This Week’s Theme: Leadership and Free Press

This year’s President’s Day, a celebration of two of our greatest leaders, comes at the end of an eventful week raising the issues of what does it mean to be presidential and whether the mainstream media is the enemy of the American people as charged by president Trump. There is clearly no consensus on the definition of what it means to be presidential but at the very least we expect our president to possess and demonstrate critical aspects of effective and ethical leadership. The posts of this week’s newsletter try to illuminate these qualities to allow readers to determine whether our president is “presidential.”

One critical demonstration of leadership is efficacy — the effectiveness of a leader to achieve his stated goals. Efficacy focuses on achievement, ends rather than means but most people also have certain expectations that the the person holding the most powerful and prestigious position in the free world also brings honor and, perhaps, dignity to the country he represents. There is also the aspect of credibility which involves both honesty and accuracy. There is substantial disagreement on whether these are vital aspects of presidential leadership or simply desirable. there  is also substantial controversy on whether President Trump possesses these attributes. Hopefully these posts will help guide an informed conclusion.


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Comments 8

  1. Your commentary says everything I agree with about President Trump. If he is ever to earn the respect of the nation he must become presidential.

  2. I’m disappointed in the slant of your article. I read your column for balance and absence of bias. Is “Meet all 44 presidents” intended to exclude President Trump? Is your list intended to highlight what you perceive to be Pres. Trumps shortcomings? Whether we like him or not – he IS our President. Your newsletter is Ethics based, how ethical is it to present this image? With all of the corruption in previous presidencies and politicians it is refreshing to have someone in the office that respects the office, and the country and its citizens. Would be benefit from some etiquette and diplomacy lessons? ABSOLUTELY! But a strong, PATRIOTIC, ethical leader (some words missing from your list) is what we need.

  3. Efficacy and Ethics: Trump is delivering on his campaign promises as quickly as possible; maybe we’re more accustomed to our elected officials NOT delivering, so this seems foreign to the people; since so many liberals attempted intimidation pre-election, it’s not surprising there is so much anger and resentment and violence from the “tolerant” left.
    Much of the media has not held to the “reporting” of the news, and has instead (over the course of decades) decided they are empowered to tell the masses what to think and how the world should be, which precludes individual decision making based on the true facts and not “alternate truths”; Media Ethics should be encouraged, after all there is but ONE truth although there are many ways of interpreting it.
    Truth and honesty: Unlike his predecessor, Trump IS being open and honest to the point of appearing verbose, and exposing the faults and vulnerabilities of previous administrations, e.g. a primary function of the President is to keep his people safe, and allowing UNVETTED immigrants and CRIMINALS in the country is NOT the way to make us safer, so he IS doing his job, and 100% better than the previous resident of the White House. Many issues are stemming from people that don’t want change, because they have profited from the status quo.
    Mr Josephson, please continue to be fair and balanced in your writings – that is what I have admired about your perspective.

  4. I also concur with Ruth. I am a former mayor of a city and view things through different eyes. When you deliver on your promises, you are a rare breed in politics. I got out of serving because a got so much accomplished the people could not handle change, and became vicious. Public Servants are rare. Politicians are in an over-abundance.

  5. I also concur with Ruth. I am a former mayor of a city and view things through different eyes. When you deliver on your promises, you are a rare breed in politics. I got out of serving because a got so much accomplished the people could not handle change, and became vicious. Public Servants are rare. Politicians are in an over-abundance. We need action in government to enforce the existing laws. President Trump is delivering.

  6. I, to be refreshing different, agree with your list of Presidential qualities. It never ceases to amaze me how much offense people take when they are weary from being on the defensive all the time. If Trump is such a great catch, why are people so compelled defend him and his actions? Seems to me they doth protest too much. Can you say “overcompensate?” Any one who is afraid of the truth needs to examine why and what is really going on inside. Thank you Michael. I was looking to see if you would stay ethical with this, and am happy to see that you did.

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