A formula for leadership
Hurry up! It’s not working! He’s failed! He doesn’t deserve it! He’s negotiating with terrorists! He’s apologizing for America! He’s dissing Lamas for the Chinese!
These are just a sampling of the latest hysterical headlines about President Obama. But the exclamation points aren’t only coming from the right. The left is about to short-circuit from its outrage over the uncertainty of a public option. While listening to the pundit-parade, one fears an impending aneurism. Why is everyone so stressed out?
We may have elected President Change, but we didn’t prepare ourselves for the quiet contemplation, measured speech and diplomatic chess moves that define the Obama pace.
The right loves to hate Obama. The left loves to fear success. But both sides suffer from a collective American addiction to immediacy. More peace, more change, more war, more, more, now, faster! We may have elected President Change, but we didn’t prepare ourselves for the quiet contemplation, measured speech and diplomatic chess moves that define the Obama pace. With each pregnant pause he takes, he leaves time for fretting. And the Nobel committee did him no favors by hanging the sword of Damocles, a sharp blade they call the Peace Prize, over him for the remainder of his term, or natural born life, until he brokers Middle East peace or ends world hunger.
So how do we kick the habit? First, everyone calm down. Then, do the math. Leadership is more than the sum of its parts. The equation for leadership isn’t a simple addition of actions completed or bills signed into law. It is a complex set of formulas, requiring as much subtracting of troops from Iraq, multiplying health care options, and dividing Wall Street bosses from their bonuses as it does the adding of jobs. When all the doing and undoing is done, the sum total of his leadership should be judged by how accurately and elegantly he solves the equation. Until then, let the man sit with his numbers a while.
If the hysterics persist, Obama should prescribe medical marijuana by executive order. Word on the street says Secretary Holder won’t be prosecuting.