I hate having to discuss politics because it’s always a dicey proposition. In this case I’m not really discussing politics; I’m discussing one of the political candidates who, in my opinion, did a terrible thing for the wrong reason and is happy to benefit from it.

Osama Fu*ked
Creative Commons License tharealMrGreen via Compfight

On Sunday, Dr. Ben Carson was asked if a Muslim was qualified to be president of the United States. He said he didn’t believe so. Then he was asked about Congress and he said he guessed so but it would depend on the person and how they represented themselves.

There was an immediate outcry from a host of places saying he had no concept of what the presidency was about, what the Constitution was about, what kind of bigot he showed himself to be and a lot of other things that, frankly, I agreed with. Later that same day one of his political operatives, in trying to defuse the issue, said that he was speaking in generalities because of today’s climate, where so many people in the country have a negative view of Muslims, it seemed unlikely that it would ever happen.

Yeah, right.

Anyway, just two days later Carson’s camp announced that after he’d said what he did that his campaign had raised over a million in donations from across the country, all without a fundraiser. He came out and said that it was gratifying to see there were so many people who agreed with him and that it proved he was right all along.

Except… he wasn’t. Even if he had been, he violated one of the major criteria of leaders, thus showed he wasn’t close to being qualified to be president of the United States.

Anytime someone is in a leadership position, or wants to be in one, and decides that they can climb into that position by putting someone else down, they’re showing a lack of ethics and trustworthiness that’s needed to be good at being a leader. Think about where you work; how would you feel (or have you felt) if someone, trying to make themselves look better, said nasty things about you to get there? Even if they said it in front of you instead of behind your back, that would irk you to no end I bet; tell me if I’m wrong about that.

It doesn’t matter whether Carson actually believes it or not. You don’t get to throw an entire group of people under the bus, get a bounce from it, then claim you’re leadership material. It’s starting not to work for Donald Trump and, eventually, it’ll catch up with Carson as well.

I’m not going to lie; I recognize that sometimes that strategy has been employed and it’s generated things that people probably didn’t think possible. Look at World War II; the things that were said to get young men juiced enough to be willing to lose their lives after Pearl Harbor were incredibly racist and intolerant. Yet, at that time, those beliefs were exactly what military leaders felt they needed. Righteous anger is often employed when groups are involved to get everyone on the same page and help get them directed towards an enemy.

RAF Blades at Duxford
Feggy Art via Compfight

Yet, look at what happened after World War II. When the Korean War broke out, there were still a lot of young men and women who joined, but without a threat to the country the best that could be achieved was a stalemate. There wasn’t a single hero who came out of the Korean War because, when everything was considered, there wasn’t a true enemy. The same goes for Vietnam; people went because of pride in their country but once again, without a true enemy, America didn’t win; this time it wasn’t even a stalemate.

Also, with all the hatred being shown towards Muslims in this country, what’s happening in other places around the world is that fundamentalist Muslims are now employing the same type of hatred in words against America and its allies, and they’re saying these things to the uneducated. These are the people willing to become suicide bombers. Let’s not forget how many American kids are suddenly identifying themselves with this ISIS group and are leaving the family and friends to head overseas to fight for them, not us, and willing to die for this cause that the overwhelming majority of Muslims, the ones Dr. Carson castigated, don’t believe in.

That’s because these foreign leaders have studied our military history, figured out what works, and are now better at communicating their message than we are. In the long run it will fail them, just like it’s going to fail both Dr. Carson and Donald Trump. When all is said and done, those types of actions don’t signify a leader that anyone wants to follow long term; heck, most of you who read this wouldn’t want to follow anyone with this behavior where you work now.

Of course, you never know what type of leader people want to follow in totality. So, if you disagree with me, let me know why you’d prefer to work for this type of leader; I’d really like to know. If you don’t, I’d love to know that as well.
 

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