Leadership

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs

Leadership can be displayed in many ways, and Trump missed the boat.

Leadership

Back in the early sixties, we didn’t bother with safety equipment, in fact anyone who used protective gear, was called a sissy… and this was at a time when the forestry industry was deemed to be the most dangerous occupation in the country! Before I had fully qualified as a forest ranger, I was put in charge of a small forest with a workforce of a dozen permanent men, plus an extra thirty or so during the winter. Some of them were veterans of WWII, some rough and readies and a few, your everyday family men. Those were the days when there was pride to be had in doing a hard days’ physical work.

I suppose the wheels of government turned laboriously as they so often do, but to it was out of the blue that a freight company delivered a stack of yellow, plastic hard hats at our door and we were instructed to wear them at all times. This happened at the height of summer when the main task was release cutting. Newly planted trees became suppressed by weed growth such as; grasses, bracken fern, Himalayan honeysuckle and gorse, so to ensure tree survival, weed competition had to be cut away from around the trees using slashers. It could be sweltering work, especially in the gullies where there was no air movement. The trees were just 30 centimetres high and the bracken could be 3 metres high, so it was physical work! Nowadays we have much better techniques.

Nobody wanted to wear a hard hat in those conditions! They were uncomfortable, lacked balance and of course, working under one, your head cooked… steamed by sweat that couldn’t escape. The big noises told us that without a hard hat, there would be no compensation for accidental injury, but as far as we were concerned, there was nothing heavy to fall on our heads, unless a swinging sky-hook suddenly came loose! If someone cut his foot with a slashers, and wasn’t wearing a hard hat, the inference was, there’d be no compensation, but we all knew compensation couldn’t be denied, and we also knew bullshit when we saw it, they were just trying to make us toe the line.

Anyway, it was my job to enforce this new regulation, so the first thing I did was to write a letter to the big noises telling them the impartibility of the new regulation. Before sending it, I showed it to my leading hands, to make the aware that I was on their side. The reply of course, was no change, it’s too difficult to make a rule with exceptions… and I could see their point. So I started wearing my hat whenever I was out of my truck and I kept telling the men that sooner or later they’d have to wear theirs. I added that if any of the big noises arrive on site, and hats weren’t being worn, I’d get my arse kicked.

After my little lecture, Bert started wearing his. He told his workmates that he wore a helmet during the war, preferring safety over comfort, so it wasn’t such a bad idea to wear these new-fangled ones. He told me on the quiet, he was wearing his to support me. Everyone knew Bert was an old rebel, so they weren’t game to chide him. Slowly, the leading hands followed suit, supposing if Bert was wearing his, they could too. Soon everyone was wearing a hard hat and it wasn’t long until everyone felt undressed without one. Although it wasn’t his responsibility, old Bert showed leadership, and without his action, my job would have been that bit more difficult.

I recalled the episode when I saw a news clip of Donald Trump, taking off his mask in defiance of his advisers and of Covid 19. If you believe he was ever CV19 positive, then you’d believe Herman Munster worked nights as the Tooth Fairy! Anyway it was pure theatre, showing his ‘bravery’ in front of a rally of his supporters and they loved it! But it was acts like that cost him the presidency! I’m no political soothsayer and only take a passing interest in USA politics, but seeing his supporters marching in protest of perceived fraudulent voting and because Trump lost, shows how mobs can so easily be riled up, and how despots come to power. We’re told there’s no evidence of voting fraud, and I’m in no position to judge either way, but you can’t tell a cynical old bugger like me that one side is honest than the other not so.

As far as liking Trump goes, I don’t, not because of politics, but simply because his personality and attitude isn’t my cup of tea... not that it would concern him. But when I think of what he’s achieved; bringing soldiers home, not starting new wars, détente, bringing back industries from overseas, reducing unemployment and pulling out of the Paris accord, all are moves that can’t be sneezed at. And what American wouldn’t be behind the slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’? But what he’s done to the image of his country and the world’s perception of their leader is something for the United States to figure out.

The election’s winning margin was small, considering the number of voters, small enough to make leadership, or more to the point Trump’s lack of leadership, to become a factor. He pandered to the right, glorifying in their adulation, rather than thinking. Removing his mask showed his staunchest supporters that he was indeed their kind of man… but the thing is, they would have voted for him anyway! He needed to pander more to the swinging, undecided voters and by showing a lack of leadership, he turned off the voters he needed.

Had he showed genuine leadership, Trump could well still be president, but we all saw how it eluded him.


Submitted: November 17, 2020

© Copyright 2020 moa rider. All rights reserved.

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Back in Black

Wrong...Trump had the best policies of any president in my 66 years....it's all about policy..not congeniality...and as far as that goes this election IS contested...and media doesn't have the final say by any means. Biden couldn't run a lemonade stand...

Tue, November 17th, 2020 11:00pm

Author
Reply

I didn't expect you to agree Mr. Cooper. But its always fun trying. Usianguke

Tue, November 17th, 2020 7:12pm

Serge Wlodarski

If Trump had made an effort to lead America through the pandemic, his popularity would have soared and he would have been easily reelected. You can't fix stupid.

Wed, November 18th, 2020 11:12am

Author
Reply

Yes exactly. Thank you Serge. Usianguke

Wed, November 18th, 2020 12:03pm

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