16 November 2015 ~ 3 Comentarios

The best president of the United States

by Carlos Alberto Montaner


I hope that Mr. Donald Trump will not be the Republican candidate, much less the next President of the United States. Not only because of his deplorable way of dealing with the problem of immigration. That is unpleasant and absurd, but not his worst feature. His worst characteristic is that he doesn’t have a presidential psychology.

His personality is not compatible with the delicate task of leading, in the 21st Century, a complex, mammoth-size nation of 320 million individuals, pitted by contrary interests and values, belonging to all the ethnic groups, cultures, races and religious imaginable, artificially connected by an adherence to a Constitution and some common institutions.

Mr. Trump is undoubtedly a good businessman, capable of finding opportunities to make money, for which a specific imagination is required, together with the will to take risks — something that several times has plunged him into bankruptcy — but those features don’t necessarily qualify him to do a good job in the White House.

If the government of the United States were a giant conglomerate of services — education, health care, security, transport, foreign relations, all that — and instead of electing a president via the ballot box the nation hired a firm of headhunters to locate a good CEO or president, who would that hypothetical company hire?

First of all, it would take into account the immense diversity of the clientele that needs to be satisfied, the tools the leader has to achieve that, and the legal limitations in which he has to carry out his activities. That done, it would turn to the classic literature and choose seven inescapable characteristics that were explored by the ancient thinkers.

First is prudentia. He must be foresighted, prudent. He must control himself. No one gambles with the fate of people. The great mistakes of leaders were the product of a bold move that went wrong. Napoleon sank when he invaded Russia, as did Hitler halfway through the following century.

Second is auctoritas. Authority emanates from experience, but not exactly from age. In 1901, Teddy Roosevelt was barely 43 when the assassination of McKinley turned him into the President of the United States. John F. Kennedy began to govern in 1961 at age 44. Both possessed a huge amount of authority.

Third, closely related to the previous one, is gravitas. One has to take things seriously and convey that determination to one’s subordinates. That includes the ability to decide the importance or priority of the affairs at hand. A leader who doesn’t know how to weigh his tasks is destined to waste his time.

Fourth is concordia. One doesn’t govern frowning, fighting with everyone else and provoking fear. This is true, within one’s borders and outside. To govern is to negotiate, seek a consensus, enter agreements, understand one’s weaknesses and the adversary’s strengths. We must uphold principles but admit, at the same time, that sometimes we must make some unavoidable concessions that disgust us, only because failure to do so would lead to woeful ills. Flexibility is not a weakness, as authoritarian people maintain. It’s a virtue.

Fifth is what Romans used to call humanitas. That means culture and preparedness. All problems are polyhedral; they have multiple sides and edges. They have economic, moral, sociological and legal consequences. To understand reality and make right decisions, it is convenient to tackle problems from various angles, in a balanced manner, without dogmatism. This requires good training.

Sixth is clementia. That’s the virtue that leads the ruler to be compassionate, to think about the damage he can inflict on someone with his decisions. Sometimes, firmness is contrary to clemency. Jimmy Carter, who was not a great president, was nevertheless a genuinely compassionate person who introduced Human Rights into the international debate, thus doing humanity a great favor. He once uttered a statement that vindicated him: “If I cannot exercise compassion in the White House, I’m not interested in being there.”

Seventh is industria, which to the Romans meant intense labor. No good result has ever been produced without a great burst of effort. The ruler must work hard and work honestly, for the glory of serving, not for personal benefit.

Finally, there’s luck. A good head of government can have all seven virtues plus forty more, but if he walks into a storm, if a violent economic crisis strikes him, if foreign enemies attack him, nature rebels and the society he serves presents symptoms of anomie and neither accepts or respects the rules, there’s very little he can do.

There’s a hundred examples of that.

3 Responses to “The best president of the United States”

  1. juan 16 November 2015 at 11:43 am Permalink

    Genial analisis. Sirve por igual como marco de referencia para cualquier persona que tiene una responsabilidad de liderazgo.

    Al final, lo se “suerte” puede reemplazarse, para las personas de fe. Tener confianza que, al final y ojala lo aceptemos de buena gana, debe ser que pase “hagase tu voluntad, en la tierra como en el cielo”. Nosotros ponemos nuestro mejor esfuerzo, pero hay algo mas.


