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.