When President Obama took office, there was a concerted effort to delegitimize many of his actions by the Tea Party element of the Republican Party. Many of those actions were outwardly racist and part of an obstructive hate movement, and it was never adequately stopped or denounced by GOP leadership. Non-action by the more level headed opponents showed a lack of character, a lack of leadership, and even a lack of understanding of what our Founding Fathers had in mind by designing a Republic where competing ideas were important in finding the best solution. Even going as far as not conducting a hearing and a vote for or against a Supreme Court nominee shows a lack of concern for processes and the desire to find what is best for our nation.
Had Republicans displayed integrity instead of destructive divisive partisanship, they would not be in the position they are today, with their party being led and destroyed by Donald Trump. Obama recently called them out on this very point which can be seen here.
Republicans continued to outwardly impede and harass the President even now, when the majority of the country is supportive of Obama and many are regretting the end of his 8-year term as the current two candidates battle tawdry subjects instead of policy and strategy.
What we are all experiencing is not democracy, it's embarrassing, and most of it is the result of the lawless and undisciplined attitude that GOP House and Senate leadership grew. The comments about Mexicans, Muslims, Women and other groups are shocking the world and the nation. A complete and total disregard for law continues as the Presidential nominee threatens to jail Hillary Clinton, or unabashedly states it is easy to sexually assault women because of his power and wealth. This is the same kind of disregard for the law when many in the GOP openly questioned Obama’s legal, verified birth certificate. None of us should be surprised. Especially on the part of individuals like Speaker Ryan or Mitch McConnell, but they are not the only Republicans guilty of a lack of action.
Toxic GOP leadership had turned into catastrophic leadership and the GOP owns the 2016 election and even now we're not sure how horrible the consequences of this election season will be. Good leadership is not something our politicians are famous for possessing. But we will need it come time for President Obama's departure.
Some Continue To Lead
Like many Americans, I have been glued to the television this election season, and watched the extreme voices as well as those who seem to keep their cool. There have been some who have supported the crazies, but other spokespeople who seem more concerned about the threats and the fate of our nation. One strong voice consistently speaking out on this was a military guy, General Mark Hertling. He's a 37 year Army Veteran, a former Commander of US Army Europe, and a CNN analyst. I've watched him speak out on leadership and the candidates several times during the campaign. And he’s just the perfect antidote for this election year.
Here he is speaking out on war crimes advocated by the GOP Presidential Nominee :
And here he's speaking about some of the international security concerns if Trump were Commander in Chief after Trump had said he’s a better General than General Hertling:
Someone calling out the lies and showing us reality.
It’s what we need right now.
Because I’m around physicians a lot I had heard about General Hertling’s book "Growing Physician Leaders." I did find it strange that a former General and CNN analyst was talking healthcare and leadership.
While it's for doctors -and it gives an interesting overview of a course he's teaching at a hospital in Florida- it's really just about good solid leadership. It talks about the kind of leadership that all Americans – including politicians, and especially those in the GOP – need to know about. It differentiates between formal leaders (which we have few of), informal leaders (which we need), and toxic leaders (which we have too many of). And he illustrates most of this with real stories from combat which drives the point home vividly.
We’ve all seen what bad leadership can do and how dangerous it is, it’s time our politicians listen to the experts and learn.
Let the healing begin
Nobody knows how serious the fallout will be from this election season, but GOP leaders need to evolve or risk the future of our country. Their approach to politics must change if we as a nation are to right this ship that has been nearly sunk by Donald Trump and his supporters in the GOP. Let’s hope they heed the warnings, and take the advice of people like General Mark Hertling for the sake of our future.