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Do you salute the Rank or the Man

One of the major “Bromances” of modern politics has turned exceedingly sour. Former US President Donald Trump has just lashed out at the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate, Mr. Mitch McConnell, who had in turn taken the time out to say some “mean” things about Donald Trump. Despite voting to acquit Mr. Trump in his second impeachment trial, Mr. McConnell then gave a speech accusing the former president of inciting the crowd that stormed the Capitol Building on 6 January 2021. Details of the latest in the Trump McConnell row can be found at: [LINK]

How did this relationship suddenly turn so sour? As leader of the majority party in the senate during the four years of the Trump Presidency, Mr. McConnell was to all intents and purposes Mr. Trump’s enabler. Mr. McConnell practiced his constitutional obligations to check executive power by giving the blank cheque to the administration to do whatever it wanted to do. So, why did Mr. McConnell suddenly turn so sour on Mr. Trump.

The answer is simple. By 7 November 2020, it was clear that the Trump Administration was on its way out and as a proverbial “lame duck” president, Mr. Trump’s value to Mr. McConnell and the rest of the Republicans in the senate started to decline. It didn’t help that Mr. Trump didn’t fade away and so, there was no skin off Mr. McConnell’s nose to get snappy with Mr. Trump.

The breakdown of the relationship between Mr. Trump and McConnell is what you’d call the most public example of what happens to relationships based on convenience. Unfortunately, the world is filled with examples of leaders who derive their respect and authority from being, well in certain positions, rather than earning their respect. As is so eloquently said by Major Winters in Band of Brothers, “You salute the rank not the man.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTRZRRlA4sw

The military functions on a certain system. Where possible, an effort is made to ensure that the men with certain ranks earn them. However, relationships are ultimately built around the rank structure. A young lieutenant commands a sergeant old enough to be his uncle because he has rank. The said sergeant will usually act as a “guide” to the young officer who is to all intents and purposes his boss but has less experience.

In the civil sector, things can be a little more diverse. Instead of an obvious rank, the main differentiators are money and power (which often go hand in hand but are not necessarily the same). In the work place for example, we try and build relationships with the boss because he or she is the centre of power and by extension power. You may not have to salute the rank in the work place, you merely remember who decides if you continue collecting the monthly pay cheque and who decides if there’s an increase or a deduction.

Most are trained to work in a career path where we get to decide on whether the people below us get a cheque at the end of the month and whether we cut or increase their salary. It’s a normal human case of wanting to be the one with the power in relationships.

While most of us work hard to get into positions where we have power over others, there is a need to solidify relationships beyond that. If we go back to Major Winters in Band of Brothers, you’ll realise he has a point. You salute the rank but not the man. However, there comes a time when the man no longer fits the rank or when the man no longer has the rank but is still required to lead. Will people still look to the man for leadership and give the due respect when the man does not have a rank?

Let’s look at Singapore’s Prime Ministers. Modern Singapore had Lee Kuan Yew who was a force of nature. His nature was such nobody ever believed he had relinquished control until the day he died in 2015, even though he had “stepped down” in 1990. It was a case of the man having control. By contrast, we have our “Prime-Minister-in-Waiting,” Mr. Heng Swee Kiat. While Mr. Heng is a technocrat. He’s been named deputy Prime Minister and given the heavy-weight finance ministry. However, if he hadn’t been given the rank of “deputy Prime Minister,” would anyone bother with Mr. Heng. Sure, Mr. Heng came up with five budgets last year, but his leadership was, well virtually invisible.

Singapore does need to move beyond Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. Singapore is a nation not a brand that belongs to one man. While Singapore does need a competent leader, it does not need one that dominates everything the way Mr. Lee did. However, we don’t the other extreme of someone who takes the rank and sinks into the rank and does not rise to the occasion.

Life’s proverbial rank holders need to remember that while they derived certain perks from holding the rank, they also need to remember that they will not hold onto that rank for life and that they are likely to have a need for the people who saluted that rank. Hence, the smarter rank holders do enough to ensure that the people who saluted them will continue to salute the man once the rank is over.

I take my own professional development as an example. I kept in touch with PN Balji after he left the editorship at Today. I earned a job at Bang PR and two court case jobs (Susan Lim vs Singapore Medical Council and Guy Neil vs Ku De Ta). I have now reached the stage where I can pass him work.

