Life is nothing more than the sum of our choices and with the State of the Union on Tuesday there are few, if any, more important for the President to make than the security of our country and the integrity of our brand.
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The ugly truth is that the U.S. is in the embryonic stage of a holy war with faceless Islamic terrorists whose leaders have called upon all jihadists to ‘Think Global and Act Local’ a fact our administration continues to vacillate on. We know that ISIS has taken to social media for the recruitment of new members, training existing jihadists and the planning of attacks. As this truth blatantly stares us in the face on a daily basis, we, as a country, are faced with a true life-changing choice; that being whether we are willing to sacrifice convenience of lifestyle and capitalistic agendas for a homeland safe from the invasion of terrorism.
As a firm believer in the purest mantra of capitalism one can only applaud the corporate vison and successes of companies such as Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) but as an American who wakes each day with gratitude for the freedom I will get to enjoy, I am bound to my commitment toward the furtherance of our current way of life.
Domestically, we have begun releasing convicted criminals for fear that the 14th Amendment will come back to bite public officials. As a strict constitutionalist, I find there no reason why we simply can’t house inmates in tents provided they are properly fed, clothed and afforded access to all basic human needs. After all, if it is acceptable for our military it should be more than suitable for our convicted criminals.
With the omnipresent threat of Islamic terrorism on American soil looming, police-community relations are at their worst since the 60’s. We have a violence epidemic in our country occurring at our schools, workplaces, theaters and malls, and elected officials are insisting on blaming guns in lieu of mental illness. The Administration has brokered prisoners of war being released from Gitmo for accused traitors, convicted criminals are being placed back into our communities prior to serving their sentence and corporate leaders are crystallizing the actual net worth of our freedom by choosing the luster of profits over the security of our nation. I’d say President Obama’s dance card is full.
Nonetheless, we must receive clear and decisive direction with expeditious implementation plans from the President as he addresses the nation. Further, it is these and many more national security-related concerns that our next President must swiftly provide realistic solutions for.
In sum, the occupant of the Oval Office and his successor need to ‘get it’ right and enact a national call to action to our communities, CEO’s and perhaps most importantly, our elected officials for them to begin being more concerned with doing their job, than keeping it.
Paul Viollis is Chief Executive of Viollis Group International, a global security consultancy firm. He has held multiple leadership roles including Managing Director for Citigate Global Intelligence & Security; and Vice President at Kroll, where he served on their post September 11th Threat Assessment Team.
Paul is the author and lead editor for Jane's Publishing's book "Workplace Security” and Contributing Editor for Jane's. He is co-author of "Silent Safety – Best Practices for Protecting the Affluent”. He appears regularly on the FOX Business Network as well as other national television and radio outlets.
Paul holds the distinction of Honorary Assistant Attorney General for the State of Louisiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, a Master of Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy.