A moral and humanitarian failure of leadership

A moral and humanitarian failure of leadership

What benefits any person, group or nation to gain all the material wealth in the known universe but to ultimately lose the very essence of the core of their own soul?  That is one existential question which Yours Truly has been forced by public statements and actions (or lack thereof) made by certain government officials to ruminate upon during my fortnight hiatus from blogging.  Even being on vacation visiting an elderly relative in San Diego and reconnecting with two old shipmates could not insulate me from all the air getting sucked out of the media atmosphere with evermore sensational news items emanating from the White House with seemingly every news cycle.  The incumbent *President has been masterful at playing the distraction card, especially to those he considers his base supporters.  It has gotten progressively more intense as the walls of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian hacking investigation close in on him.  No extreme of sabre-rattling is off the table to divert public and media focus from this ongoing investigation.

Over the past week the huge distraction item revolving around the events in Charlottesville, VA has forced many in the Republican Party and pretty much any American of any political stripe who possesses any sort of moral compass to examine not only their own core values but those of the incumbent national “leadership” or what passes for it.  The “Alt-Right” mob’s clash with groups opposing them and the ensuing violence which resulted in the death of one counter-protester has been one item the media talking heads have managed to keep alive.  It however was not as telling as the way the incumbent *President opted to handle the situation from the Bully Pulpit, and his way can only be characterized at an egregious mishandling of an issue that should not have been at all difficult.  That is giving the man full benefit of the doubt (something that is getting increasing more difficult to do, by the way).  Seriously, how difficult can it possibly be to single out and denounce Nazism or the Ku Klux Klan and all the odious immoral baggage associated with such ideologies?  By any reasonable metric, condemning well established evil and its associated ideas is a pretty low bar for the leader of any nation let alone the once “defacto leader of the free world” and the incumbent *President failed to clear it.  Fast forward the below linked YouTube video to the 0:55 mark and you may find yourself as disappointed as I was.

The *President addresses the Charlottesville clashes

To make matters worse, or to eliminate any element of doubt regarding the *President’s intent as to levying blame for the violence on “many sides,” he doubled down on his original statement.

The *President doubles down on “Blame on Both Sides”

My thanks to FactCheck.org for providing a timeline of the *President’s statements.

The *President’s Press Conference, in context

What should be taken from this press conference?  So, all who oppose Nazism and White Supremacy are now collectively know as the “Alt-Left?”  Hmmmm, my generation is only one removed from when there was no “Alt-Right” or “Alt-Left” but only right or wrong.  My thanks to whoever put this one on Facebook:

Let us be clear on the history of how we got to this point.  The values embodied by Nazi Germany and the Confederate States of America were soundly defeated when the war machines representing the ideologies of each were emasculated and vanquished by force on arms on the field of battle.

General U. S. Grant accepts General Robert E.  Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, VA

Organizations such as the Neo-Nazi Movement  and the Ku Klux Klan (both of which were represented in the events and violence in Charlottesville) that seek to revive defeated ideas and ideals that revolve around concepts of antisemitism, authoritarianism, slavery, genocide or the notion that one race is superior to another are losers at their core.  When the former Grand Wizard of the KKK (who was also present in Charlottesville) extends his personal thanks to the incumbent *President, it pretty much removes any doubt as who and what constitutes who thrives among his “base supporters.”

Former Grand Wizard of the KKK thanks the *President

Americans will now be further divided between the factions of those alienated or further alienated by what the *President said or didn’t say regarding the events in Charlottesville and those whose who are able to contort their value system to square it with whatever cognitive dissonance they may experience. Even for unconditional supporters of this *President, that may take some doing.

Human beings have two innate fears:  fear of loud noises and fear of falling.  Every other fear is LEARNED.  What can be learned can also be unlearned.  The ideals such as antisemitism, White Supremacy, slavery, genocide or the notion that one race is superior to all others that are contained in Nazism, the KKK and neo-Confederacy are, at their core, devoid of humanity.  It does not require advanced education to grasp something this basic.  If a corporate leader in today’s global marketplace were to place their personal tolerance for such repugnant ideas front and center in their storefront then their company would risk being relegated solely to like-minded clientele and subject to boycott which might adversely impact the corporate bottom line.  The United States of America was, heretofore, the defacto leader of the free world.  As such, it not only deserves but requires competent leadership that recognizes, understands and calls out evil when and where it presents.  A few months ago during the winter of our discontent I made a comment that a still small voice deep within my soul was whispering in my ear that the great American Experiment is at an end.  Given the events of the past several days I must admit that the decibel level of that still small voice has increased markedly and its message is has not changed.  Some may contend that we would be better off with no leadership than with bad leadership but either way something has to change and change soon as the moral course of the Ship of State is heading into even more treacherous territory.  Morality matters and the humanity of a nation hangs in the balance.  A constitutional crisis is indeed looming on the horizon as leadership that turns a blind eye to evil in its midst as we have seen from the man in charge is not sustainable.

3 Comments

  1. Cynthia Schmitt
    Aug 28, 2017

    I puke a little everytime i hear his name, see him on t.v. , or have to refer to him as Prez…i was listening to NPR on Sunday morning when a guest host in January was commenting on his win. It was funny then. Its not now.

  2. Carl A.
    Aug 19, 2017

    I had that same thought today… maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I don’t see how this sort of incompetent and amoral ‘leadership’ can continue much longer without Trump deciding to simply quit. His idea of being president is to have everyone do whatever HE wants, and if he sees that is never going to happen, then the easiest way to deal with that is just to give up and go back to being a billionaire bigshot, where everyone kowtows to your every whim…

  3. Cheryl Reese
    Aug 18, 2017

    I have a feeling that Trump may be out soon. I think he will resign rather than wait around to be impeached. I may be totally wrong, but I can dream, can’t I?

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