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On virus, protests, where is the leadership?

President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic and murder of George Floyd has demonstrated that he does not have the ability or character necessary to unite our nation and effectively lead during a crisis. His failure to take ownership of the COVID-19 crisis and take action that would have saved thousands of lives is appalling. His lack of empathy for the victims of systemic racism and subsequent words and actions have contributed to the violence and looting. Rather than attempt to unify the country, his strategy is to blame others, manufacture distractions and conspiracy theories, and deliberately fan the flames of divisiveness. He cares only about how his chances for reelection are impacted.

We have witnessed his use of military force to disperse peaceful protesters for a photo opportunity and heard him threaten to unleash vicious dogs and ominous weapons on American citizens. He cares more about Wall Street than the death of over 100,000 Americans.

Effective leaders promote unity. They work for all citizens, not just those who share their political point of view. They have empathy for others. They take ownership and accountability. They make tough decisions for the good of all, even those not popular with their political base. They surround themselves with competent people, not political lackeys more concerned with keeping their job than doing their job. They listen to the experts and follow their advice even if it impacts their political future. They are consistent and steady in their actions and communications and are emotionally stable.

President Trump displays none of these characteristics. He rules by threats, bluster, lies, and distraction.

America needs a leader who will make us proud and provide effective leadership. President Trump is not that person and we need to vote him out.

MIKE McCLELLAN,

Alpena

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