The state of the nation has never been weaker.
I thought about that for a good while before actually writing it. As a nation, we were weak early in the Revolutionary War — before we found our feet and gained the support of our French, Spanish, and Dutch allies. We were weak prior to our hard-won victory over the Confederacy at Gettysburg. We were weak during the Great Depression and in the years before World War II. We were weak at the height of the Vietnam War and throughout the civil rights movement.
In many ways, those periods were more difficult than what we now face. The real difference in my mind — and what makes me truly believe my first sentence — is that America, at those times, had leadership serving the American people. We had Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Johnson. We’ve had other good presidents, and we’ve had bad ones, too. But never have we had a would-be leader as unfit as President Trump. I’m baffled at what’s happened to the Grand Old Party and distressed at what’s happening to our country.
At virtually all levels, our leadership has failed us. The weakness starts at the top. President Trump lacks character, courage, competence, and credibility in historic proportions. In our history, we’ve had leaders who were weak in some of these attributes. Never before have we had one so devoid of all. Not everything is his fault, but somehow he makes nearly everything worse. In times past, we had presidents serving the American people who believed, “The buck stops here.” Now we have one serving only himself and only serving to make things worse — along the way saying, “I don’t take responsibility at all.”
The state of the nation has never been weaker, and this weakness starts at the top.