Abnormal Behavior

Jul 12, 2017

To the Editor:

I applaud John Imperiale’s commentary last week and his analogy comparing current political issues with those of the 1950s. There were major issues and concerns then as there are now but with key major differences: Leadership, trust, truth and integrity were readily available in the ’50s.  We had Dwight D. Eisenhower as president, a proven and experienced leader, supreme commander of Allied Forces during World War II, architect of the D-Day invasion – a natural leader and man of extraordinary character and integrity.

Today, we have an entertainer as leader of the free world, a man who, as a former and current authoritarian and dictatorial business owner, continually lies, sensationalizes trivial issues, lacks depth, character and integrity and certainly possesses few viable traits that epitomize a great leader. 

Leaders bring together people and countries in a common cause. Not only has the president divided and alienated citizens of our own country and our closest strategic allies, he criticized and embarrassed his own country last week when he admonished President Obama, President George W. Bush and the U.S. intelligence community on foreign soil at the G-20 Summit in front of the world’s top leaders.

Conversely, the president met with Vladimir Putin and praised him as a leader he admired while still not admitting that Putin interfered in our elections. Putin over Presidents Obama and Bush – how ironic!

Is this the way a leader acts on behalf of his country? Is this a person who truly cares about our country and positively and constructively represents our principles and ideals? The president should seek counsel from past presidents instead of embarrassing and alienating them and the country by continually casting blame on others while taking no personal responsibility.

While the president consistently denies Russian interference in the presidential election by refusing to consider the outcomes of the major intelligence agencies, he has taken no action against the Russians. Instead, he applauds its leader. Speaking before the recent Senate Intelligence Committee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that he had zero discussions on Russian hacking with the president. I find it disgraceful, appalling and unpatriotic that a sitting president chooses a world stage to find blame with his immediate predecessors and yet not only takes no action against the Russians but applauds the great leadership of Putin.

The president has already alienated a majority of Americans, our closest strategic allies and the intelligence community. Now, he is pointing fingers at former presidents and any other patriot who doesn’t agree with him, his values or his tactics. All this points to a “leader” who is impulsive, immature, overly emotional and who takes little responsibility for his mistakes.

This president doesn’t represent my ideals or those of my parents or my immigrant grandparents, who always felt truly blessed to be Americans. These were patriots who believed in this country and, right or wrong, would never publicly disparage it.

I am a Vietnam-era veteran and my dad was a WWII veteran who taught me to praise in public and to constructively criticize in private. Our president, whether it is viable or not, has the gall to criticize two American patriots when he has been proven to tell the full truth only 4 percent of the time (Politico, Truth-Meter, Feb. 28, based on 371 statements). Does our president qualify as a pathological liar? You be the judge.

When a person, let alone the president, demands loyalty yet provides none in return and tells the full truth only 4 percent of the time, how can one trust anything this man says? When a sitting president admittedly doesn’t read, doesn’t trust his 17 intelligence agencies and wants the “Cliff Notes” version of intelligence and other crucial reports, a rational person is likely to be concerned, especially since our national security is at stake. This is not normal, and I truly believe that the true patriots will not allow this behavior to ever become routine.

Other than the free press, where is the accountability? Where are those independent thinkers and true patriots who staunchly seek the truth? It is only from truth that we can know the facts and act on them judiciously and constructively. We need to address this new “alternate facts” and half-truths phenomenon because it is spreading like wildfire.

If the leader of the free world is proven to lie most of the time, where is our country’s credibility? Where is our country’s leadership and influence? And where is our country’s reputation as the world’s caregiver, defender and role model? Does this president believe that his bullying, lies and deception will solve the country’s problems and is conducive to viable, healthy alliances? If he does, he’s in for a rude awakening because I believe that, ultimately, American citizens, regardless of party affiliation, will rise up before more damage is done and mimic the words of Howard Beale in the 1976 movie “Network”: “I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Bill Green

Beach Haven

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