Missing leadership?

We seem to be missing a leader.

Well, that is what the word is lately from many of our presidentís critics. What might trouble him is that several voices which were not among those critics before, have joined their chorus.

They lament that he does not seem to like to pose as a bold leader. He does not wear the crown easily. While Rome burns, or Japan, or Libya, or Egypt, he plays golf. He makes a sterile pronouncement that sounds as if it was born ten layers down in the State Department bureaucracy. †He runs down to Rio. He works on his basketball predictions.

The members of the chorus wish he would take the lead in the horrific financial woes of this country. If we spent not one dime on defense, highways, national parks, homeland security and a host of other programs Ö not one dime Ö we would run a deficit this year.†The spending we are locked into by Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security and the like consumes more than Washington now takes in. This is tragedy in the making. It cries out for a leader to pull us. Push us. Drive us. Cajole us. Kick off the negotiations. Jawbone us. Muscle and lure the parties into compromise.

The President does not hear the cry. His budget turns a back on this mess. He has not kicked off negotiations. He has kicked the problem further down the road. He has left the toughest decisions for the night crew.

It is the nature of people to desire and honor leaders.†They know the leader does not dot the Iís and cross the Tís. They know he may not write his speeches. He does not create the policies. They know he must push the heavy lifting onto others.

However, they also know they want him to look and act a leader. They want him to inject fire into those speeches. They want him to tell a Gorbachev to tear down that wall, as Reagan did. They want him to do more than fly over a desperate New Orleans, as Bush II did. They want him to stomp through the surf on a Pacific island to show that Americans had returned, as Macarthur did. They want him to wade through London ruins and snap and snarl at a Hitler, as Churchill did.

They know the Queen holds little if any power. But they demand that she show some humanity when a princess perishes.

Our ally Japan is suffering one of the most profound catastrophes in history. Many Americans wish their president would find the words to express what is in their hearts.† They wish he would proclaim to the world that we will help the Japanese as if they were countrymen. And that when such horrific tragedies strike one nation they strike all humanity. They wish his words would exude compassion, would inspire millions around the globe.

He does not seem to feel and hear their wishes. More the pity for us. More the pity for him.†††††††††

From Tom ... as in Morgan.††††††††††††††††††

For more columns and for Tomís radio shows and new TV shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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