I am a registered Republican. In 2016 it was my opinion neither the Democrats nor the Republicans nominated satisfactory candidates for president. I think the good part for the Democrats is that they lost the election. I think the bad part for the Republicans is that they won. I had some hope during the impeachment trial. I thought what a gift the Democrats are giving the Republicans. They can impeach Trump and both parties can start over again in 2020. Unfortunately, the Republicans turned down the Democrat’s gift.

The U.S. presidency is not a training position, it requires experience; leadership experience. So lets do Donald Trump’s performance review.

As a candidate, President Trump promised to “Make America Great Again.” A leader understands to achieve greatness one must lead everyone in his organization. In this regard, Trump did not even try. Unlike all other past presidents who have narrowly won elections, others at least made a feeble attempt at representing all constituents. Trump, from day one of his administration, chose to represent only those who elected him. Dividing your resources does not make a country stronger and certainly diminishes the country’s national defense.

I believe in competition. I was astounded when President Trump placed tariffs on Chinese goods and announced to the world that the U.S. could not compete with China. Import taxes have raised prices to the American consumer. Further, China is a socialist country. As a pragmatist, if capitalism cannot compete with socialism, then we should become socialists. Capitalism can compete, but it requires leadership. A real capitalist leader would have identified why our production methods are not competitive and taken steps to improve efficiency. President Trump is not a true capitalist. This could be the reason many true successful billionaire capitalists are opposing him in 2020.

President Trump has repeatedly lied to his family and the American public, either directly, by withholding information or by his actions. I cite marital infidelity, family lawsuits, business lawsuits, income tax returns, financial records, education transcripts, abandoning America’s allies. The list goes on and on. Leadership requires trust.

Qualified leaders surround themselves with voices of differing opinions, weigh the information and make unifying decisions. President Trump has been unable or unwilling to do this. Turnover of cabinet and advisors indicate President Trump is either not good at evaluating people before hiring them or is difficult to work with. In either case, a leadership failure.

COVID-19 is a disease that originated in China, but does it matter? The president chooses to make it political by calling it the Chinese Flu. It is a disease that could have originated anywhere. It has spread everywhere. Did the Chinese government try to suppress news of it’s existence? Perhaps. But who did more damage? The Chinese government that suppressed announcement for a few weeks or President Trump who refused to accept responsibility and denied its severity for five months and refused professional guidance.

Currently, he is attempting to define himself as a take-charge president using federal employees to maintain law and order in America’s cities. Another tough sell given his refusal to assist state governors and city mayors when they asked for help fighting COVID-19. Inconsistent response when requested is another example of poor leadership.

President Trump does not understand that he is employed by American citizens to provide leadership. Perhaps not surprising because prior to being elected president, he was never an employee. Born into wealth and privilege, he never had to work for a living. His actions have demonstrated laws do not apply to him. 

Donald Trump’s leadership deficiencies have put the Republican Party members in a tough position. He is demanding thoughtful rational Republicans defend his unsatisfactory performance. This is indefensible. Until further notice the president is still an employee of the American people, an employer-employee relationship Donald Trump is uncomfortable with, does not like and makes repeated attempts to change. Will American voters allow this? I hope not. 

Most recently President Trump says Americans don’t like him because of his personality and that may be true. But really Mr. President, it is your performance. You have divided America, told the world “capitalism can’t compete with socialism,” denied science, denied responsibility for American’s health, closed our borders, turned off the beacon of freedom and opportunity to people around the world. What more could Vladimir Putin and other oligarchs have ask for?

Regarding the 2020 election, Joe Biden may not become the strongest leader America has ever had, but he has a history of recognizing he is employed by the American people and is willing to work with both sides of the aisle to provide security for its residents and move America forward. Trust his past leadership performance.

Ron Snyder lives in Sunbury.

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