Time for our leaders to actually lead


When I was a kid, my mom taught us a lot of valuable lessons.

She taught us to not lie. She taught us to be respectful of others. She taught us not to take too much guff from other people, too.

My mom also taught us a very important lesson that I have taken with me in my life: Accepting responsibility.

When I was a kid and we did something wrong, if we accepted responsibility my mom was more likely to go light on the punishment. If we blamed everyone else and pointed the finger, she would come down hard.

It was a lesson that some of our political leaders apparently missed.

This pandemic is – once again – showing the true colors of some people at the top. The search for a scapegoat is more active than a search for the cure. It is pretty sickening, no pun intended. If you see a person in charge during a period when something goes wrong and that person accepts zero responsibility, that person is a terrible leader. Period.

But there have been some shining stars, too. Many governors have done a great job of at least trying to protect the people of their state. They have risked alienating people on the national level to call out bad actors. That takes courage – something we need in our leaders.

We also need to call out the conspiracies that are already popping up with this virus. No, this is not a Chinese plot against America. No, this is not being overblown by the “liberal media,” whatever that means. And no, the number of deaths is not being "inflated" by anyone. Ridiculous.

People who don’t take this seriously can die or spread this virus to people that could die from it.

Look at UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who downplayed the coronavirus, even shaking hands with COVID-19 patients. As I write this, he is in intensive care being treated for the virus.

I just hope that the lesson he learns is not fatal.

This has proven to me that the U.S. is clearly not ready for a pandemic. Our federal leadership has failed us, clearly. And by leadership, I mean both parties. But let’s be honest, the buck stops at the top. We need calm, clearheaded leadership that accepts responsibility and works to keep all people safe. Leaders have to admit mistakes, learn the lessons and improve how they are doing things.

And how about we actually let the medical experts lead the way here? That makes perfect sense to me, and I would assume most people. If I want medical advice, I talk to a doctor. This isn’t rocket science, but if it was, I would seek advice from a rocket scientist.

Easy, right?

Well, not when egos get in the way. And this is the worst time for egos to get in the way. Sadly, they have. The same old name calling and responsibility dodging we have gotten used to happens on a daily basis. And not just in Washington. It is happening everywhere. The partisan divide is now a giant crack in the earth and we are all in danger of falling in.

So, I ask our leaders, please accept responsibility for your failures. Learn from your failures and try hard not to make them again. We know you are human and can forgive you. But right now, many of you are operating in an unforgiveable way.