Paul A. Ibbetson
A meeting with the boss
By Paul A. Ibbetson
September 17, 2009

Have you ever had to have one of those special sit-downs with the boss? You know, the kind where you have to sit in the big office with the blinds drawn to receive one of those "this is how it is" lectures — or the "better do it better next time" lessons of the work place. That is the kind of memory that even in retrospect quickens the pulse and starts that first light sheet of sweat on the palms. The reason that happens is that, for most of us, we understand and respect the authority of the boss. As a matter of fact, any boss that is worth his or her salt makes sure that the employees understand who calls the shots and has the last say. It's a boss thing. Now, if we step out of the work place and into this country of ours, who do we identify as the boss?

From Congress to Barack Obama (and even as far as Bruce Springsteen), the boss of this country is not found. The one in charge of the future of this nation has much more power than all the above combined. Unfortunately, the authority within this country is often forgetful of the responsibility given to it, and the ramifications of losing focus while at the helm. This forgetfulness is not without visible consequences and we see it in the slow but sure way the master of this country has handed the power and authority to the employees. Yes, you know where I am going, we the people run this country and the government is simply an employee, a humble assistant, to facilitate our will. This statement may appear more derogatory than the shout of "liar" during a presidential speech, but it rings as true as America itself, that the people are not only capable, but responsible for their own fortune or demise. To mentally come to terms with this truth is hard for some, but allow me to shine some light on this perspective.

The terms of this powerful reality require that average people remove themselves from the comfortably scripted cocoon of citizen helplessness, framed from the minds and uttered from the lips of the modern liberal, and embrace the much more challenging reality of the power of American individuality. Within this equation for action remains the unshakable truth that where the heart and mind go, the hands will follow. Simply put, if Americans have an inspiration within their hearts and minds for an endeavor, they can and will move mountains. This country has a magnificent history of proving this, time and time again. Conversely, and just as true to reality, when we fail to move mountains, it is a direct reflection of a lack of American will to invest the heart and mind to such a task.

Since 9-11, if we take a factual panoramic view of the country, we can see some truly painful deficiencies in America's will to force its government to address the concerns of its people ("the boss"). A few examples that make many cringe include the still gaping hole at ground zero, where the Twin Towers (America's financial center — the World Trade Center) once stood. The failures of the nation to secure its borders and drill its own oil are examples that demand answers for years of inaction. The most salient example in recent days involve an image of employees running amuck in the governmental bid to force socialized medicine upon a free nation. However, disciplinary action cannot be wielded until 'who is in charge' is unequivocally established. So here it is: the responsibility for the present condition of the country and its future lies squarely on the shoulders of the American people — not the government. This is both the pain and pleasure of freedom. At times of national complacency, it is both the physical and spiritual accomplishments so abundant to view in America that slap us out of temporary fits of malaise.

I think that may be happening now, I believe that we may be hearing the voice of the boss screaming from streets of Washington DC. The boss sounds mad, and rightly so, as the employees have been running out of control for far too long. A day of reckoning may be at hand, and a time for many reckless employees to seriously have one of those special sit-downs with the boss.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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