Strong, Smart, and Resolute Leaders: What America Needs Now

covid-19-featured-image
COVID-19: Not impressed by weak, dumb, and irresolute leaders 

W.J. Astore

If nothing else is true, COVID-19 is a wake-up call to all of us about the need for strong, smart, and resolute leadership.

Donald Trump is not that kind of leader.  He ducks all responsibility for mistakes, provides false information, and blames the crisis on others (Europeans, a “foreign” virus, the Obama administration, and so on).  His VP, Mike Pence, has been a non-entity for years and has done nothing to allay the concerns of Americans.

Meanwhile, the Democratic front runner, Joe Biden, has given short remarks read off a teleprompter.  I see headlines like “Can Biden handle a two-hour debate?” and I wince.  If serious people think Biden may not have the physical and mental endurance to perform well in a staged political conversation, how can we possibly believe he is fit enough to be president for four years?  Biden will be 78 in November, and none of us is getting younger.  If there are serious concerns about his mental and physical stamina now, when he’s not being pushed, how can there not be profound concerns about his ability to handle the burden of presidential leadership?  Severe stress ages everyone, and we shouldn’t close our eyes to this reality.

Roughly the same age, Bernie Sanders appears mentally and physically robust, and his speeches on the pandemic have been sensible, detailed, and smart.  But even Bernie isn’t getting any younger.

In Biden’s case, people may argue that Joe can always fall back on his VP if he fails in office.  But we don’t elect a president with the idea that he’s infirm and may soon need to pass his duties to a younger man or woman.

There is one presidential candidate still in the running for the Democrats who is strong, smart, and resolute and who is young to boot: Tulsi Gabbard.  She is 39 and has dramatic ideas to help ordinary Americans during this crisis.  Yet she’s been excluded from the Democratic debate by the DNC that can’t forgive her for supporting Bernie Sanders in 2016 while criticizing corruption within the party.

As Americans, we need to get serious about our leaders.  Trump has shown he has no answers.  Biden’s debate performances (among other public appearances) raise serious questions about his mental and physical capacity for office.

Yet as of this moment these two men appear to be our likely choices come November.  At a time of severe crisis, that’s no choice at all.

11 thoughts on “Strong, Smart, and Resolute Leaders: What America Needs Now

  1. Absolutely, the choice of Trump-Biden is no choice at all. Mental decline aside, Biden is an inveterate liar and his political career mirrors the neoliberal war-making, Wall-Street (C.I.A) loving, faux “gate keeping” takeover of the Democratic Party. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden played a crucial role in the spearheading of the Iraq invasion, “unleashing the dogs of war”, as he put it.
    Biden now tries to pawn the lie that he thought Bush would give inspectors fair opportunity—that no WMD’s would be found, and thus there would be no war. Biden perversely claims his. vote for the Iraq War was actually a vote for inspections. Imagine that. Moreover, the Iraq war vote was 3 weeks after Saddam agreed to full unfettered inspections—but of course Cheney-Bush was having none of that. The rest of Biden’s foreign policy record only reinforces my point.
    Biden’s “domestic” resume’ is no better, but I won’t drag on.

    Right on about Tulsi. And I’m afraid Bernie has serious flaws, but compared to Biden-Trump, it’s the only serious choice we won’t be allowed to have.

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  2. The problem of what passes for a “mindset” in the noggins of untold millions of our fellow citizens is that a.) Mike Pence is Jesus’s “non-entity,” so they adore him; and b.) Trump the Magnificent is blameless, just as he proclaims, in this and any other badly bungled government crisis response. Of course Obama’s to blame!! Truly– thank you Mr. Orwell–“Ignorance is Strength” and must be elevated as the highest goal to which to aspire as a society! The Democratic Party is also in a crisis, a crisis of ossified presidential candidates. Bernie at least, despite his chronological age, offers what are fresh ideas for this country. (Though in realm of public health policy, it’s really just a matter of trying to catch up with the rest of the “developed” world.) Can the Dems come up with a viable, appealing, youngish running mate for Biden? This is a big question right now.

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  3. I’m w you on this Harold Tulsi is a winner and I hope the dems can at least put her up for VP . I don’t think they have the chutzpah to put her up for President

    >

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    1. My call on the clever Democrats campaign is this: Bernie is out and Joe Bidens VP is….. Hillary! Within 12 months she’ll simply take over as the prez resigns due to ‘ill health’. Not since Gerald Ford will the US has the US ended up with a president that no one voted for. Taking bets now…..

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      1. Heck, they might just give her the nomination at the Convention, and let her pick Warren or Harris as running mate.All bets are off.

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        1. I’ve long felt that Clinton will not be denied a place on the ticket; if Biden stumbles (which appears inevitable even with Jill Biden, playing the role of Edith Wilson, at his side) – we could see the rise of Hillary and Michelle as the dream team – who would still lose to Trump and Pence (with Haley available as needed).

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  4. I know I’m grasping at straws here, engaging in low-probability hope, but one possible outcome of all the cultural cancellations we’re experiencing (ie; due to this Covid-19 situation) could be that enough people are virtually ‘forced’ to pay more-than-normal attention to politics, due to the fact that there are no live sports events going-on AND that many other public events & institutions are cancelled/closed. Theoretically at least, this could lead to some serious reflection – including our national spending priorities (‘defense’ spending vs humanitarian spending) — by enough (not ALL, but ENOUGH) individuals to possibly push politics in a more positive/progressive direction…?

    I’m not betting that this will happen, but then again 6 months ago I wouldn’t have bet that society would be coming to a near stand-still due to a pandemic, so I’m certainly not any more prescient than anyone else…

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  5. On Saturday night, Illinois governor JB Pritzker tweeted directly at Trump and Pence, noting that the customs process is under federal jurisdiction and demanding they take action to ease the crowding at O’Hare.

    “The crowds and lines … are unacceptable and need to be addressed immediately,” Pritzker wrote.

    “Since this is the only communication medium you pay attention to – you need to do something NOW. These crowds are waiting to get through customs which is under federal jurisdiction.

    “To the frustrated people trying to get home, I have spoken with the mayor and our senators and we are working together to get the federal government to act to solve this. We will do everything within our power to get relief.

    “The federal government needs to get its s@#t together. NOW.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/15/coronavirus-governor-pritzker-trump-shit-together-airports-chicago-ohare
    ===============================================
    The Covid-19 situation just epitomizes the failure of the political leadership in general and in particular the gross negligence of The Trumpet and his stooges like Pastor Pence and his Elected Allies in the House and Senate.

    The Trumpet makes grand sweeping announcements, back tracks and leaves the whole system in chaos. The Trumpet’s sole purpose in life is – What is Good for Me??? All other considerations are secondary.

    ‘It is not truth that matters, but victory.”
    Adolf Hitler

    I really hesitated to use a Hitler quote, since so many mindless people believe The Trumpet as the second coming of Hitler. Reverse the coin, The Trumpet’s followers along with Pastor Pence view the The Trumpet as doing God’s Work. The extremes on both ends.

    I could test negative for Covid-19 today, and erroneously think, “everything is cool in the motor pool” only to be exposed to Covid-19 tomorrow.

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  6. Right on in relation to Tulsi, Bill-Man. After reflecting, and reading the comments here, she may indeed be the smartest choice for Biden’s running mate, if the Dem’s want any real chance of victory. Finally a Democrat worth fighting.

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