The Party Platforms: Leadership

This is the the ninth and final installments on the Presidential Party Platforms. I’m reviewing and comparing the Democrat and Republican Party Platforms.  

Nope, I can’t do it.

First of all, the Republicans failed to create a 2020 Platform. Instead they adopted the 2016 Platform whole cloth. No one even bothered to do a search-and-replace to change “the prior administration” or change “Clinton,” or change “Obama” to something more relevant, (since a Republican is the prior administration and Obama hasn’t been the President and Clinton isn’t the opposing candidate.)

Instead, the Republican Party threw up their arms in defeat and essentially said, ‘whatever he (Trump) says, we’ll do.’ Four years of rudderless leadership is enough.

I want a Principle-Centered Leader.

Perhaps the most important part is that real leadership comes from inside out. It’s who a person is, not what’s pasted on top. It’s not the reality show veneer, scripted and positioned for immediate and maximum impact. It’s centered, consistent, dependable, reliable. Real leaders know where they’re going and why.

Stephen Covey distills Principle-centered leadership into four levels.

  • Trustworthiness at the personal level.
  • Trust at the interpersonal level.
  • Managerial responsibility to get a job done with others.
  • Organizational ability to build effective teams, to solve problems, and to create aligned structure, strategy, and systems.

I’ve had enough of Reality Television masquerading as leadership. Four years of lies, posturing, cruelty, and selfishness is too much. I think Mr. Trump could use a copy of How to Behave and Why.

“The two biggest questions to ask ourselves in life, at any age, are:

Are most of the people I know glad that I am here?

Am I glad that I am here, myself?”

(First published in 1946, this book gives good advice in simple terms. Like don’t lie because people won’t trust you, you won’t have friends, and sometimes your lies will send you to jail.)

I can understand how citizens can debate the best approaches to immigration, education, the economy, health care, the environment, and criminal justice. There is lots of room to discuss, collaborate, and move forward. The people I’ve talked to who believe in a different approach than I are good people, principled people, patriotic people.

I cannot abide supporting someone who exploits the principles and patriotism of those very people for his own egotistical gain. I cannot support a candidate who fights for a fraction of the citizenry and not all of us.

In the words of the character Dr. Michael from Utopia when asked how much evil will you tolerate to do good:

No evil! No evil!

Warning Utopia is a very disturbing, binge-worthy show. It’s worth it for this scene alone.

After four years of unprincipled leadership our citizenry is reeling from a virtually unchecked pandemic, an economy in deep recession, and a lack of trust in our democracy, and our unity endangered.

I don’t agree with everything in the Democratic Platform. I’m not a registered Democrat. I’ve voted for Republicans in the past. But enough is enough.

And, for the record, I do agree with the Democratic Platform’s position on Leadership.

America is an idea—one that has endured and evolved through war and depression, prevailed over fascism and communism, and radiated hope to far distant corners of the earth.

Democrats believe that we can only be strong in the world if we are strong and united at home. We believe that a healthy democracy, just society, and inclusive economy are essential prerequisites for effective American leadership abroad. And we believe that the ultimate measure —and purpose—of our foreign policy is whether it protects and advances America’s security, prosperity and values—and delivers results for all Americans.

Americans believe that diversity is our greatest strength. That protest is among the highest forms of patriotism. That our fates and fortunes are bound to rise and fall together. That even when we fall short of our highest ideals, we never stop trying to build a more perfect union. 

Character is on the ballot in this election. The character of our President, yes, but more than that, the character of our democracy, our society, and our leadership in the world.

From the 2020 Democratic Platform

It’s not too early to vote. I did.

man holding a sign
Photo by cottonbro on

Woah! Now that’s off my chest.

If you’re interested in reviewing my previous analyses, which are side-by-side comparisons here are the links. November 3 is the official Election Day.

If you missed my prior Party Plank reviews, here are the links:

Party Platform 2020: Education

Party Platform 2020: Immigration

Party Platform 2020: Our Democracy

Party Platform 2020: The Environment

Party Platform 2020: The Economy

Party Platform 2020: The pandemic

Party Platform 2020: Healthcare

Party Platform 2020: Criminal Justice


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