A Nation of Wusses
How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great
Governor Ed Rendell explains why America's leaders rarely call for sacrifice for the greater good—to avoid making any sacrifices themselves!
Rendell has seen job security become the primary consideration of any person with power in America—their own job security! Most politicians and bureaucrats can see no further ahead than the next election, sometimes no further than the next press conference. Americans are rarely afraid of sacrifice and hard work when they mean building a better future, but when was the last time you heard of a leader of anything making a sacrifice for the greater good? The people can only win when they make it clear to the powers that be that making the right choices, even the hard ones, is the key to winning the next election.
Explains in rollicking stories ranging from the profane to the profound that most hard choices are only "hard" because the polls conflict with your principles Ed Rendell rose to the top of Philadelphia, then Pennsylvania, then national politics, by doing what he thought was right, and there were plenty of times that looked like it would be his downfall as well This book revisits the high points of Ed Rendell's career and current landscape to define the political fights his peers seem just as afraid of winning as losing Rendell is a former head of the Democratic National Committee, a current MSNBC Senior Political Analyst, and a Partner at Ballard Spahr LLP
Former Pennsylvania governor Rendell promises big critiques and robust prescriptions in this scattered leadership manifesto and political memoir, but fails to deliver. As Rendell argues, "f we circle the wagons and seek to just protect what we have, then we will lose the spirit that has made America the greatest country in the world." In addition, over-regulation and an absence of bold governing is making us "a nation of wusses." Though these claims are sound, overall, his thinking and writing veer toward the reductive. He cites John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage and its portrayals of decisive political leadership, but the situations where he decries its absence smack of score settling, such as his defense of Hillary Clinton's treatment of her campaign staff in the 2008 contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. His attacks on Republican legislative obstructionism follow the centrist Democratic Party line, but are undone by sloppiness. Later in the book, Rendell reasonably claims that "there is no greater example of the wussification of America than the growing neglect of our nation's infrastructure," but this scattershot collection of anecdotes, political autobiography, and fealty to the Clinton administration isn't the best way to make a case for improving the government's track record.