13 September 2021

Presence and Leadership

America currently has five former presidents and of course, one president. This is a record as former presidents are often older men. This is a record that is not widely celebrated because one of the former presidents is Mr. Trump. Given his assertion of what is now widely called, "the big lie," admitting he is a former president, or appearing at events where he might be treated one, is a problem.

September 11th this year was the 20th anniversary of the cowardly murder of over 3,000 Americans and residents. Most American media and many politiical leaders joined in commemerating the date. Former president Bush attended the ceremony at the crash site in Pennsylvania. Former presidents Clinton, and Obama, attended the event in New York City. President Biden made appearances at the Pentagon, Pennsylvania crash site, and in New York. Mr. Carter, now 97, and unable to travel, sent the event in New York, his greetings which were read. I am certain Mr. Trump would have been treated appropriately at any of the events had he appeared.

Ethics teachers always warn young people that lies carry their own penalties because once a lie is told maintaining the facade and not admiitting the truth requires more and more lies. Perhaps Mr. Trump has provided the entire country with an example. He can't continue the big lie and accept any appearance as a former president.

Truth imposes its own pernalties on Mr. Trump. At any civic event, Mr. Trump would be seated, and possibly introduced as "Former President Trump," or "the 45th president." He would have to abandon the big lie. His history is that he is always willing to abandon co-conspirators, but not to confront truth.

Truth always wins. Reaching this age and level of experience before finally learning this lesson generally taught grade school kids is another record.

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