Thursday, June 18, 2020

A Different Kind Of Leadership

Shortly after the protests over the killing by police in Minneapolis of George Floyd, syndicated columnist Paul Waldman remarked

We have now seen Trump tested twice in rapid succession, called upon to provide leadership that goes beyond the practical management of the federal government or the selection of policies that turn out to be wise. That leadership is spiritual and emotional, the kind that gives Americans hope that we can solve our problems and emerge from our current nightmare. And his failure worsens by the day.

Leadership, however, can take more than one form. It can mean leadership of a nation which, as Waldman outlines, the President has spectacularly failed at. Or it can mean leadership of a faction of the American people, of which Trump has been far more successful:
Are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives. A lesser leader might say "are inconsistent with strict constructionist principles" or "are at odds with the values of the American people."  He would be wrong, of course, nor would it be exercising leadership.

Instead, the President has chosen to encourage supporters, or would-be supporters, of his, such as the armed, right-wing Boogaloog Bois. He already has witnessed the impact of other armed, right-wing men in state capitols in Columbus, Lansing, and Albany, NY.

And now, he warns about losing an Amendment that nearly can't berevoked. We've been down this road before, with calls to "liberate Virginia," "liberate Michigan," and "liberate Minnestota." So encouraging an armed rebellion against the federal government or the Supreme Court is just another effort to provoke the individuals or groups who will be ready after the election, winor lose, to take up arms against their fellow Americans.

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