Forgetting that holding a rank is finite, does have consequences. Mr. Trump could not imagine that he’d lose an election and that the judges he appointed would not support his bid to get the results struck down. Not long after he lashed out at his former ally in the senate, Mr. McConnell proceeded to laugh at him – something which would never have happened when he was the president. [LINK]

 

 

 

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.

 

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25 Responses to “Do you salute the Rank or the Man”

  • oxygen:

    @ Tang Li

    In the rat’s world of politics, loyalty is the kind of tradeable chip and preserve only in the animal world. Once expired of value, who is surprised that rats Trump and McConnell ratfucked each other?

    They are both engaged in desperate scavenging and/in preserving their own leftover political capital in the aftermath of Trump’s November lost election.

    BOTH ARE THOROUGHLY HYPOCRITICAL shameless rats.

    Capitol Hill is Trump’s family business – same as McConnell’s.

    You are right of this observation.

    ” Mr. Trump could not imagine that he’d lose an election and that the judges he appointed would not support his bid to get the results struck down.”

    THERE IS NO ELECTION FRAUD – not one shred of evidence to the contrary was available to tender in evidence. The ratty Trumps was drowned in the ocean of truth and saved of a few scavengers like Ted Cruz (another rat fleeing frozen Texas bringing his family to holiday to warm Mexico) and QAnon worshiping senator Greene, most of the other Republicans are just wiping their own a*ses before coming out of the washrooms except for the 7 muskeeters who voted correctly alongside the Democrats for Trump’s impeachment and truth of history.

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  • xoxo:

    Its a puppy eats puppy world,what else?
    Even Steve Jobs was shunned before he made another come-back?

    If tomorrow Dr Chee becomes PM and exposes all closets of bones,see what will happen?

    Gahmen must behave like GOVERNMENT and not try to be like corporate chieftain$.

    People still honour Dr Goh in Sg,dont they?
    And,Ong Teng Cheong.
    In Panda Land,people remember Deng Xiaoping fondly and revere him.

    Trumping TRUMP got trumped.
    It is a lesson for arrogant LEEder$.

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  • Tangliga Buchikonya:

    At least Trump not hypocritical. He don’t mince his words. Unlike one who misleads under pretext of mediocre/passe literature and insulting “unwary readers” through a labyrinth of innuendoes. Salute? I say, I show my middle “finger” to him or his rank if he has any!

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  • TEMUSIK PATRIOT:

    Ok Tangfastic, a good contribution,Oxy said it all

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    @ How did this relationship suddenly turn so sour?

    Change is a constant.

    History has many examples Mao and Lin Biao. Dr M and Anwar…

    Families sue each other for inheritance. Somemore siblings also killed each other for power struggle.

    As far back as Zhou dynasty, 周武王 who’s live too short. Temporary hand over to his trusted brother 周公 to assist his young son the successor. Other 周武王’s brothers started rebellion.

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    @ How did this relationship suddenly turn so sour?

    Change is a constant.

    History has many examples Mao and Lin Biao. Dr M and Anwar…F&N…

    Families sue each other for inheritance. Somemore siblings also killed each other for power struggle.

    As far back as Zhou dynasty, 周武王 who’s live too short. Temporary hand over to his trusted brother 周公 to assist his young son the successor. Other 周武王’s brothers started rebellion.

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    ” 《紅樓夢》中查抄大觀園,探春說:百足之蟲死而不僵,必須從家裡自殺自滅起來,才能一敗塗地呢。外人算計你不可怕,可怕的就是親兄弟算計你,但是為了權力,兄弟反目,父子成仇的事件太多太多了!

    像被兒子活活餓死的齊桓公、趙武靈王,被兄弟手刃的李建成、李元吉,歷史上比比皆是,不足為奇,兄弟鬩於牆的光榮傳統詠流傳 ”

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  • Si Mi Lan:

    Salute the rank or the man ?

    What a shit article ?
    U compare military with civilian.

    Tang Li , did u serve NS ?
    Military.
    Dont salute what happen ?
    Court martial charged with insubordination. Have u try fast parade square marching with full pack ?
    Signed extra duties ?
    Sat sun confined cannot book out ?

