It goes without saying that the President of the United States is a leader. But the current crop of Republican presidential candidates are not leaders, they are followers. They follow the racist, homophobic, and selfish incantations of the Tea Party and have no ideas of their own.
Regardless of political philosophy, a leader would not allow a soldier who served in Iraq to be booed the way one was in a Republican “debate.” A leader would not stand silent while a crowd cheered the concept that a man would die because he did not have medical care. Why didn’t Mitt Romney grab the microphone and lecture the audience, “We do not cheer the fact that a man can’t get medical care”? Why didn’t Rick Perry stop the debate, step out in front of the podium, and thank the soldier for his service?
At one time, I thought that Governor Chris Christie was the exception to the slate of potential Republican nominees who were bereft of leadership. Christie has certainly run roughshod over the Democratically-controlled legislature in the Garden State. But recent revelations about how Christie was led like a lap dog on the leash of the Koch Brothers show that, he too, is a follower and not a leader.
The last Republican president, George W. Bush, was also not a leader. He was the pawn of the Rove, Cheney, Koch axis of evil. Today, the nation is polarized and in desperate need of a true leader to fill the shoes of FDR and Ike.
On the leadership front, the Democrats are only marginally better. While Nancy Pelosi is one of the true leaders in Washington, President Obama has squandered the opportunity for leadership. He has kowtowed to the Republicans, adopting their policies, and continuing to allow them to put dogmatism in front of service. Can he leverage his skills to move from the category of “average” president to a true leader? Can the Republicans find a leader within their ranks to run for something other than President of the Tea Party States? For the sake of our children, let’s hope that a true leader emerges from the pack.