Guest Post on Presidential Leadership in a Time of Crisis

Holy crap is Obama awful. How can he stand before the American public after an Islamic terrorist attack and fail to even mention who the enemy is. How can he so completely fail to show any leadership? How can he use a term like ISIL, which is not used by a single other human being? As Charles Krauthammer said, he got a mulligan. For the non-golfer, a mulligan is when you hit your tee shot into the woods and get to pretend like it never happened and hit another drive. Obama’s policy on terrorism and the middle east has been an abject failure and we gave him a mulligan tonight. He hit the second drive right back into the woods. Ugh.

In the 5+ years that I’ve been writing this blog, I have never posted material written by someone else. Probably a lot of you wish I had. Well, tonight I will. My friend, Carlie, wrote a FB post that I think so perfectly characterizes Obama’s lack of leadership I had to post it here. I got her permission to do so and, in giving it, she did clarify that she doesn’t think the Iran deal is a good one. Quite the contrary. Her point of comparison on the Iran deal is that when he really wants to ram something through, he can do it. But, what a shame he’s never done that for good cause. If I understand her essay correctly, she voted for the President (if I’m wrong, she can clarify that in the comment section).

Carlie, please take it from here…..


If you see something, say something. So here goes…

Yes, we are deep in to the presidential race, but that doesn’t mean the POTUS seat should sit vacant until election day. Mr. President, for better or worse you are our elected leader. So take a shot (excuse the pun) and lead ~ even if it means you have to “review” your previous strategy and change course/direction. I’m not sure I can stomach listening to empty words one more time. You know how the speech goes … “obviously our hearts go out to the victims and the families” and then some reference to “the number of mass shootings in this country …” and then typically ends with a run-on sentence that somehow points fingers at the “other guy” -and “that’s a law that needs to be changed.” Seriously? With all due respect (or not) Figure it the F-out! The buck stops with you. You don’t get to play victim, and moan about a broken system — you are the leader. It’s time to lead.

For starters, stop the triangulation ~ pitting pro-gun v. no-gun and using that as an excuse for the current state of the Nation. It forces your constituents to go to war with each other, to pick sides, to share false information to validate their opinion and ultimately creates a climate of heightened fear and uncertainty – at a minimum. I’m not even a *pro*-gun peep, and yet not ONE gun-owner I know (and as a military brat that’s pretty much everyone) has any problem with “common-sense gun safety laws and stronger background checks” – In fact, post-SandyHook, the majority of gun-owners and their respective organizations, along with Sandy Hook Promise were in full agreement and even specifically outlined the definition of “common sense gun safety laws and stronger background checks” by stating respective laws/changes that were fully supported by both sides of the issue. The specific language used in developing the agreement was paramount in leading to common ground and consensus. And yet, we — well, you, our nation’s leader — continue to talk about gun-control in such broad and vague terms — fueling polarization. Your words seem intentionally divisive. So what’s that about?

Instead of perpetuating the pro vs. no distortion, shouldn’t you be rolling up your sleeves with at least a tiny bead of sweat rolling down? – Is pointing a finger, really a solution? It’s unbelievable how swiftly you pushed through the highly contentious “Iran Deal” preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, yet we can’t get any traction on “common sense gun safety laws” on our own soil? Maybe start with your Iran Deal, as a template-plan and then cut and paste in some other pressing issues at hand – such as gun-control or national security… ?? {I’m not saying that I agree with the Iran Deal or the way it was pushed through — my point is, it seems that if you want to push through your agenda, you can and you do.}

Which leads me to this ~ We have sent over 3 million men/women into war since 9/11 {I think that’s the number, who knows} They are trained warriors, mentally and physically. That doesn’t even begin to include/count our heroes and warriors at home (active/retired military officers and soldiers, state + local police, sheriffs, FBI, US Marshals etc..). They are trained experts in using firearms and have every expectation (and are trained to have that expectation) that they will indeed need to use that firearm to save their life or the lives of those around them – whether at war or at home, on duty or off-duty. ~ And now you/we are asking them to turn in their guns so we can stop the crazies? It’s absurd.

