Uninspiring US Leaders
Perhaps one’s perception is clouded by childhood memories, but it seems as one grows older, the worse the US leaders become. Considering all the theatrics and public debate in the lead up to the presidential elections that should highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates, it is amazing that the person finally chosen in most cases turns out to be a disappointment.
With one or two notable exceptions, the various US presidents in the writer’s lifetime have shown complete naivete when it comes to foreign affairs and none comes to mind when talking about balancing budgets. The current incumbent, and the congress as well, have blundered along merrily till the current credit crisis emerged. It must be galling being the president with a financial mess largely made for you when you took office but copping the blame for the whole thing. Still, that is what presidents are for. Stirring speeches, bold actions; people look for it, expect it and will live with it even if they oppose it as long as they can believe that the top man knows what he is doing and they can see a path forward.
This was true for FDR who was elected in similar circumstances immediately after the start of the great depression. He was hated by many sections of American society for interfering in business but he is still remembered today as a great leader. We are hardly seeing great leadership today. The election process is essentially the same as when FDR was elected so we can only hope something good comes from the next presidential election in 2012.
We have to believe that the US will come good and lead the way similar to its role in the world years ago but it would be good if we could have a US president who really acted like one.