You Know What A Real Leader Would Say?

Showing off “Made in U.S.A.” products earlier this summer

(Not this):

First of all: how can they be “bad” and “smart” managers at the same time?

This Tweet kind of got lost between a giant intensifying hurricane and yet another shooting with multiple resulting deaths. (The Texas shooting, in which 7 people were shot and killed this time, comes against the backdrop of a slew of new Texas laws kicking in designed to make it easier to carry a gun around. This was Texas’ answer to earlier mass shootings: so-called “good guy with a gun” laws, which make it much harder to restrict where people can bring guns. The supposed idea being if someone is allowed to have a gun on them in a church or a school parking lot or a government building, they can shoot back if a bad guy opens fire. One of the laws makes it illegal for landlords to ban guns in properties they’re renting out. Of course, these laws also make it harder for law enforcement to stop people with bad intentions for living in or entering these very same places. But we digress…)

But getting back to Trump’s post about how any managers saying they’re being hurt by Trump’s tariffs are just covering for the fact that they’re bad managers, if we were CEOs of companies that rely on parts or products from China, this would make us pretty mad.

As if Trump wasn’t blaming enough people for the damage done by his trade war already. (So far the only group he seems to have refrained from blaming to this point is farmers, although his Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue made a joke about farmers whining about the tariffs during a recent visit to Minnesota.)

All this happening as a new round of tariffs against China kicked in or existing ones expanded over the weekend.

But let’s say Trump is right, and this trade battle with China is completely worth fighting (we agree especially when it comes to intellectual property rights), and tariffs are the only way to do it (we don’t agree about that).

Then a real leader would come out and say (not Tweet, obviously, but that’s a totally different issue): “we’re in a real war with China, that we really need to win for the good and the future of this country, and because of that, I’m calling on all Americans to stand up for your country and make sacrifices. That might mean paying more for some goods, or boycotting others, or looking a little harder for ‘made in the U.S.A.’” And a lot of Americans would get on board with that: all the way from the boardrooms to the rank and file.

Problem is, telling people to buy less, pay more, sacrifice economically are also surefire ways to slow economic growth, which Trump can’t have either because he needs record stock market closes and an Obama-beating economic boom to boast about.

So instead, he calls people stupid and inept. That’s hardly a way to lead the American public deeper into what’s already been a hard-fought battle that was supposed to be “so easy”.

We know we’ve been harping on Trump’s general lack of leadership recently, so what gives us the authority to do that? (Other than the fact that it’s the right of every American to complain about the President if they want?) Nothing.

Except that we’ve worked for all kinds of bosses. And while we didn’t respect those who told us we were doing a good job even when we knew we weren’t, and we appreciated those who berated us until we did better, we hold a special place of zero respect for those who blamed us for failures that were entirely of their own making.