America Urgently Needs Quality Leaders — and so Does the World

In the minds of many, Donald Trump’s suitability for the job of president of the United States of America is questionable. His repetitive sloganeering, absurd bragging, brash promises and boorish outbursts against all who gainsay him, some say, are the hallmarks of a pathological narcissist.

Added to the above is his insane “assertion that more countries, such as Japan, South Korea or even Saudi Arabia, may need to develop their own nuclear weapons . . . because it’s going to happen anyway.”

That’s Donald Trump. Now how about Hillary Clinton?

Well, she’s probably best known for her role in the catastrophic NATO bombing of Libya that destroyed the government and left a political vacuum much of which has since been filled by extremists groups. And the Benghazi massacre and the way she lied to the family members of those slain.

And now her email problems.

Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey gave a brutal account of her gross negligence in removing highly classified information from its proper place of custody and transmitting it and causing it “to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust.”

Comey also exposed the fact that she lied repeatedly all along when questioned about it.

And now there are calls in the House for Hillary’s security clearance to be revoked. Is there a precedent for a presumptive presidential nominee to be stripped of security clearance? I don’t think so.

As things stand, America can expect either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to be sworn into office at noon on January 20, 2017, on Inauguration Day.

Whichever one it turns out to be, the future for the ensuing four or eight years doesn’t look all that promising.

Neither of the two has shown the right stuff so far.

There’s clearly a paucity of quality leadership in this country. In fact, there’s a paucity of quality leadership in the whole world.

Peggy Noonan, an American author and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, in an article entitled “A World in Crisis, and no Genius in Sight” opines that the “leaders of the world aren’t a very impressive group right now.”

She writes:

Which has me thinking, again, of the concept of the genius cluster. They happen in history and no one knows why. It was a genius cluster that invented America. Somehow Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Madison, Hamilton, Jay and Monroe came together in the same place at the same time and invented something new in the history of man. I asked a great historian about it once. How did that happen? He’d thought about it too. “Providence,” he guessed.

In similar vein to that well-known quote (origin unknown): “Cometh the hour, cometh the man.”

Further in the column, Noonan writes:

Obviously genius clusters require deep crises, otherwise their gifts are not revealed. Historic figures need historic circumstances. Also members of genius clusters tend to pursue shared goals.

We have those conditions now — the crises, and what should be shared goals.

Everything feels upended, the old order that has governed things for 70 years since World War II being swept away. Borders have disappeared before our eyes. Terrorism, waves of immigration transforming whole nations, Islam at war with itself and parts of it at war with the world. In the West, the epochal end of public faith in institutions, and a dreadful new tension between the leaders and the led. In both background and foreground is a technological revolution that has actually changed how people experience life.

It is a world crying out for bigness, wisdom, steady hands and steady eyes.

We could use a genius cluster.

I say amen to that — but I won’t hold my breath.