Off The Editor’s Desk – 2-1-2017

Some are born leaders

Some people are born leaders, other learn to be great leaders from experiences. But where do we put former President Obama and current President Trump?

Obama, in my opinion was not a leader. He was elected to the senate and then to the White House. I opposed most of his policies and to me it seemed like he was dividing us by the color of our skin. But things may come out a lot clearer to his leadership abilities as time passes.

As for Trump, his leadership ability is very clear at this point as he is putting into action what he said he was going to do during the campaign. May be it’s the leadership that he learned as a businessman. But again, time will tell about his ability to be the leader we need.

I wondered how I viewed the 14 men that have held the highest office of the land in my lifetime?

For some of those men, things happened that they had no control over and made them a good president or some times things happened that put pressure on them and tainted their presidency.

Times were great for Bill Clinton, as they were for Dwight Eisenhower. Clinton coming in after George H. W. Bush and the good times that Ronald Reagan made for us during his eight years as President. In my mind, Reagan was the best president we had of those 14 men.

Richard Nixon, what can I say about Richard Nixon, “Paranoid”. Gerald Ford, the only person to serve as president that was not elected to the office and that is another story.

George H. W. Bush served only four years and times were good leading into the Bill Clinton years. “I did not have sex with that woman,” is what I remember about Clinton’s eight years.

JFK was not prepared to serve as we faced the stand off with Russia over Cuba and the missiles. But he came through the crises with flying colors and made him a better president.

Lyndon Johnson came in after Kennedy was shot to death in Dallas and the Vietnam War consumed his years in office.

The Great Depression was thrust upon Franklin Roosevelt and using taxpayer funds put many, many people to work. But the Depression was not really over until we started producing goods for the Second World War.

But, the two men that served as president that were probably the most honest, straight shooters and just plain good guys were Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman.

But, I am sorry to feel that Carter was not a leader. His administration was faced with many things that happened, some beyond his control. The economy was out of control. Interest rates went sky high. Buying a new car, twenty percent please. 

He also had the Iran Hostage Crisis, where Iranian students belonging to the Muslin Student followers of the Imam’s line took over the U. S. Embassy in Tehran. For 444 days they held those 52 Americans hostages. As hard as Carter tried, he could not get them released, they were finally released on Carter’s last day in office only after Ronald Reagan campaigned that he would send in the troops to rescue the hostages.

Carter also banned travel to the United States, like Trump is now doing.

Now for Truman and the position he was thrust into. Was he was a born leader, or did he learn to be leader from service as a captain in the field artillery in World War One?, I don’t know. But he took the lines of leadership and finished the job of winning World War II.

Franklin Roosevelt was running for his fourth term in the fall of 1944 and replaced his current Vice President Henry Wallace with Truman. Truman was then a senator from Missouri and served as Vice President for only 82 days, when Roosevelt died.

Truman only met with Roosevelt a couple of times in those 82 days. He received no briefings on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with the Soviet Union. Truman had a sign on his desk that said, “the buck stops here.”

Truman later said, “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.” He ordered the dropping of two atomic bombs that ended the war.

Many years ago, a guest in our deer hunting party, related to me his experience as a United States serviceman on a troop ship heading to Japan as part of the planned invasion of the island. “We knew the casualties were going to be high,” he told me. “I could have kissed Truman’s butt, when we heard that the bombs had been dropped and the war was over.”

If you get a chance to visit the Truman Library in Independence, do so, it is a great experience.

Thanks for reading!       ~Carlton