    Civilian.
    U dont like someone or your job or your superior. U job hop or quit.
    If u dont like your boss or superior also have to fake a smiling face.
    Your superior control your appraisal = increments = paid = bonus = a good testimonial if u job hop.
    Have u experience 3 years no pay increments not because of business or economy no good.

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  • oxygen:

    LOYALTY, SERVITUDE, TREACHERY are all tradeable commodities in politics.

    Nothing has change.

    PAP mandate strong: Change is a constant.

    NY Times has these illuminations.

    NY Times:When Donald J. Trump lost the 2016 Iowa caucuses to Senator Ted Cruz, during a campaign in which he insulted Mr. Cruz’s wife and father, the future president did what he typically does after a loss: Mr. Trump falsely claimed he had won and accused his opponent of election fraud.

    “What Donald does, when he loses, is he blames everybody else,” Mr. Cruz, Republican of Texas, responded at the time. “It’s never Donald’s fault…..

    Mr. Cruz is singing a different tune.

    Instead of resisting Mr. Trump’s fictions as he did in 2016 when he claimed that he would not become “a servile puppy puppy,” Mr. Cruz is leading the effort to perpetuate Mr. Trump’s fantasy that the election was stolen from him.

    Wife and father are also tradeable commodities.

    Once a Foe of Trump, Cruz Leads a Charge to Reverse His Election Loss

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/03/us/politics/trump-cruz-election-fraud.html

    The ice never melt and if Cruz or Greene contest the 2024 election and if either won the party nominee, it is the final disintegration of America even if it is not the Republican Party.

    Economically America is heading toward debt comatose – a gift to China to dominate the global political and economic landscape – like it or not.

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  • Carry balls or rank:

    You carry balls for rank or man?

    After a long heavy read, we now know that PB is depending on TL for his 3 meals.

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  • S-stirrer2terrorist2braggart:

    Simi lanjiao below?
    Cannot help bragging about his rank & magnanimity now?

    I take my own professional development as an example. I kept in touch with PN Balji after he left the editorship at Today. I earned a job at Bang PR and two court case jobs (Susan Lim vs Singapore Medical Council and Guy Neil vs Ku De Ta). I have now reached the stage where I can pass him work.- Tang Li

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    Deceptions and hypocrisy will always be there in this world.

    Just like some here state he salute Myanmar people. He admire Myanmar people. He respect Myanmar people. Why he salute admire respect and not action himself to earn respect ? Myanmar people is facing bullets ( life and death ) whereas he only tio lim kopi or court case only. Yet excuses after excuses and still trying to act man. He instead display his shortfall.

    Just like China claims only 4 died in Sino India clash yet. Russia reported 45 soldiers died over PRC side.
    Fake news ? Misinformation ? Whats the truth ?
    Only those involve know the truth.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiatoday.in/amp/india/video/russian-news-agency-reports-45-chinese-soldiers-died-galwan-clash-1771030-2021-02-19

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  • Ah Li i Biden's blue-eyed boy?:

    Confucius said:
    “Smooth talk, pretentiousness, and obsequiousness: Zuoqiu Ming detested such behavior, and I detest it too. Acting friendly towards a person you secretly resent: Zuoqiu Ming detested such behavior, and I detest it too.”

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  • Narcissists:

    S-stirrer2terrorist2braggart: Simi lanjiao below?
    Cannot help bragging about his rank & magnanimity now?

    New research shows why narcissists become less popular over time.

    While narcissists tend to win during that “emerging zone”, narcissists have been found to report less commitment in ongoing romantic relationships and higher numbers of marriages and subsequent divorces. W. Keith Campbell has found that relationships with narcissists tend to show a dramatic decline after just four months.

    Particular contexts trigger either the positive or negative pathway in narcissists. A great test for the negative pathway is whether the person gets really aggressive after their ego is threatened in any way. (Tracy can confirm this)

    They actually have rather good insight into the fact that they make positive first impressions that deteriorate over time, and they even describe themselves as “arrogant”, often being proud of it (seeing it as a sign of courage)! Truth is, narcissists aren’t insecure “deep down” on everything.

