Leadership Without Character
By: Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published on August 28, 2018
When leadership is divorced from character, it is morally bankrupt. We saw this axiom validated in the cases of German Führer Adolf Hitler, Italian fascist Benito Mussolini, Argentine dictator Juan Perón, Ugandan strongman Idi Amin, Cambodian communist revolutionary politician Pol Pot, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, and the long list of other disgraced despots that earned their way into the dustbin of history.
Since Saturday, American President Donald Trump has demonstrated to the entire world that he lacks the basic human decency and character necessary to appreciate and celebrate the life and legacy of Vietnam War hero John McCain’s death. Trump, who dodged the War through a series of five highly questionable draft deferments, refused to praise McCain for his 60 years of dedicated service to America.
Yesterday, Trump’s staff finally persuaded him to lower the flag atop the White House to half-staff until McCain is buried. Trump issued a statement recognizing McCain’s distinguish public service only after growing public pressure forced him to do so.
Loyal Trump apologists initially sought to join the President in trashing McCain in death. When the tsunami of public opinion made them look as small and petty as Trump, these loyalists retreated into silence and anonymity.
Congressional leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have watched Trump debase the Presidency since assuming office in 2017. Reportedly, they were as shocked and embarrassed at Trump’s actions following McCain’s death as most right-thinking Americans who appreciate and celebrate our military heroes.
Ryan and McConnell, who are little more than bootlickers for Trump, refused to stand up to Trump for the way he was impugning McCain and his legacy in death.
Fortunately, the American people rose above partisan politics and demanded that Trump and his political lackeys in Washington publically honor John McCain.
McCain’s death reminded us of this truism: Adversity does not build character; it reveals character, or the lack thereof.
John McCain embodied class and character. Trump has neither.
John McCain was an American patriot. Trump is a despot.
John McCain earned the nation’s admiration and respect through many decades of unselfish public service. Trump subjects the nation to nothing but endless political wrangling and legal drama.
Trump is a political cult figure. He is totally incapable of loving anybody or anything other than himself. Trump’s diehard cult followers do not care if Trump lacks class or character, or not. They love Trump because of his limitations, not in spite of them.
Photo: President Donald Trump (left) and Ugandan President Idi Amin.