We should all remember that during the Republican Primaries President-elect Trump attempted to hold a rally in Chicago that was cancelled because there was an angry crowd outside the venue and police told Trump it wasn’t safe. After failing to say anything that would sooth fears, Trump said, “I’ll be the greatest unifier you’ve ever seen.” I wrote about this March 13th here.
Oh, he started off so well with an acceptance speech for the ages – if only it is followed by resonant actions. He sounded humble, sincere and like a real leader. It gave me a glimmer of hope that the man who ran such a nasty, vile campaign was going to pivot to being presidential, just as he promised he would. Then he went quiet for a day. Then he meet with President Obama and said all the right things in front of the cameras. Then his handlers lost control of his twitter account. His presidential pivot lasted less than 48 hours before the first hiccup.
Last night, while people were again taking to the streets protesting his election, President-elect Trump had an opportunity to do or say something unifying. What unifying tactic did he employ? The never found in leadership textbooks I’m-the-victim tweet.
The second tweet in absence of the first tweet is a balanced approach without pandering to the crowd. This is what a skillful leader does. I’m still hopeful that he can learn on the job. We have no other choice.
In the meantime we keep a watchful eye on the government at all times. This isn’t a stance of distrust as much as it is a stance of being involved. In the words of one the leaders I had in the Navy, “You get what inspect, not what you expect.” A democracy is about involvement. Inspect your government often and voice your opinion in a manner of civility and respect, even if it is lacking in others.
Our system is what it is because we either encouraged or were apathetic to their polarizing tactics. Now we must actively encouraged a different course, for if we don’t we’ll have no one else to blame but ourselves if we let the captain of our ship run us against the rocks.