  2. Sam Ramos 20 November 2015 at 11:57 am Permalink

    Is He a Duck?
    I’m sure you have heard the outrage expressed by the press and Democrats over the Donald’s failure to espouse Obama’s Christianity and correct a questioner at one of Trump’s events who stated that Obama is a Muslim. Now we have Hillary chastising Trump for same trying to score political points. I thought you might find the following instructive.

    Keep in mind that if you walk like a duck and quack like a duck there is a very good chance you’re a duck!

    Mike Gallagher is the 8th most recognized talk radio personality in the country, is heard by over 2.25 million listeners weekly. He compiled and wrote the following essay entitled, “Obama: It was You.”
    President Obama:

    This is why you didn’t go to France to show solidarity against the Muslim terrorists:
    · It was you who spoke these words at an Islamic dinner -“I am one of you.”
    · It was you who on ABC News referenced -“My Muslim faith .”
    · It was you who gave $100 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to re-build foreign mosques.
    · It was you who wrote that in the event of a conflict-“I will stand with the Muslims .”
    · It was you who assured the Egyptian Foreign Minister that -“I am a Muslim .”
    · It was you who bowed in submission before the Saudi King.
    · It was you who sat for 20 years in a Liberation Theology Church condemning Christianity and professing Marxism.
    · It was you who exempted Muslims from penalties under Obamacare that the rest of us have to pay.
    · It was you who purposefully omitted – “endowed by our Creator ” – from your recitation of The Declaration Of Independence.
    · It was you who mocked the Bible and Jesus Christ’s Sermon On The Mount while repeatedly referring to the ‘HOLY’ Qur’an.
    · It was you who traveled the Islamic world denigrating the United States Of America.
    · It was you who instantly threw the support of your administration behind the building of the Ground Zero Victory mosque overlooking the hallowed crater of the World Trade Center.
    · It was you who refused to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, but hastened to host an Islamic prayer breakfast at the White House.
    · It was you who ordered Georgetown Univ. and Notre Dame to shroud all vestiges of Jesus Christ BEFORE you would agree to go there to speak, but in contrast, you have NEVER requested that the mosques you have visited to adjust their decor.
    · It was you who appointed anti-Christian fanatics to your Czar Corps.
    · It was you who appointed rabid Islamists to Homeland Security.
    · It was you who said that NASA’s “foremost mission” was an outreach to Muslim communities.
    · It was you who as an Illinois Senator was the ONLY individual who would speak in favor of infanticide.
    · It was you who were the first President not to give a Christmas Greeting from the White House, and went so far as to hang photos of Chairman Mao on the WH tree.
    · It was you who curtailed the military tribunals of all Islamic terrorists.
    · It was you who refused to condemn the Ft. Hood killer as an Islamic terrorist.
    · It is you who has refused to speak-out concerning the horrific executions of women throughout the Muslim culture, but yet, have submitted Arizona to the UN for investigation of hypothetical human-rights abuses.
    · It was you who when queried in India refused to acknowledge the true extent of radical global Jihadists, and instead profusely praised Islam in a country that is 82% Hindu and the victim of numerous Islamic terrorists assaults.
    · It was you who funneled $900 Million in U.S. taxpayer dollars to Hamas.
    · It was you who ordered the USPS to honor the MUSLIM holiday with a new commemorative stamp.
    · It was you who directed our UK Embassy to conduct outreach to help “empower” the British Muslim community.
    · It was you who funded mandatory Arabic language and culture studies in Grammar schools across our country.
    · It is you who follows the Muslim custom of not wearing any form of jewelry during Ramadan.
    · It is you who departs for Hawaii over the Christmas season so as to avoid past criticism for NOT participating in seasonal WH religious events.
    · It was you who was uncharacteristically quick to join the chorus of the Muslim Brotherhood to depose Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, formerly America’s strongest ally in North Africa; but, remain muted in your non-response to the Brotherhood led slaughter of Egyptian Christians.
    · It was you who appointed your chief adviser, Valerie Jarrett, an Iranian, who is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood, an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
    · It was you who said this country is not a Christian nation.