    Full story here:
    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-do-narcissists-lose-popularity-over-time?utm_source=pocket-newtab

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  • S-stirrer2terrorist2braggart:

    OH BOY! COPY. Now I know. Tks.

    Narcissists: New research shows why narcissists become less popular over time.

    While narcissists tend to win during that “emerging zone”, narcissists have been found to report less commitment in ongoing romantic relationships and higher numbers of marriages and subsequent divorces. W. Keith Campbell has found that relationships with narcissists tend to show a dramatic decline after just four months.

    Particular contexts trigger either the positive or negative pathway in narcissists. A great test for the negative pathway is whether the person gets really aggressive after their ego is threatened in any way. (Tracy can confirm this)

    They actually have rather good insight into the fact that they make positive first impressions that deteriorate over time, and they even describe themselves as “arrogant”, often being proud of it (seeing it as a sign of courage)! Truth is, narcissists aren’t insecure “deep down” on everything.

    Full story here:
    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-do-narcissists-lose-popularity-over-time?utm_source=pocket-newtab

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  • mike:

    Dear @ PAP mandate strong

    Not fake news. This is one of the CCP’s statistical data doctrine. I call it the ‘Rule of Convenience’. If the actual data is 45, drop the number 5 and publish 4.

    E.g. if the figure is 5,623 and it looks ugly, drop 3, publish 562.

    If caught pants down (which usually not the case), just say ‘human error, we are improvimg, thank you for helping us in achieving higher standard (of cheat)’

    To boost figures it is easier, add ’0′s (or any digit you like e.g. 8) especially effective if number is 6 digits or more. E.g. this year actual profit is $255,500 publish as $2,555,000 if get caught (where got so easy to catch ^.^) use the ‘Art of Human Error’. A ‘good news’ figure usually people will not check. For example, if you report income as 1,000,000 instead as 100,000 no gov in this world will question you or tries to correct such error.

    Thus, truth is not important, they are merely figures or opinions. What type of responds desired is more important.

    Forgot to mention, don’t ask people like me to announce such figures, need to get ‘professor’ or some MIT background experts to independently agree or nearly agree to the doctored figure. It will be flawless.

    As a Rule of the Thumb figures from CN is +/- 1000% degree error.

    One can never be able to access raw numbers. Sound familiar?

    PAP mandate strong:
    Just like China claims only 4 died in Sino India clash yet. Russia reported 45 soldiers died over PRC side.
    Fake news ? Misinformation ? Whats the truth ?
    Only those involve know the truth.

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  • mike:

    Before i missed the purpose on why i am here… ^. ^”

    Dear @ TangLi

    What’s going on with you recently? Tries to increase viewership?
    If Trump is a nut, McConnell is a cockscrew — only pick the soft parts.

    You should do more homework to check out the family trees of McConnell and partner.

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    @ Confucius said:
    “Smooth talk, pretentiousness, and obsequiousness: Zuoqiu Ming detested such behavior, and I detest it too. Acting friendly towards a person you secretly resent: Zuoqiu Ming detested such behavior, and I detest it too.”

    Haha.
    In reality , in the modern world if u need to socialize , u can distant but u cant shunt. Unless u have strong belief and all living in an area e.g the Amish. If u can find your group , good for u.

    In contrary, 鬼谷子 talk is very important high skill as illustrated in 春秋戰國. But unfortunately 學藝不精 mostly use in cheating. Its not buttering, flattery or bs….

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  • xoxo:

    The SELF-GRAVITATIONAL INCLINATIONS OF TRUMP IS NOW BEING COUNTER-ACTED BY THE HUMBLER BIDEN.

    * MAKE AMERICA ^GREAT^ AGAIN * IS NOW SEEMINGLY ROLLED INTO *MAKE america GOOD again* and that augurs more positively for the world at large.

    Arrogance caused USA 500k covid deaths but WISDOM N HUMILITY will be needed to HEAL THE ONCE GOOD USA,i humbly opine.

    BIDEN IS MORE COMPOSED,MORE FOOTED ON THE GROUND.
    USA WILL BE A GREAT NATION AGAIN IF IT BECOMES GOOD AGAIN,that,i am sure.

    * GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD BLESS BIDEN TO DO THE RIGHT THINGS SO THAT THE WORLD CAN BECOME GOOD ONCE MORE…

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  • TEMUSIK PATRIOT:

    oxygen:
    LOYALTY, SERVITUDE, TREACHERY are all tradeable commodities in politics.

    Nothing has change.

    NY Times has these illuminations.

    Wife and father are also tradeable commodities.

    Once a Foe of Trump, Cruz Leads a Charge to Reverse His Election Loss

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/03/us/politics/trump-cruz-election-fraud.html

    The ice never melt and if Cruz or Greene contest the 2024 election and if either won the party nominee, it is the final disintegration of America even if it is not the Republican Party.

    Economically America is heading toward debt comatose – a gift to China to dominate the global political and economic landscape – like it or not.

    Oxy, in the Filthy Field of Politics there is No permanent Friend or Foes…with the exception of the Family of Lies where you are a “FOE for LIFE” Karma is now swirling around the FamiLee

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  • TEMUSIK PATRIOT:

    mike:
    Before i missed the purpose on why i am here… ^. ^”

    Dear @ TangLi

    What’s going on with you recently? Tries to increase viewership?
    If Trump is a nut, McConnell is a cockscrew — only pick the soft parts.

    You should do more homework to check out the family trees of McConnell and partner.

    mike, Tangfastic if you recall started CONtributions through self-glory and dropping names like the Shit that drop from his a$$e daily…today he has improved much definitely better than the idiotic contibutors leh!!!

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  • TEMUSIK PATRIOT:

    S-stirrer2terrorist2braggart:
    OH BOY! COPY. Now I know. Tks.

    I believe this SUIT the man name Lie Con You aptly named by his father and that is why he criticized his father in his book as a wasteral pawning his mother’s JEWELRY for naming him CON YOU since he knows that is what his son will turn out to be

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    PAP mandate strong:
    Deceptions and hypocrisy will always be there in this world.

    Just like some here state he salute Myanmar people. He admire Myanmar people. He respect Myanmar people. Why he salute admire respect and not action himself to earn respect ? Myanmar people is facing bullets ( life and death ) whereas he only tio lim kopi or court case only. Yet excuses after excuses and still trying to act man. He instead display his shortfall.

    There are many such people in this forum. Admire this, respect that.

    In true reality, these people are just instigator who hide away in a safe place instigating others to charge with nicety such as admire this, respect that.

    These people who use such nicety are just giving excuses to instigate someone else to do the dirty job for them while they sit back to relax and enjoy lives… very much like what HK pro democracy leader Martin Lee did.

    While students charged at frontline, Martin Lee Enjoys fine Dinner far away frontline
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXjSv3Hj-Xg

    PAP mandate strong:
    Just like China claims only 4 died in Sino India clash yet. Russia reported 45 soldiers died over PRC side.
    Fake news ? Misinformation ? Whats the truth ?
    Only those involve know the truth.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiatoday.in/amp/india/video/russian-news-agency-reports-45-chinese-soldiers-died-galwan-clash-1771030-2021-02-19

    What do you expect from CCP ? the Truth ? You must be kidding.
    If freaking CCP don’t lies and steal, do you think Cheena can advance so quickly ?

    But take heart. China will bankrupt soon looking at the money losing railway business they are in.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$

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  • oxygen:

    @ TEMUSIK PATRIOT,

    INDEED Tangastic did displayed some good insight in this thread.

    TEMUSIK PATRIOT: mike, Tangfastic if you recall started CONtributions through self-glory and dropping names like the Shit that drop from his a$$e daily…today he has improved much definitely better than the idiotic contibutors leh!!!

    UNLIKE A COMPLETE A*SE HOLE desperately in late intrusion & self-stimulating ever so hard at circus busking or carnival jestering to disrupt and distract attention away from this serious discourse.

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  • oxygen:

    @ PAP mandate strong

    ON THIS ONE, we are on the same page.

    PAP mandate strong: Deceptions and hypocrisy will always be there in this world.

    oxygen: LOYALTY, SERVITUDE, TREACHERY are all tradeable commodities in politics.

    Nothing has change.

    also shared by

    TEMUSIK PATRIOT: Oxy, in the Filthy Field of Politics there is No permanent Friend or Foes…

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