me that he possessed the managerial and executive skills necessary to lead the United States of America as our chief executive and commander in chief.

Sadly, I find that Obama has never made the transformation from campaigning for office to managing the nation. The man who was a very competent campaigner has proven to be an incompetent president. Obama substitutes personal appearances and campaign-style speeches for the substance of leadership. Obama ran for office with the slogan "change we can believe in." I submit to you that what we got was change that we need to quickly discard.

The change that we were promised was unemployment would not exceed 7.5 percent, immigration reform during his first year in office, closing Guantanamo, ending wars, "bending the health care cost curve down," reaching across party lines to build a national consensus, conducting all government business in public view and on C-SPAN, keeping lobbyists out of government, putting an end to deficit spending, etc.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that Obama promised everyone everything in order to get elected to office. There would have been nothing wrong with making all of Obama's many campaign promises if they had been serious and if he had the conviction to follow through on them. It is very simple. Obama has not lived up to what he promised us and rather than lead, he continues to campaign and allow for the liberal Democratic leadership in the House and Senate to set the national agenda.

The failure of Obama to lead should be no great surprise to anyone. After all, where was it that he was trained to lead and where was it that he led anything? The failure of Obama to perform his duties as chief executive of the United States of America is a classic example of The Peter Principle in operation. The American people "hired" Obama to be our president based upon his superb qualifications as a campaigner and by so doing, we the people elevated Obama to his personal highest level of incompetence.

Yes folks, elections do have consequences, and I am hopeful that the next time we, as a people, interview a replacement employee for the highest office in the land that we take a harder look at their resume and ask some tougher questions about their qualifications. The next time, we must elect someone who is up to the job not only for president, but also for every elective office. At this point in our history, we cannot afford to hire public servants who need on-the-job training.

When we elect people to office, they need to be ready to do the job effectively from day one. There are some jobs for which experience is necessary, and I believe that being president of the United States of America is one of them.

Rodney Pearson Sr.

Fairgrounds Park fireworks were spectacular

To the editor:

My name is Bob Lushbaugh. I have lived on Vista Street in the East End of Hagerstown for 60 of my 62 years. The U.S. Army housed me for those other two years.

During my time on Vista Street, I have seen a lot of great things take place at the fairgrounds.

My mother, Louise "Ski" Lushbaugh, was the oldest of nine children born to Mario and Josephine Calandrelle. We have had a Calandrelle family picnic on the Fourth of July for as long as I can remember. The last few years, we've had the picnic in my backyard, which is right across from the main gate to Fairgrounds Park.

Every year, I have said that the fireworks sponsored by the City of Hagerstown couldn't get any better, and they make a liar out of me every time.

I want to thank everyone involved in pulling off a spectacular display and commend them on what a great job they have done once again. Thank you.

Robert L. Lushbaugh

Staff made journey to hospital worthwhile

To the editor:

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