  3. Sam Ramos 21 November 2015 at 1:33 pm Permalink

    El articulo que a continuacion copio, creo entender que ya lo habia posteado antes y no entiendo por que fue eliminado. No es ofensivo, solo un punto de vista del autor que no soy yo porque mi caballo en esta carrera es Marco Rubio, pero como creo tener un poco de inteligencia me gusta ver siempre opiniones contrarias a las mias con el objeto de aprender.

    Trump – American Thinker (Interesting perspective)
    Indeed a very interesting perspective but my horse is Marco Rubio.

    Donald Trump is a piece of work even by New York standards: tall, white, loud, brash, entrepreneurial, successful, rich, ruthlessly candid, well-dressed, and fond of heterosexual women. He has married at least three delicious ladies in fact. Trump has five children and seven grandchildren.

    Indeed, his progeny are well above average too, smartly groomed, photogenic, and successful to boot. As far as we know, Donald does not have any tattoos, piercings, unpaid taxes, or under-aged bimbo interns, nor is he a drinker or a junkie.
    Trump projects and enterprises probably employ more folks than the NYC school system — or the United Nations. You could say that Trump is living the life, not the life of Riley, but more like Daddy Warbucks with a comb over. “The Donald,” as one ex-wife calls him, is not just living the American dream. Trump is the dream — and proud of it. You could do worse than think of Trump as upwardly mobile blue collar.
    He is the grandson of immigrants and the product of Long island, a Queens household, and a Bronx education. The Donald survived the Jesuits of Fordham University for two years before migrating to finish his baccalaureate at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
    When readers of the New York Times, The New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books speak of “the city”, they are not talking about the Queens or the Bronx. Growing and schooling in the blue-collar boroughs gives Trump a curb level perspective, something seldom found in Manhattan. Or as any “D” Train alumnus might put it, Trump has “a pretty good Bravo Sierra detector.”
    So what’s not to like about Donald Trump? He doesn’t just stay in four-star hotels; he builds them. He doesn’t just own luxury condominiums; he makes them. He doesn’t just own historic buildings; he restores them. He doesn’t just eat at the best restaurants; he creates them. He just doesn’t belong to the best country clubs; he builds those too. Donald Trump, unlike the Manhattan/Washington fantasy Press and every Beltway political pimp, doesn’t just pay lip service to a bigger and better economy, he creates micro-economies every day.
    In any case, the merits of entrepreneurs like Trump might best be defined by the character or motives of his critics. Trump detractors are for the most part “B” list politicians, ambulance chasers, and a left-leaning Press corps that lionizes the likes of Nina Totenberg, Dan Rather, Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, and Brian Williams. If the truth were told, most of Trump’s critics are jealous, envious of his wealth and they loathe his
    Donald might also be hated for what he is not. Trump is not a lawyer, nor is he a career politician who lives on the taxpayer dime. Trump is paying for his own campaign. Bernie, Barack, McCain, and Kerry could take enterprise lessons from a chap like Trump. Unlike most government barnacles, Trump can walk and chew gum at the same time. He knows how to close a deal and build something. He is a net creator, not consumer, of a kind of wealth that provides “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for Americans — real jobs not feather merchants. Today, Trump has nothing left to prove. Yet, success has allowed him the rarest of public privileges, an electoral pulpit and the courage to speak his mind.
    Alas, truth is not necessarily a political asset in a socialized democracy. Indeed, the erstwhile presidential candidate stepped on his tongue recently by suggesting that Mexico, already exporting dangerous drugs, cheap tomatoes, and even cheaper labor, was also exporting violent felons to the US. Truth hurts! Trump’s rude candor is underwritten by nearly half a million illegal felons in American jails.
    Coincidently, events have conspired to support Trump’s take on Mexican dystopia
    with the El Chapo Guzman jailbreak and the murder of Kathryn Steinle by Francisco Sanchez. Senor Sanchez sported a lengthy criminal record and had been deported on four previous occasions. San Francisco, a “sanctuary” city, failed to honor existing warrants and released Sanchez from jail just before he blew Kathy Steinle away!
    As serendipity would have it, Trump then went to Phoenix on 12 July and gave a stem winder to a sell-out crowd on the subject of illegal immigration. Senator John McCain was not pleased to have The Donald on Arizona’s front lawn and intemperately called Trump supporters “crazies.” Trump returned fire saying that McCain was no hero. Here again Trump cut to the quick, pointing out that no one qualifies as a hero because he was shot down or captured. Indeed, being a hostage in North Vietnam is not necessarily heroic either. McCain is thought by some to be a heroic because he refused to accept an early release. In fact, the Hanoi parole offer was a ruse, a Hobson’s choice, designed to embarrass McCain and his father at CINCPAC. If McCain took the parole and abandoned his fellow POWs, he would have shamed his father and been ostracized by shipmates. Indeed, had John McCain not been the son and grandson of famous and victorious, Pacific Command flag officers, no one would have noticed him then or now.