“Soldiers, when you come back from defending our country and killing the enemy, and watching your brothers/countrymen die around you and you return to your normal lives, please leave your weapon and your training and expertise and fierce protective warrior mindset in your rucksack. We’ve got some crazy peeps in our country and we don’t want them to have access to weapons, so you can’t have yours. We thank you for your service. Carry on.”

In fact, instead of polarizing the American people and continuing to sigh and shake your head at the violence, why aren’t you unveiling your plan (remember use the Iran deal as your template) to push through those “common ground” initiatives — the ones we’ve already agreed to — Why are we even still chatting about Australia and a total gun ban, given the state of the world – the terrorist threats to our nation — especially as the level of trust in our national security is tanking? Why on earth would any highly trained (or otherwise) gun-owner hand over his gun? Again, I’m not pro-gun… it just makes absolutely no sense to me. Remember way back in the “abortion clinic” bombing days ~ I remember a wave of terror … Can you imagine at that time asking your constituents to give up their abortion rights because some crazies decided kill, that pro-abortion peeps were actually putting innocent fellow citizens at risk just because they wanted to uphold their right? Even in the wake of recent planned parenthood killings – one would ask, is it gun rights or abortion rights that led to the tragic killings. It seems that both pro-choice and pro-gun peeps like to hold on to their rights even when innocent lives are lost in the process. {p.s. I’m pro choice}

We live in a society steeped in cognitive dissonance. Both camps believing that their views, their lens is the best way, the only way to keep families, children ..our nation safe. An illusion and delusion in both camps —and as our Nation’s leader, Mr. President, it’s your job to bring us together, to find common ground, to bridge the divide. “Change we Need” and “Hope” … Ring a bell? Yes, I believed you. I voted. I did.

So lead us. Do not commiserate with us; lead us. Do not polarize the nation with careless words and blame; lead us. Do not allow us to be at war with each other, while we are at war with the World. Lead us out of darkness. Do not patronize or fool the American people in believing that *we* have the power to create change at this point ~ spare me texting or signing one more petition to send a message to Congress. We cannot wait until the next election to “let our voices be heard at the polls” – Who cares what any presidential candidate says they’ll do — because, um they aren’t the President, you are. Yes, enter stage left or even a bit on the right ..or more towards center stage – anywhere on the stage, but at least enter the stage and take some, swift, immediate action, make some traction – the real kind. It’s what great leaders do.

Many will come to your defense, it’s a dissonance thing, I get it. But for me, everything has shifted. It can no longer be a blame thing — no luxury to wallow in victim mode and congressional gridlock – we don’t have that kind of time ..we can’t risk that mindset. And I’m tired of blaming FB peeps or listening to them blame others. It’s now crisis mode, both at home and around the globe, and we need leadership. Dissonance and reticence are no longer options, Mr. President. If not now, when?

If you see something, say something. So I did.

About Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is an amateur writer and professional provocateur
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1 Response to Guest Post on Presidential Leadership in a Time of Crisis

  1. Your friend makes lots of excellent points. Obama has been ineffective at pushing legislation through Congress, for the most part. He seems to believe that if he tells the truth earnestly enough, the Republicans will see the light and work with him. While this may make him nice, it has not made him a leader. This is the reason many liberals like Bernie so much – he speaks his mind, has definite opinions, and seems fueled more by rage than by pleasantness. Ditto Hillary, for that matter: one has the opinion that she would have the skill to ram stuff through Congress, much as Lyndon Johnson did.

    Bruce, I’m pretty sure you would not be pleased with the kinds of things those two would ram through, however.

    The gun control issue is so gnarly. The majority of Americans appear to want some safeguards put in place. Republicans in Congress, with lots of NRA dollars behind them, oppose this. Obama doesn’t have the skill to push it through. It’s our loss – all of us.

    Within Obama’s first week in office, I sent him an email that said, “Mr. President, you must lead.” I think it went right to the spam box.

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