In the late 60s and early 70s the Chief of Naval Operation was a man named Elmo Zumwalt. He was from California and attended the highly traditional United States Naval Academy. He was a decorated combat veteran from World War II and was promoted in a military society that was rigidly structured, highly process driven and for the most part segregated. When he became the head of the United States Navy he immediately moved to modernize the Navy, instill a new style of leadership and strive to erase racial tension. He came out with his edicts that changed Naval process and norms. With his famous Z-Grams he moved strong rigid control from the upper levels of command and transitioned it to the lower commands and left the decisions up to the base and ship commanders as to how they would operate and implement policy. It was up to the leadership at the lower levels to utilize this Z-Gram mandate and it was up to the lower commanders to implement how the policy would be used. Many commanders were dismayed as they had been told what to do but not to make the decisions as to how a new order was to be carried out. In essence Zumwalt instilled a new leadership philosophy into the Navy and made commanders think for themselves and let the situation dictate how orders should be implemented.
This is much the same approach taken by President Trump that we witnessed over the last year. The expectation was that the Federal Government would perform its duty and then turn the day-to-day implementation and execution over to the states. The individual states have long desired to remain independent without being incumbered by the Federal government. Last year we witnessed confusion, strong rigid centralized state control, state failures with fingers being pointed at the Federal government, excuses made and ultimately policy failures that damaged the common American who desires nothing more than to live under good and benevolent leadership.
We are fortunate to live in a state that has for the most part provided the guidance to operate in an extremely difficult time. New York and California are disasters. When they screamed for ventilators, more beds and PPE, the Feds came through with the war powers act to build ventilators, build portable hospitals and even sent military medical ships to each state. This was sparsely used and in the case of the ships not used at all. Let something go wrong and the fingers are pointed at the Federal government and how it failed them. Now due to poor financial controls at the state level, mismanaged states want Federal bailout money. That means that states that had lived within their means, received their taxes and paid their bills are expected to support these states that think of the conservative states as a bunch of hayseeds that are nothing more than illiterate racist country bumpkins. This is laughable and bears no resemblance to the unified nation requested by our new President.
When it was time to vote, Louisianans showed up at the polls and showed a picture ID, their names were checked against the voting registry and we had to sign a hard copy paper book. There was still the chance to vote absentee if out of town. No screams in Louisiana of voter fraud, voter manipulation or cheating; just good ole American values. Good job Louisiana.
New York and California are at a slowdown in the services industry. An industry comprised of hotel, restaurant and tourist industry workers. Estimates of up to 60 percent of small family-owned businesses in California will possibly not reopen. This industry is the entrepreneurial spirit that built our nation and some states are squashing this lifeforce. Louisiana had locked down but as soon as openings could occur, they opened. We witnessed other states repeat the closure but Louisiana and other free loving states remained open and Louisianans experience a free and open society. Yes, we have to wear masks and many feels this imposes on their freedom but it is a small price to pay for what we are up against and it will not be permanent. Rejoice Louisiana, you are doing it right.
Cuomo said he would vet the vaccine provided by President Trump to make sure it was safe. Within weeks of the roll out the New York governor was screaming for more vaccine only to discover he didn’t have an adequate deployment plan. Now there’s a shriek of running out again and the Federal government was letting New York down. Of course, when the pandemic hit America badly the governor demanded that senior citizens be placed back into senior care facilities and thus a super spreader event occurred that infected the most receptive individuals, the seniors. This hue and cry is not heard in good ole rural Louisiana. Instead, the workers put on their big girl panties and took care of their patients and people lived. Last week I witnessed immunization taking place at a local rural hospital. With coordination, hard work and dedication, men and women were immunized with no issues, no long lines and a can-do spirit. You go Louisiana.
The teacher’s unions of New York and California do not feel it’s safe to open schools. Our children are suffering from this action. In Las Vegas where schools are closed the high school suicide rate has doubled this year. These are our children and it is rewarding to drive by Louisiana schools and see the parking lots full of cars. Louisiana has been forced to close schools and even today if there is a chance of infections, we find classes dismissed and children are taught on-line. But, as soon as the school is clear, the children are back in class. Thank you, teachers and administrators, for taking the opportunities to keep our schools open.
Governor Cuomo and Governor Newsom come on down and let Louisiana show you how it is done. We’ll even buy you a good cup of Community Coffee.
Tuffy Fields may be reached by emailing thelouisianaexplorer@ yahoo.com.