    Few of the demagogues who have come to John McCain’s defense could name any of the 600 Vietnam-era POWs other than McCain. McCain is famous today because he, like John Kerry, has parlayed a very average Vietnam military service into a three-decade political sinecure. We know of 50,000 Vietnam veterans that might be more deserving than John McCain. unfortunately, they died in a war that generals couldn’t win and politicians couldn’t abide. A body bag seldom gets to play the “hero.” McCain is no political hero either. He is famously ambiguous on domestic issues like immigration. He is also a Johnny-come-lately to Veterans Administration rot, which has metastasized as long as McCain has been in office.
    On foreign policy, McCain is a Victoria Nuland era crackpot, supporting East European coups, playing cold warrior, and posturing with neo-Nazis in Kiev. McCain pecks at Putin too because the Senate, like the Obama crew, hasn’t a clue about genuine threats like the ISIS jihad or the latest Islam bomb.
    To date, Trump has run a clever campaign. He is chumming; throwing red meat and blood into campaign waters and all the usual suspects are in a feeding frenzy.
    McCain, the Press, the Left, and the Republican establishment all have something to say about “The Donald.” It is truly amazing how cleverly Trump manages to manipulate the establishment. If you are trying to sell an idea or a candidacy, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Who knows where the Trump campaign goes? For the moment, he has scored direct hits on Mexico and McCain.

    With El Chapo on the loose again, every time a toilet flushes in Sinaloa, Mexican garbage is likely spill out in Los Angeles, Hollywood, San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle. Indeed, it’s hard to believe that the Left Coast could survive without cheap labor, pistileros, meth, coke, heroin, or weed.
    Necrotic immigration and its byproducts are ready made targets for a gunslinger like Trump. Trump is no bigot. He probably employs more Latinos and Blacks than Enrique Peña Nieto or as current President, Barack Obama. In his own way, Donald Trump is both immigrant and POW, a refugee from Queens and still a prisoner of Wharton. The Donald is The Dude, the guy with babes and a role of Benjamins that would choke a shark. He is the wildly successful capitalist that some of us love to hate. It doesn’t take much insight to compare Trump’s various enterprises with federal programs. Public education, banking oversight, public housing slums, poverty doles, veterans fiascos, Internal Revenue hijinks, and even some Defense Department procurement programs are consensus failures. The F-35 “Lightning” fighter is an illustration, arguably the most expensive single DOD boondoggle in history. Pentagon progressives seldom win a catfight these days, but they still spend like sailors.
    In Trump’s world failure has consequences so if and when he fails, he is out of business. In contrast, Washington rewards failure with better funding. Indeed, generational program failure is now a kind of perverse incentive for Beltway politicians and apparatchiks to throw good money after failed programs. The difference between Trump and McCain should be obvious to any fair observer; Trump has done something with his talents.

    McCain, in contrast, is coasting on a military myth and resting on the laurels of Senatorial tenure. Any way you look at it, Donald Trump is good for national politics, good for democracy, good for America, and especially good for candor. If nothing else, The Donald may help Republicans to pull their heads out of that place where the sun seldom shines.
    At this point I have no idea who I am supporting. I like Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and several others, however I am enjoying every minute of seeing Trump confound the critics and driving the liberal, progressives, and media crazy.
    You better believe I would vote for Trump over ANYTHING the Democrat party selects. We are in for the fight of our life for this nation and we need someone with a whole lot of nerve, guts or whatever you call it. I am sick of the establishment politicians who stand for nothing, have accomplished nothing and are a large part of the problem in this country, and if Trump is the nominee I will be campaigning for him. You may not agree with all of this, but there are, I think, many good points.

    Do with it what you will.
    ***** The author had two tours in Vietnam as a junior officer and subsequently served as command Intelligence briefer in Hawaii where he updated CINCPAC, John McCain’s father, on POW matters.

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