A Question of Leadership

The COVID issue has become politicized as we all know, and I think there’s a lesson in leadership in there.

The present POTUS’s character is one of going his own way. He calls himself a “counterpuncher”. You attack him (or he perceives you attacking him) and he attacks you back. His supporters love him for this.

But even his supporters admit POTUS’s detractors don’t take the punch lying down. Hit them, and they hit back. Things escalate. Result: in a national emergency, wide swathes of the public distrust each other. Reflexively take diametrical sides based on that distrust, spurred on by the internet provocateurs of Putin, NK, China, and Iran.

The question in leadership–a general question-- is this: How do you de-escalate?

I mean, it’s not new stuff. The question has been around for awhile. Some really, really old farts had suggestions:

  • "You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
  • "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
  • "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Simple stuff, ignored by an American society pissed off with each other, and now facing a national emergency.

The adults in the room have to ask themselves, Is counterpunching a sign of leadership on anyone’s side? Is it improving things?


I think you are only listening to the screamers and not paying attention to all the stuff really going on out there (besides the toilet paper preppers). Professional athletes and owners donating money to keep those part time workers in food and heat and some cash, donations of all kinds of stuff to those who need it, states setting up portable testing facilities and universities getting on a vaccine, states putting their foot down as far as insurance companies not covering care for those who do get it, and a slew of other good information going around about keeping small business from going under. Keep calm, wash your hands, turn off the news and go play with your dog. It’s all gonna be ok. This puts it all in to perspective and most of us are off the business of bashing either political party for stupid, small crap like four words uttered in a speech outlining relief packages and etc.