Public distrust in government leaders at every level is growing, and the events of the past week as America concluded the withdrawal of military troops from Afghanistan only heightens a general dissatisfaction that should concern us all.

Part of this dissatisfaction can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic as a recent report from the Peace Research Institute in Norway attests. Polling data from the report shows that, “In an already divided nation….COVID-19 is making the poor political situation even worse. …the burden the coronavirus is placing on society is driving more people to act violently at protests as well as creating even more antigovernment sentiment worldwide.”

This report only touches on one aspect of the general discomfort that the nation is now experiencing. There is an even greater cause and that is lack of thoughtful leadership present in our government and its agencies.

National leaders have become so partisan that they ignore the impacts of their decisions on their constituents or the long term ramifications of their decision as exemplified in the growing national debt which is now ballooning to $29 trillion and growing.

The public dissatisfaction is now present in local government as well. In certain communities local school board members have resigned, fearing personal harm resulting from the contentious environment in board meetings involving mask mandates, vaccine requirements and curriculum changes such as Critical Race Theory. This is a good example of the trickle-down effect of bad government leadership at every level.

The continuing erosion of trust in government leaders was heightened by recent events of the past few weeks as the nation watched in horror as President Biden unilaterally pulled out of Afghanistan without any consideration of our allies or the long term impact of his decision.

The desire to exit that conflict was never in question. Well over 80% of the nation supported that goal, but not the way it was implemented by the president and his administration. Now that withdrawal is complete the country is left with a feeling that something is amiss - there is no comfort that all American citizens and Afghan allies have been allowed to leave, and there is no understanding what to expect going forward.

Adding to this event on top of an already chaotic international scene with growing disputes with China, Russia and various Middle East countries, along with economic impacts of the worldwide pandemic, there is an obvious need for aggressive and confident leadership that has yet to appear in the Biden administration.

The current circumstances bring to mind a similar situation the country faced in 1976 during President Jimmy Carter’s administration. Then as now, the country was struggling with a failed withdrawal from another seemingly “endless war” - Viet Nam. At the same time the nation’s economy struggled with a new industrialized world and dependence on foreign oil that resulted in cars lining up for miles at gas stations across the country as the oil cartels reduced the flow of oil worldwide. The result of these combined events was a general dissatisfaction with the nation’s direction or malaise that became President Carter’s legacy.

President Carter, hoping to reinvigorate the nation’s “soul,” addressed the nation with a speech entitled, “Energy and the National Goals- A Crisis of Confidence,” which soon became his signature “malaise speech.”

In that speech he noted that the nation, in his opinion, was facing a crisis in confidence that he said was nearly invisible “in ordinary ways” and that it was debilitating the “very soul” of the nation.

“Our people are losing that faith, not only in government itself but in the ability as citizens to serve as the ultimate rulers and shapers of our democracy. As a people we know our past and we are proud of it. Our progress has been part of the living history of America, even the world. We always believed that we were part of a great movement of humanity itself called democracy, involved in the search for freedom; and that belief has always strengthened us in our purpose. But just as we are losing our confidence in the future, we are also beginning to close the door on our past.”

The words President Carter spoke in that July 1979 speech could, with just a few editing notes, be given today by President Biden.

Unless there is a radical change in leadership from the current administration that shows a better understanding of the impacts of its decisions we can expect a repeat of the Carter years and a similar national malaise in the remaining three-year term of President Joe Biden. If there is no immediate change, then efforts should begin now to seek out political leaders who will think from a holistic approach, willing to unite the nation rather than divide it for partisan benefit.

(45) comments

drewski

mask mandates, vaccine requirements and curriculum changes such as Critical Race Theory. This is a good example of the trickle-down effect of bad government leadership at every level.

Not sure how you conflate public health issues with CRT, but hey! Pander away.

SgtRock1968

Drewski! Dude! Look at the context of the editorial comment: "... resulting from the contentious environment in board meetings involving mask mandates, vaccine requirements and curriculum changes such as Critical Race Theory."

There is no 'conflation' of CRT and public health issues. The reference is to the nastiness - contentiousness - prevalent in board meetings over, among other things, CRT. Mask mandates, vaccine requirements, CRT - these are three of the biggies that get peoples' knickers in a wedgie. Which is true, wouldn't you agree?

noitall

"We have a failure in communication", as the prison warden informed Cool Hand Luke, Local meetings all usually lacks transparency. The Emerald IsleI Board comes to mind as the will not take question, allow only three minute to express ones dissatisfaction. And so forth. Open board meetings will produce accountability pressure, and excitement that is discomforting to our leaders, But if so - then do not run for office. Town Hall meetings should be a requirement

dc

Billy's brother and Hunter's papa. The voters aren't very smart are they?

