The U.S. President is routinely referred to as ‘The Leader of the Free World’, a moniker earned through the deeds, actions and decisions of the previous Presidents who have made decisions that have altered the course of humanity. And now, even more so, we live in a world where we face complex issues that require a steady hand, an open-mind, and the strength of character to be able to see all sides of an argument. This election cycle has offered two potential paths that will shape our future. I believe that fomenting rage and creating a culture based on the blame of others for the problems we face is not a path to redemption and resurrection. It is a cancer that burrows in and corrupts the very heart of our democratic system. But these tools of anger and blame are powerful forces, that motivate people while clouding their sensibilities. We have seen fingers of blame pointed at group after group, person after person, country after country, and we’ve been told, ‘It’s their fault’. We have been sold this bill of goods 140 characters at a time. We have been fed this rhetoric as a constant battering of wave after wave of twitter wars, antagonism and divisiveness. And now, we stand at the precipice. Who are we as individuals? Who are we as a nation? Who represents our personal ideals? Who will we honor with the responsibility of the Presidency? Those are the questions each of us must answer in the voting booth.
The United States of America is a world leader because it is involved in the world. We believe in human rights and self-determination, and freedom and opportunity, and we work with our partners to make these concepts a reality for everyone. The key is that we work WITH our allies. You can not lead from the back. You can not command without respect. And you can not create change on an international level through obstinate demands and blame. And now, when we are called to lead even more, when the world needs an engaged presence, there are nations that we consider to be our closest allies, so offended by Donald Trump that they have openly debated over whether or not to ban him from even visiting their lands. How can we expect others to respect him as a leader, and the U.S. as a nation, when he is not respected as a person? It is this issue that scares me the most.
According to Wikipedia, a Lame Duck is an elected official whose successor has already been elected, and as a consequence, has less influence with other politicians due to their limited time left in office. I think we can simplify this definition even further to say, a Lame Duck is a person or entity, who for whatever reason, is unable to affect change. Four years is a short time period. But, it is one in which our foes and allies alike can ostracize, minimize and to a large extent, ignore the U.S. and our global interests unless we are actively involved. It is a time that can be filled with drastic changes on a global scale that will have a lasting impact on the U.S. We can see this embodied in Brexit, Syria, Ukraine, the Philippines, Myanmar, Egypt, North Korea, the South China Sea, and on and on. To be involved in the conversation, you have to be invited to the table, and based on the ramblings he purports to be a foreign policy and his penchant for alienating people, it is my belief that a Trump Presidency will remove us from the conversation, and turn the United States into the lame-est duck on the world stage.