Far too many people think that leadership is about style over substance these days. It’s almost as if it is more important to look and sound like a leader rather than behave like one. I wonder if historical figures like Abraham Lincoln with his high pitched nasally voice ad physical awkwardness or George Washington who was personally aloof and somewhat stiff in public settings would even stand a chance today. When a society starts spending more time focusing on how things appear rather than how they truly are, we as a people are in trouble. It is the content of someone’s character that matters most when tough decisions need to be made. We are in serious times both geopolitically and socioeconomically. We need deliberative thinkers who think before they act, don’t rush to judgment, have the ability to prioritize amongst competing issues, stay cool under pressure, maintain a reasonable level of consistency in their actions and messaging, build alliances rather than make enemies, and tell us the truth even when it is unpopular. The presidency shouldn’t be just a popularity contest.
As we start another week with political posturing around the debt ceiling it has become far too obvious how political considerations are trumping bipartisanship and what’s best for the country. For all intensive purposes this is a manufactured crisis. The government can’t afford not to raise the debt ceiling for many important reasons. In the past it has been done under presidents from both parties. Since it is a major election season next year, political leaders on both sides are using the issue as a hammer to beat up on their opposition – how sad, yet predictable.
Today we got the news that Osama Bin laden has been killed and is no longer a personal threat to the world. Justice has been served and hopefully our leaders will be keep forging ahead and doing what is right to protect our country and its allies from senseless violence and terrorism. I’m sure it has been and will continue to be a difficult and frustrating job for those responsible for our homeland security. It’s been a long time since 9/11.