A principled leader or a complacent politician?
by Carmen Villani
As a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and former[résidentdelaCourd’honneurjetrouvelesremarquesfaitesparlegouverneurdeVirginielundisoirdevantleCorpsdescadetsépouvantablesJenelementionnepasparsonnomintentionnellementparcequejepensequ’ilaplacé”legainpersonnelau-dessusdel’honneurpersonnel”[residentoftheHonorCourtIfindtheremarksmadebytheGovernorofVirginiaMondaynightbeforetheCorpsofCadetsappallingIdonotmentionhimbynameintentionallybecauseIbelievethathehasplaced”personalgainabovepersonalhonor”[résidentdelaCourd’honneurjetrouvelesremarquesfaitesparlegouverneurdeVirginielundisoirdevantleCorpsdescadetsépouvantablesJenelementionnepasparsonnomintentionnellementparcequejepensequ’ilaplacé« legainpersonnelau-dessusdel’honneurpersonnel »[residentoftheHonorCourtIfindtheremarksmadebytheGovernorofVirginiaMondaynightbeforetheCorpsofCadetsappallingIdonotmentionhimbynameintentionallybecauseIbelievethathehasplaced“personalgainabovepersonalhonor”
In full screen was an indulgent politician, instead of a principled leader. He spoke of his “pride” and “love” for VMI, but his October 19, 2020 letter to the VMI Visitors Council began with: “We write to express our deep concerns about the clear and appalling culture of racism. current structural at the Virginia Military Institute.
As VMI graduates, we are called to “defend” and “justify”, not to “throw the Institute under the bus”.
In one context, the governor mentioned memorizing the rat’s Bible, and in another, the question “whose statue is this?” When was it erected? Why is this person honored? The Rat Bible identified this statue. You would think that in the four years he was there he would fully understand that this was Stonewall Jackson and that he represented courage under fire, character, military genius and determination.
He also said, “The eyes can’t see what the brain doesn’t know,” then went on to say, “Gone are the statues that glorify the rebellion against the United States.” He used a medical analogy: “If you don’t know what a medical diagnosis is, your mind won’t recognize it when you see it, even though all the symptoms are staring you in the face. Well, the governor’s diagnosis of what Stonewall Jackson represents was wrong. If he had seen what was in his Rat Bible and listened with his ears, his “brain” would have correctly “diagnosed” that the statue represents courage, character, military genius and determination.
The Governor also mentioned one of our top graduates, General George C. Marshall. He should spend time studying what General Marshall believed true leaders should “continually” emulate – and that was not a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DCI) ideology. From the book General George C. Marshall Rubrics of Leadership, here are just a few:
- To be a person of great integrity
- Be brave and determined
- Look for responsibility
- Be devoted to others
Later in the speech, the governor referred to a proverb: “A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.” While some changes are good, the core values should stay the same. The values of honor, courage and determination should never be overshadowed by diversity, equity and inclusion. There is another proverb: “If you don’t stand up for something, you will fall in love with anything.” “
Finally, to invoke God, his blessing, and to pray is pure hypocrisy. In a WTOP radio interview in January 2019, the governor spoke of keeping a newborn baby “comfortable” as a “discussion” took place about infanticide. Talk about a “dreadful culture”.
Carmen Villani graduated from VMI, class of 1976.