The Basic Reality Of Leadership: Character And Public Presence Truly Matter!

As an observer of politicians for the past 50 years, this author is absolutely amazed at how many citizens fail to see that the key issue in supporting and voting for any politician is their character and their public presence.

If one comes across in his or her public role as prejudiced, biased, uncaring, lacking in compassion for those less fortunate through no fault of their own, lacking in empathy, overly aggressive, nasty, belligerent, bullyish, inability to smile, unconcerned about how he or she deals with the media and the citizens he represents, obviously only interested in his own aggrandizement, the question is WHY would anyone support such a person for any public office?

Millions upon millions have voted for and support politicians who fit this description, and this author knows some people who do this! It is absolutely mind boggling why they find such politicians appealing! And it makes me wonder, and has done so, whether knowing these people, and associating with them, really is in the best interests of my own conscience and basic principles!

So, for instance, how anyone could have liked and admired Richard Nixon is beyond this author’s understanding, as it was very clear to me as a young teenager and after, that Nixon was not a man to be trusted.

The same goes for such politicians as Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin; Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina; Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina; Vice President Spiro Agnew of Maryland; Vice President Dick Cheney of Wyoming; and innumerable other Senators, Congressmen, Governors, cabinet officers, Supreme Court Justices, and other public figures of the past half century, while this author has been aware of what goes on in American government!

This is not saying that because someone is charming and personable and pleasant in public, that he or she cannot be corrupt and despicable, as for instance, Senator John Edwards was, regarding his wife and his cheating on her. He is one of a long list of people who appear to be decent in public, of both political persuasions, who can surprise us with their lies and deception. All of us are able to be fooled by a slick politician, no question about that!

But when one sees people now, running for President or planning to, who are similar to the few cases listed above, one wonders why anyone would support such politicians as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, as a few examples. And how could anyone, in recent times support former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Senator Rick Santorum, Texas Governor Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain, and former Florida Congressman Allen West, among others, who have worked to poison our political system in an extremely detrimental manner?

The head of this author is shaking in disbelief as to the blindness of so many people, who fail to see that these and others are phones, charlatans, and everything else described above!

A final thought I wish to make is that there are politicians who I have not agreed with on issues, but still consider them decent people on the basis of the description I have given above, meaning they do not have the negative characteristics that I outlined earlier. A short list would include Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush, and George W. Bush, along with Senators Bob Dole of Kansas and John McCain of Arizona. So it is not an issue of agreement, per se, but how politicians come across in their character and public presence!

And a final “final” thought, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is getting his “just desserts”, as his obnoxious, bullying character is proving to be truth, as to his not having the opportunity to serve as our President, thank god!

8 comments on “The Basic Reality Of Leadership: Character And Public Presence Truly Matter!

  1. JOB February 1, 2014 2:33 am

    But Professor, Who’s to say that Hillary wouldn’t be as harmful as her husband when it comes to this country? You ask why people would support Cruz, Ryan, or Paul. But I have to ask you, why support Hillary? I’m just tired of seeing the Presidency used as some social experiment headed by “Progressives”. Only to find out that the elected are more Moderate Republican. It is my opinion that Clinton would be awful and I would never cast a vote for her. Elizabeth Warren anyone?

  2. Ronald February 1, 2014 6:44 am

    Job, I can perfectly understand your mixed feelings about Bill and Hillary Clinton, as I agree with you that Bill Clinton’s record as President is a very mixed one, and I always had this feeling that he was a little too “slick” for me, and was, after all, known as “slick Willie”. His wife, however, was an accomplished Senator and Secretary of State, and is very bright, possibly more than Bill, and I believe that she could be an effective President.

    Having said that, I would not argue with you about the virtues of Elizabeth Warren, who I really admire. I also like Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley a lot, and also Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, and have written a lot about these alternative choices in the past.

    And of course, I am a tremendous fan of Vice President Joe Biden, just wishing he was younger than age 74 in 2016.

    I have stated that it would be better to have a new, younger generation of leadership, similar to Kennedy in 1960, Carter in 1976, Clinton in 1992, and Obama in 2008 for the future, particularly with the Republicans likely to choose someone much younger than Biden or Clinton or even Warren, who is only two years younger than Clinton.

    However, in my mind, any of the above mentioned, including Hillary Clinton, are far superior to any GOP nominee. While Hillary is not as warm and fuzzy as say, Warren or O’Malley or Klobuchar or even Joe Biden, she is sincere in her desire to do what is right, while I fear the GOP bunch, with the exception of Jon Huntsman, who I have praised elsewhere. You can type in any of these names I have mentioned and see what I have been saying about them consistently over the past few years.

    The point is that while Warren, O’Malley or Klobuchar might be “better”, it would be far better to have Hillary and the wisdom and expertise of Bill, despite his many shortcomings, than any GOP nominee imaginable, with the exception of Jon Huntsman. Thanks, Job, for expressing your thoughts!

  3. Mark February 2, 2014 10:25 am

    I think Rand Paul smiles.

  4. Ronald February 2, 2014 10:33 am

    Really, Mark? You see something I do not see, LOL, but even if so, it is an insincere smile! LOL

  5. Mark February 2, 2014 10:50 am

    He is friends with Schummer, the female NY Senator, and even leftists liked his drones filibuster.

  6. Ronald February 2, 2014 10:58 am

    Schumer is not a female, so you are thinking of KIrsten Gillibrand, and I am not aware that they get along other than civilly. Some “leftists” agree with Rand Paul on his drones speech, but that is not going to decide National Security policy, for anyone running for President except Paul, as other Republicans have made it clear they will not stop what both Bush and Obama have done. That is not saying that I agree with it, but face the facts, it is a tactic in foreign policy and defense, whether you or I like it or not!

  7. dave martin February 4, 2014 5:23 pm

    History will show that the election of obama was the single most destructive act the American people ever perpetrated upon themselves.

  8. Ronald February 4, 2014 5:50 pm

    “The single most destructive act”? You continue saying such ridiculous statements, and one will have to wonder about your sanity, Dave! That is totally nuts, and I guess you have NO history knowledge, such as Nixon, Harding, Buchanan, Bush II, and even Reagan, who did so much harm to this nation, and started the destruction of the middle class! I bet if Obama was white, you would not be saying this, but if a black man is President, that is the worst tragedy ever? Give me a break, and get used to the idea of a woman President, an Hispanic-Latino President, maybe an Asian American President in the future, as white Anglo Saxon domination in America is over!

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