Friday, November 3, 2017

Our Right to Competent Leadership

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A few blog posts ago I wrote that I would no longer apologize for my opinions of our current U.S. President, Cabinet, Congress, and, more to the point, their policies. The pace of my exasperation seems to be accelerating, if anything. Now, I find myself questioning whether many of these people are even competent human beings, let alone government leaders. I hope you will read this post to the end, as there is something here for everyone, regardless of political party affiliation.

We deserve better, not just "different" leadership, and one must call into question whether what we are getting is any kind of leadership. Certainly not by example, unless you think off-the-cuff reactionary Twitter tweets qualify. Have you seen any acceptable standards of statesmanship, humility, gratitude, or even understanding of the Office of President from this person? Me, either. His idea of disaster relief is personally dispensing paper towels to hurricane victims?

Virtually everyone I know would be better qualified to be President of the United States. This includes people I regularly argue with on social media; and even includes people who reside in other countries, who have a better grasp of world history, justice, economics, and have a better command of the English language. I mean, you can all pronounce "diversity," right?

Pretty much every legitimate news outlet is appalled at the emptiness of this administration's rhetoric; and also decries its commitment to the dismemberment of vital agencies and policies that protect labor, the consumer, the environment, and the less fortunate members of our citizenry who are in, or on the verge of, poverty. Children are going to suffer the most if we endorse the course laid out by our "leaders." They will suffer now as public education shrinks or is abolished outright. They will suffer down the road as they become adults who must face an unforgiving landscape of unemployment, diminishing wages and benefits, unregulated products and services, poor air and water quality, and little recourse to change their circumstances.

Virtually everyone I know would be better qualified to be President of the United States....I mean, you can all pronounce "diversity," right?

Those who voted for our current Commander-in-Chief can be forgiven for their desperate desire for change. There is no question the political establishment no longer functions the way it should. The best candidates for public good are systematically erased from consideration in both the Democratic and Republican party tickets. However, it should be obvious by now that our current President is acting purely in self-interest, and on behalf of a minuscule fraction of the population that is ultra-wealthy with no sense of responsibility or obligation to anyone else, including employees, consumers, and the future generations of this great nation, let alone citizens of any other country, or the biosphere and all of creation. Maybe they are looking out for shareholders on Wall Street. Maybe. This is an administration of the short term, the now, the "to hell with tomorrow."

We should have a literal Constitutional right to competent leadership, if it does not exist already. We also need to draft some kind of mechanism for the electorate to remove incompetent individuals and their Cabinet appointees from office when it reaches a point at which their actions endanger the nation. We are quickly approaching that point, and some would argue we are already past it.

Even given the preceding paragraphs, I know this country has a habit of overcoming the worst of itself. We succeed in spite of government policies as much as we do because of them. These next three years are going to test our metal, more so than at any other point in history. I have hope in the average person, truly, but it sure would be helpful if government would just get out of the way and let us do what is best for ourselves and each other. Wait, am I sounding like a conservative now? Happy "diversary," everyone.

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