I recently returned from the National Conference of State Legislators Summit. One of the highlights was a presentation by the well-known historian Doris Kearns Goodwin entitled “Some Lessons on Presidential Leadership.”

During the closing session, Goodwin remarked, “What a turbulent time it has been to be a presidential historian,” On a day when the world was on edge over the exchange of elevated threats between the leader of North Korea and the president, Goodwin said there were plenty of lessons we can draw from history.

“We have never quite seen a president like Mr. Trump,” she noted, “but the anger and fear has echoes in the past,” such as the industrial revolution, the tide of immigrants in the early 20th century, and the wealth inequity of the Gilded Age.

One way to compare past leaders to Trump, she said, was to look at some of the traits that great past presidents shared. Referring to Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, she pointed to these qualities:

  • Each discovered they had the potential for leadership.
  • They were resilient.
  • They had the confidence to surround themselves with people who disagreed with them.
  • They learned from their mistakes.
  • They could control their impulses.
  • They knew how to relax and shake off their anxieties.

During her presentation, Goodwin gave numerous examples of how Lincoln, TR and FDR excelled at all of the above. She concluded that our current president has much work to do in virtually all of these areas.

As I contemplated these characteristics, I thought about how relevant they are to our own city election. Undoubtedly, as the election draws closer, we will read endorsements for candidates by supporters. Instead, I would like to recommend that we utilize Goodwin’s leadership qualities for evaluating our municipal contenders.

Karen Lewis Young


(12) comments


Again, all of the comments are directed toward the individual and don not address the content. What part of the content can you criticize and or have a valid argument against ?


Karen, you had to go to the National Conference of State Legislators Summit to find out Trump is a lousy President? OMG


Sometimes I wonder what Karen Lewis (sometimes Young) would be doing if she didn't work for us. My mind draws a blank.


Too much vanilla ice cream and peaches yesterday, des. [lol]


You are starting to worry me Dick. More than usual.


It was my intent. [lol]


So, you are a stalker D?


Dick, the "proud to be a stalker" stalker.


No, Rabbit, a stalker follows, I was there first. Just that Dave's picture is in the FNP and I thought I recognized him. They had a very good meal there, Rabbit, you should have gone. Next time I will let you know or you can just read it in the FNP.


She needs the paycheck. She's told people she needs re-elected so she can qualify for a state pension. Very sad.


Karen - you are a total disgrace. Using state money for that stupid hotel.


Excellent advice, no matter which candidates we favor.

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