How will we measure our greatness?

The usual and expected responses are being made to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union. The agenda he outlined is being praised, disputed, discussed, endorsed or dismissed. As an antidote to the political ramifications of what he had to say, my response adheres more to the revelation of the personal characteristics of the presenter.

He is someone who gets things done one way or another. He is the consummate businessman who is not deterred by opposition. He believes he is right, and his measurement is success toward his goals. He likes to be unpredictable. He is self-assured and presents things from a positive and optimistic viewpoint whether or not they align with the facts.

He is swayed by people he considers successful in their field and whose views align with his. He is poorly informed on history and does not engage much in humanitarian introspection or philosophical reflection. He seems to be unaware of the consequences of his actions. While professing a strong belief in Christianity, he misses the underlying principles of the brotherhood of all people and respect for their dignity and well-being, in coordination with human stewardship of the earth and care for future generations.

The question is: do we want to measure our “greatness” in economic and military terms or does our “greatness” come from the values that provide a more kind and livable world to us and to all people, especially with awareness for those suffering and less fortunate. What kind of leadership do we want?

Sally McMillan

Iowa City

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