Early life, for me, was really easy. I had absolutely no problem with authority as I was living in an authoritarian world where the pecking order in life was both clearly established and closely adhered to. I was an army brat under the tutelage of a demanding father who had no problem conveying expectations. While I may not have agreed with the decision at hand, I clearly understood the ramifications of failure to deliver as directed. In true military fashion, I could gripe and air my opposing views, but still delivered. Today, we are seeing a runaway generation that is not being schooled in a simple concept that has served our country well. Everyone has a boss. There is little practical accountability and unless our ox is gored, we sit back and watch our country being shamed by stupidity with no guarantee of stopping the current madness.
In combat, you follow the orders delivered by a superior. It is that simple. Unless confronted by a situation like My Lai, in Vietnam, you do as you are instructed. Sometimes the reward for following orders is death, but the assumption remains, orders are to be followed. Three troopers in Oregon, using very poor situational reasoning skill, failed to follow their bosses (The Governor) order to mask up when in public. There is plenty of opinion as to the validity of this concept, however the Governor’s direction is tantamount to an order. At least one of these officers announced publicly, the Governor could not issue such an order and further responded with a vulgar recreational suggestion for her to consider. The troopers won an audience with the Governor and a “conversation” ensued in which they learned that she did have that authority. Troopers, mind you. Presumably disciplined enforcers of the law. Every body has a boss. On social media, a young man was photographed with his pants pulled down below his hips with his underwear clearly visible. We have come to accept this as some sort of indication of defiance of conventional wisdom regarding the display of your drawers. He needs a ‘60s drill instructor, meeting him as he gets off the bus at 2AM on a military base, with his pants in disarray. It would take only 6 seconds of his precious life to understand why pants are to be worn properly. It is not a cultural thing, it is a defiance thing.
This morning I listened to a talking head suggest that everyone that is involved in damaging our heritage and engaging in meaningless disruption of the daily flow should be charged and adjudicated. It can’t happen because our bosses, to date, have refused to enforce any semblance of reasonable adherence to law and order, and the numbers are to many to handle. We also cannot possibly arrest everyone who exceeds the speed limit, but we can arrest enough of them to create an incentive to not speed. We are delusional if we believe folks are tearing stuff up and raising hell in the name of some social injustice. They are doing it because they can successfully defy authority, a trait carefully cultivated from early childhood. You disagree? Have a conversation with my retired elementary administrator wife about the defiance that is occurring at the very basic elementary levels, often without meaningful sanction.
In paramilitary organizations, specifically the uniformed services that are absolutely essential, bosses are understood and obeyed or you will enjoy another line of work. In these institutions, you do not surrender your right to complain and disobey, instead your surrender your right to work there.
This week, a Harvard educated accountant published a ignorant rant on a social media site that threatened death and injury to folks not supporting the BLM movement. Her prestigious accounting firm showed her the street. Ignorance rewarded and I am confident that other employees understand they have a boss at this firm. I know this firm, having professionally interacted with them while working at our Gaming Commission. My always high opinion of their ethics and honesty has been substantiated. A boss at work is a beautiful thing to watch.
In closing, consider this proposition. If you are in a position of authority and you tolerate insubordinate and illegal activity in those you manage or govern, you are not a boss, you are a facilitator, and are discrediting your area of responsibility. There is a wide array of weaponry in your managerial arsenal to deal with folks who are anti-authoritarian. Use them and get us back on track. We are on a runaway train, and somebody needs to step up and drive the damned thing. We need bosses, not facilitators.