Leader – a person or thing that leads; directing, commanding, or guiding head, as of a group or activity. That’s the definition in Webster’s New World College Dictionary (Fourth Edition). That’s right, I still use the old book rather than some online device.
Our President needs to spend some time examining what that word means. We call our President the “leader of the free world.” We expect him to make decisions, and lead the country. A leader doesn’t let poll results dictate his positions. A leader guides the nation, argues for his positions and convinces the nation to follow him. A leader creates the poll results by earning the trust of the nation.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was such a leader. It doesn’t matter if you agree with his positions, he was able to bring the nation along with his ideas. Same thing with John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. These men molded public opinion by showing strength and convincing the country to follow their lead. By their campaigns to push their plans they created and earned their support (poll results).
This lack of leadership in the White House has caused the world many problems. The United States is not viewed as a leader anymore. We are no longer respected by our friends and foes alike. Our ability to control outcomes around the world are past. It will take decades for the United States to rebuild our credibility around the world.
Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East, does not even communicate with us anymore. They would rather go it alone rather than coordinate with the U.S. They do not trust us to be involved with their security.
Russia, never a friend of the west, has boldly invaded its neighbor, Ukraine, because they know that America will do nothing to stop them. Putin believes the United States can be pushed around at will, and he will do so until we push back. Russia challenges the West with military aircraft flying into restrictive areas to see how we react. As long as we don’t respond they will continue to push the boundaries.
Iran, who we are negotiating a deal to stop their nuclear program, have repudiated every part of the agreement that has been reached so far. We have given the radicals from Iran everything they want without giving us anything in return.
NATO, our peacekeeping organization in Europe, has no leadership now that the U.S. has withdrawn from active responsibilities. The United States acts as though we don’t care about European security anymore. And the nations of Europe know we are no longer there for their support and so does Russia.
China, one of the biggest threats to our security, recently hacked our government computer systems. No one from the United States has publicly chastised China for their bold actions. China has an economy that will lead the world through the 21st century. Instead of having America get lean and mean in the private sector, we just send all our manufacturing to the Chinese because they are cheaper than we are.
None of these things would be so if we had a leader in the White House. As we move toward the 2016 elections, the world is moving in a very dangerous direction. I just hope and believe we will still have a world and nation when that election actually arrives. If we do not elect a real leader in 2016, then our day in the sun surely will have passed.