The April Foolish Fake Leader | Tom H. Hastings

It is said by those who study and teach leadership that one of the primary attributes of the best leaders are that they give credit to their subordinates and assume accountability, even blame, for themselves. Credit for these sentiments is somewhat apocryphally given to President Dwight Eisenhower — it does not show up in the official website devoted to him — but it is a point of leadership scholarship and training no matter who uttered it.

And look what we get instead.

• Trump blames everyone except himself for coronavirus — China, Democrats, Obama (huh?), and, naturally, “the media.”

• Trump blames the FBI for the investigation that showed the hundreds of connections and contacts between Russian agents and his 2016 campaign — James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and more.

• Trump blames Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for his — Trump’s — illegal phone call soliciting foreign government help in his re-election (and thus even his impeachment).

• Trump blames the Fed, the Democrats, and the media for the stock market tank.

This tiny list could go on and on for pages.

Let’s be clear: Trump looks at every problem and if it were a form to fill out, he would go to the end of it, to the place where the line asks, “Who is to blame?”, he fills in “Democrats, especially Obama, Crooked Hillary, and the media,” and then figures backward.

Nothing, ever, is his fault. His exceedingly rare apologies are fake, always couched in excuses and in minimizing off-loaded language, sounding a great deal like some of the conversations one might expect in prison among inmates, where nothing they did was ever their fault, always someone else’s, and any consequences to them are unjust, just rotten, disgracefully unfair. A travesty.

Or, in terms of emotional maturity, perhaps the average 5- or 6-year-old. “He started it!” “I didn’t do it!” “It’s not my fault!”

But my father was the psychologist, not I. The real psychologists peg Trump at about 4 years old, emotionally.

Harry Truman, president right before Eisenhower, did say, “The buck stops here,” and indeed placed a sign on his desk saying exactly that. John Kennedy, president right after Eisenhower, said, in taking personal responsibility for the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, “Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.”

Trump should have signage on the door of the Oval Office, “I always pass the buck,” or perhaps, “All victories are mine, all defeats are theirs.”

This man, born with a silver spoon in his mouth grew up to exchange that for his foot, if we gauge his tweets, his press conferences, and his policies with any minimal standard of decency and competency.

Unfit.

Dr. Tom H. Hastings is PeaceVoice Director and on occasion an expert witness for the defense in court.

More in Opinion

Leaders in Congress must hear our voices | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Perfect timing to suggest we spend money to save… Continue reading

An apology to those who were protesting | Letter to the editor

To the editor: This is an open letter to the people protesting… Continue reading

Join the Citizens Climate Lobby team | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Snowy Cascade and Olympic mountains are bright and clear… Continue reading

Weaponizing the Virus | Mel Gurtov

China is “the central threat of our times,” Secretary of State Mike… Continue reading

Today’s cartoon for Friday, May 22

Today’s cartoon is by Peter Kuper, PoliticalCartoons.com.… Continue reading

Today’s cartoon for Thursday, May 21

Today’s cartoon is by Peter Kuper, PoliticalCartoons.com.… Continue reading

Thoughtful leadership is desperately needed | Letter to the editor

To the editor: My wish for Mother’s Day this year — that… Continue reading

Learning To Live With Corona Hair | Jase Graves

It’s high time Americans accept a first-world side effect of the COVID-19… Continue reading

Today’s cartoon for Wednesday, May 20

Today’s cartoon is by John Darkow, Columbia Missourian.… Continue reading

Sometimes a Rose Is More Than a Rose | Peter Funt

The rose bush outside our kitchen window is telling a different story… Continue reading

Today’s cartoon for Tuesday, May 19

Today’s cartoon is by Dave Whamond, Canada, PoliticalCartoons.com.… Continue reading

I should have asked: Why not wear masks? | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Why aren’t you protecting my life? While at Bainbridge… Continue reading