dc

For those who don't understand or don't care about what just happened here's a little history: "Islamism Triumphant" by J. R. Wordsworth. The writer doesn't matter the content does.

dc

Correct writer's name to read: W. R. Wordsworth.

quicksand

Too bad the good editor was unable to write an opinion piece about Trump’s politicalization of Covid 19. There were hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths because, you know, “masks are for others”….

noitall

Masks for the general public do not prevent covid. Masks in use are No more than a political pacifier. Common sense will prevail Covid will continue to evolve into resustant strains masks or no.

kenwood

President Biden fulfilled the hopes of millions and millions of Americans in that he got us out of Afghanistan after 20 years of American servicemen and women giving their lives for a lost cause. The fact that our withdrawal turned out to be a mess is due to the fact that after those twenty years, twenty years of funding and training, the Afghan military was itself a dismal failure. The Afghan government and military failed to lead, failed to exert leadership and control actions by their own people. Our failure was our 20 year effort to force "democracy" on a people not interested, not prepared to live except in a tribal society. The good editor chooses to place the blame on our latest president who fulfilled our pledge to exit, and not those of the prior twenty years. It was Bush II who got us into the mess, Obama, and your savior Trump who sustained it . Facts willingly ignored by the narrow minded among us. Those choosing rather to stick their heads in the sand to further their own political agenda.

noitall

Biden did in one dramatic blunder accomplished what Trump wanted in one one 24 hour news cycle.. A good chance to get rid of NATO and the rest of these. International free loaders. -_War is heck (censored). It was Eisenhower who said," Beware of the military - industrial complex. Those were iron words. We now have a dinosaur officers corps and a digital military. More to come.

dc

"Biden's Unspoken Aim: Demoralize Americans" by J. Robert Smith. This one fits perfectly with the previous piece if you care about your and your family's future and obviously the country's future. Both writings only reaffirms what many of us already know. It also reaffirms what many others want for America and what it stands for, and along with them, they are sending the rest of us there at warp speed.

David Collins

Geeze , masks again , Trump politicalization ? You mean bungles Biden is not politicalizing anything and everything ? Excuse me while I LOL .

Getting out of Afghanistan is a good thing . How we did this is a disaster that will force our return .

Speaking of disasters . It appears that if you visited the US on a visa , green card holders , and popped out a baby or two that immediately became citizens and your next step was to get a US passport for the little horrors , this entitles you and your extended family to relocate to the US . Yup , anchor babies at work again . Holding up your anchor baby with passport in hand at the airport with 10 or 12 of your closest relatives at hand used to work . Taliban shut that thing down , thankfully . Vetting of those evacuated will be a formality and Taliban/ISIS sympathizers will surely be in the mix . Atta boy Joe .

drewski

While you are absolutely correct about anchor babies, there is a ( SEEMINGLY) little known document that lays out the how's and the why's. Change that document and viola no more anchor babies. Alternatively blame biden, Nancy Pelosi & break out the Hillary voodoo dolls.

noitall

Might be difficult to get any American to die for Afghanistan. Vietnam 2.0 Next war should be at least legal and be declared by constitutional authority.

dc

Dementia aside it's probably not a stretch to consider JB's thinking after all his drugged out, prostitute chasing son is the smartest guy he knows. Say what? Say yeah. One story had JB giving up politics after his wife and daughter's tragic accident but supposedly his sister for whatever reason needed him to stay in politics. So, he sticks around to become a career politician and along the political trail meets another ladder climber and if you can believe falls madly in luv with another's wife. They fall in comfortably with the rest of the swamp. As usual the swamp is a cushy place for those who can manage it. He reaches his pinnacle and gives the WH a shot only to be called on past dishonesty for what later is dismissed entirely. Sadly, like so many others, the offspring find it an easy road to untold success to follow those footsteps already blazed by those who are "only in it to serve then go home to a normal life". But like happens to all of us as life advances we experience more tragedy and/or death in the family. In JB's case a drug addicted son who might otherwise had a promising and easy career in politics like his "smarter" brother with a cushy path forward after "punching the ticket" with cushy albeit possibly dangerous military service like GWB. Druggy son and smartest guy he knows can't make it even in the best of cushy service for "punching the ticket". What he and the "family of a lot of lost values" and "all in it together" dishonorable clan can agree on is there are no bounds in their foundation and values. What's the point in all this? Why does his brazeningly not care about those just killed and trapped Americans, their grieving families, allies, etc.? After all, unlike the rest of us, the tragedy he's had to bear is so much greater than the crosses others have beared or ever will bear. Guess he might think about America and Americans the same as Rev. Wright, his mentee and JB's mentor.

drewski

Despite what you read here in the editorial itself, and in the comments the sky is not falling. The debt is a huge issue that is going to have to be addressed. The way to address it is not to give tax breaks to the wealthy and corporate donors.

No one wants to hear that, but facts are facts. It is so much easier to cast blame on Biden, when adults know who actually raised the debt more then anyone in history, and what party presided over the largest debts and biggest meltdowns in history. Deregulation of banking and insurance always leads to disaster. Like trickle down economics that is all the gop seems able to offer.

noitall

Iron words

dc

Many years ago it stopped being about D versus R. It's now about communism versus America. You might also add it's about Islamism versus America. We as in Fauci paid the Chinese to kill us with a virus and we just gave a free Caliphate to terrorists along with the weapons to kill us.

quicksand

Tell us how you feel about all the (Muslim) Afghanis that helped the US….is it a shame that we left some there now?

drewski

I do see your point rock. My point was public health issues and crt should not be considered in same breath. No one dies from crt, and it provides fodder for the segment of the population that needs outrage to keep their, er, um, adherents engaged.

mpjeep

As the Wizard of Oz said during 2019 and the 2020 Dem primary, I am the only candidate with the experience necessary to successfully handle an international crisis. "To be commander in chief, there's no time for on-the-job training," "I've spent more time in the Situation Room, more time abroad, more time than anybody up here. I know every major world leader. They know me, and they know when I speak, if I'm the president of the United States, who we're for, who we're against, and what we'll do, and we'll keep our word."

Since Biden became president, 200,000 people have died from Covid, and the numbers are rapidly climbing. A million new illegals have crashed the border, and now at least 13 Americans are dead, not while fighting a war, but while trying to leave one. And Joe says his heart aches for their families but still doesn’t admit it was his fault.

David Collins

What exactly is a tax break ? Why did congress allow them ?

Corporations and billionaires hire many thousands of people , all who do or should pay income taxes , sales taxes and the like .

Many billionaires take their wealth and invest it into a wide array of business ventures . Ventures that hire people that pay taxes . Lately, the trend is to invest in green industries . These green businesses explore ways to reduce or largely eliminate harmful pollutants from our eco system . Is that bad ? It is good to be super rich because you can put your money where your mouth is .

drewski

Yes I have heard the rationale for trickle down economics before. I have also heard that regulations hamper business. Thus the savings and loan meltdown, and the housing and ins crash. Slick explanations are a poor substitute for an objective examination of the results of past policies.

Greed as policy wrapped in the flag seems to fool some of the people all of the time.

David Collins

Not blaming Biden and crew for the creation of anchor babies , just for creating a situation where the anchor baby ploy can be used and abused . You are correct and that document should be over ruled and rescinded . Today ! Talk about a football .

Yes , those that helped us should be rewarded . Of course the taxpayers have been doing that for twenty or so years . Far and above what they could ever earn there .

Coming to America , can see it for interpreters and their wife and kids but that is where it should stop . They do seem to have an abundance of children , a DNA test would sort that out , and the “ family “ seems to go on into infinity . Chain migration could go on forever and needs to be slammed shut . This mass migration is bad enough seeing how most all will be on the dole for the foreseeable future . Just like their brothers and sisters from south of our border .

Perhaps one or two of you bleeding hearts could take in a family of 6 , 7 or more to raise . In your home of course with no taxpayer money involved . All expenses paid for by you . Fat chance of that happening .

Big Fat Drunk Republican

DC is right, right I say! It’s no longer about Republican vs Democrat, it’s R’s vs communist, Muslims, socialism and everything else that sounds scary.

I know because I listen to Sean Hannity, Levin, Buck and that other guy and only pay attention to the likes of those guys because they know what they are talking about.

How else would we know to be afraid of communism/socialism and Muslims if not for these guys.

Once you demon, I mean Democrats stop reading all them science books, history books and listening to scientist and stuff, you can make time for talk radio on 107.1 and 96.3.

Thrre you go folks, the cat is out of the bag, I spilled the secret wealth of knowledge that is Hannity et al.

If you kind would just put down the books and stop using dem facts and stuff. You would be able to understand why you need to be afraid.

You need to be so afraid if the future that you vote R. It’s our only way to stay the same. Did you hear me, if you want everything to stay as it is, you need to vote R. And I’m talking Trump R. If Trump doesn’t back them or endorse them, then you might as well be voting for a demoncrat.

Do you folks here me. Trump! Trump, Trump Trump! He’s the only one, I mean only one we can put our faith in now.

I gotta go! Got some Kool Aide to drink and somebody wants to shave me to make some clothes.

David Collins

Wish he would .

Peacenik

I thought this writer was going to get to the conservative Republican point of view. So I ask, "Where are the solutions?"

Here is the first one - start telling the truth which comes from the reality on the ground. Masks save lives and dampen the spread of the virus. The vaccines are working. Biden kept Trump's deal to get our soldiers out.

Rule 2 - stop blaming and shaming and BE RESPONSIBLE. In spiritual circles, that is translated as "have the ability to respond." Unless everyone has a seat at the table and compromise is made the goal, not running over the people's choice (like figuring out how to keep control of their own drinking water), no one wins.

What say you?

JusticeForAll

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

― Marie Curie

David Collins

Amazed at how the left thinks and acts in the abstract . Denial of reality is constant ly searching for a warm and fuzzy blanket to curl up in . Even when reality rears up and bites them they blow it off with gobblygook and grab that blanket . The term “ the meek will inherit the earth “ comes to mind . Yup they will , about a 6 by 6 foot piece of cool dark earth .

We are in trouble and all the feel good words will not change that . You have no idea what is being planned for the next few months . You will pay and pay and pay some more for Bungle’s Biden’s grand plan for America .

dc

It's hard to finger who all is running this outrageous embarrassment and ridiculous sh.. show. Whether you care about dogs or not they and their handlers did an admirable and necessary job. They would be below and not taking up human space. Another unforgivable. This crowd has no morals end of story.

dc

If you were trying to destroy this country would you do anything different than what this admin has done?

JusticeForAll

How is that quote abstract?

dc

We know he has a body. Do you understand his soul? You can leave spirit out of it. "Fear" of the unknown is the problem. What is "he" or "they" going to do next? Based on the past few months there may be something to fear. If not for yourself then at least for the future of this country whether you believe in it's greatness/excellence or not.

enc34

If we have a malaise of leadership, it is the fault of the elctorate, Bot dems and repub voters, because it is the voters that put people in positions of leadership.

mpjeep

As Richard Nixon said there is a large group of Americans who hold traditional American values and who vote. He called them the “silent majority”, and they exist today and in 2024.

drewski

Richard Nixon was not nearly the crook trump is. The silent minority couldn't reelected Gerald Ford, and will not reelect trump.

The silent majority is not silent, nor the majority.

Facts and reality matter. Wishful thinking based on nostalgia for the good old days, is just that. Fantasy.

mpjeep

Didn’t say it would be Trump in 2024, but he certainly has the best opportunity. Could be Pence, DeSantis, or Rubio, among a few others.

It won’t really matter... if Biden runs again, any Republican can beat him.

David Collins

If neither candidate and write ins are not available , are not suitable and one or the other will win , what do you do ? Vote for the one that represents the possibility of doing the least harm ?

Sadly , today’s problems are more about who is handling our cognitively impaired presidential facade , the one with his trembling fingers on the nuclear football . Who are these people ? Too much weirdness floating about this administration and what of VP kamalara , aka giggles , who never can intelligently answer any question put to her ? Surely she has a role in all this . Noticed that Pelosi has backed off of her love affair with them and gone quite silent and withdrawn . When that conniving thing does that , that would make me nervous . So the saga continues , another day , another bungle .

dc

The bigger crooks won this time around and yes those bigger crooks consist of more than a few in the back-stabbing media, neo-cons, never trumpers, some so-called allies and the list is endless of Trump haters. And, look what they got you. You may love it but at least some of our so-called allies found out the hard way.

David Collins

Interesting how you can brand Trump as a crook while he has been convicted of nothing in a court of law . That said , would not want to vote for him due to his disposition . Works in the board room , not so much in politics . Too many tender toes get stepped on here .

While the majority is largely silent today , the minority is openly trying to increase their base by any means available to them . By hook , crook or open immigration from far and wide and they are not hiding it anymore .

dc

Some folks still believe the Russians elected Trump. So, did they and China elect JB?

dc

You conveniently forget some facts like why did Trump appeal to certain groups like Hispanics, blacks and middle America. Media convinced some that mean tweets were somehow worse than a 40-year politician's career filled with failures. After a few short months there's voters' remorse. He and his ship of fools are a proven disaster not only for this country but also the world at-large. "A return to normalcy"? The groups mentioned and independents may be able to reconcile the difference between mean tweets and total disaster. Who knows the sometimes mean tweeter may no longer be a tweeting.

drewski

More wishful thinking. Facts are the vast majority of blacks did not see or vote for trumps alleged appeal.

Where ever you are getting your info. You are being mislead.

JusticeForAll

Every political faction throughout history has pitched the worse case scenario for the opposing team. Now we get to see it in real time, thanks to technology. The divide will deepen because every arm chair cowboy knows better. But alas, no crystal ball to confirm the outcome. Speculation, fear mongering, and the diehard aversion to common ground will continue to fuel the insanity.

The silent majority are those who have been disenfranchised from our society and change in coming from them. They have overcome the "fear" by understanding the grievous wrongs of our society. And now "fear" is only there for those who limit their scope of knowledge.

Staff
webeditor

Time for this one to close.

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