A Year That Will Live in Infamy: The Great Lockdown, America’s Tipping Point (Op-ed)

The US: Land of the free, home of the brave and a two-party political system which has polarized a nation. In 2016 I was in Germany on election night. Prior to making the trip I voted for Hilary Clinton. I remember going to bed on the night of the elections while she was winning. The next morning I woke up… and… what… Trump… It was not a good day to be an American in Germany.

For the majority of my adult life I have voted Republican. I was first eligible to vote in the year 2000 and voted for Bush. For the next twelve years I leaned right-of-center politically, with some exceptions.

Also, I may have forgotten to mention a few other personal details. My family is extraordinarily progressive and both my parents are therapists. I’m also a gay Jewish man that came out of the closet at the age of fourteen. For all intensive purposes, a gay-Jewish-republican like me shouldn’t have existed. However, I did for twelve years.

I moved to Berlin in the summer of 2017 after getting engaged to by husband Richard. Naturally, I watched the political drama from a far for three years. The infamous year of too much too handle 2020 prompted me to mail in my absentee ballet early.

Regardless if Trump had run on a Republican or Democratic ticket, he was never who I pictured would be the face of America. He had a vision to achieve his goals no matter the cost, let’s call it Trumpovision. He was going to accomplish his agenda no matter the cost. Intimidate and divide by utilizing a highly-condescending-overly-direct messaging platform via legitimate news outlets and Twitter.

I must admit, he has secured some wins in his presidency, however his practices to do so are questionable. However, the man was not ready to lead a country through a crisis more severe than WWII and the Great Depression. Mostly, this is due to the fact that he is “unreachable,” according to Fauci. He makes unilateral choices without utilizing a team of experts. This my dear friends is the opposite of leadership. One man can’t possibly know every and needs subject matter experts he can rely on. So, here’s the problem:

1. At the end of the day, the man does not have a strategy to fix COVID-19, BLM

2. He does not understand basic economics and seems as to believes with the snap of his fingers his 50 million American unemployment problem will either just disappear or fix itself.

3. He is not capable of bringing our great nation together when we need it most, nor does he want to. He practices the opposite of “servant leadership.” Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve as it’s their duty to remove barriers and roadblocks for their people. This is different from traditional leadership where the leader’s main focus is the thriving of their company or organizations.

Quick example effective leadership in 5 points:

1. Trustworthy individuals that practice servant leadership (they act in the interest of others, not themselves)

2. They have a plan. Actually, they have several, a primary than 1 or 2 backups.

3. Leaders build bridges between people, not walls. They know the value of team member engagement and cross functional collaboration within a diverse atmosphere.

4. They have the capacity to trust others and can admit when they’re wrong. The US is a we, not a me.

5. Talent of course!

Back in 2016, Prior to Hilary’s defeat, an audio file from Hollywood Access went public. The last thing Trump said to Billy Bush embodies what he thinks about women.

“I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

That comment told me everything I needed to know about this person’s character. This man speaks and acts strictly on emotion, has evident gender, sexual orientation and racial biases and doesn’t take ownership of his mistakes. Anyone with that type of behavior should not be in a position in power.

My therapist-parents taught me better than that! So did a decade of working in Fortune 500 America and three years in the EU. I would like to think I have a diverse perspective and hope the introductory paragraphs helped you understand the rational behind writing this op-ed.

The best leaders are authentic people by nature. They know sustainable results only occur when everyone involved is has a voice. When people feel heard and that their voice matters. That’s when the magic happens.

It was evident that Mr. Trump was not a candidate whom I could support in the least. He did and still does not have the behaviors, competencies, qualities or characteristics that make a leader successful.

So, whether you have a love / hate relationship with Trump, feel indifferent about Joe or are excited about the potential for Kanye West to become the next leader of the free world, please take this food for thought with positive intent from someone who really has been on all sides of the American political spectrum. A “good” president should understand how to be a good leader. Mr. Trump has yet to care about what it means to be a leader, let alone the leader of the free world and greatest country on earth (in my opinion)

5 things to chew on before you vote:

1. There’s much bigger geo-political implications regarding the Trump Administration’s work, or lack their of. Actions and uninformed decision making have helped successfully alienate some of the USA’s greatest allies in less that 4 years.

Particularly relationships with women leaders. The leader of the free world thought it was okay to call Chancellor Angela Merkel “stupid.” A women, physicist and exceptional leader that makes humanitarian choices based in fact.

Her experience is second to none and when she leaves office Angela Merkel will have served her country for 16 years; she will leave a lasting impact. Germnay’s unemployment is only around 7%. In comparison with the rest of the world, I call that a win. With facts, proper strategic preparation and planning she accomplished more than what I believe the world will ever be able to thank her for.

2. Biden is not my favorite choice, none of the democratic contenders were stand-out-strong. However, what Joe brings is a wealth of experience, a network of people and a “board of directors” to act as council. That way, he does not make rash decisions that effect long-term national security.

3. Joe Biden’s VP choice will absolutely make the difference. He will not run for a second term (most likely), essentially giving the keys of our great nation to what could be our beloved country’s first female black president.

There will be people who will never be ready for a woman president, let alone a black one. However, for the millions of independents and blue dog democrats that voted Trump in 2016 may have changed their tune.

This is verified through polling which tells a similar story regardless of the news media outlet (fox included). Biden has a +10 point lead in the 6 battle ground states necessary to secure his victory. A lead like this so far out from the election is unprecedented, especially for an incumbent candidate.

4. I am a 34 year old man that is far from perfect. However, I’ve lived in Berlin for 3 years and have had the pleasure of receiving up-close-and-personal experience with what a very successful public healthcare (never received such quality and more through care in my life) system. Free higher education (an investment into peoples lives which increases a country’s economic output) and many other socially beneficial programs that make sense.

5. Millennials and Gen Z have a very new way of thinking, like it or not things will change as new US leaders take power. At the end of the day, I think about my children’s future and the future of the world; which includes the US maintaining the top spot as the world’s global super power.

My advice to anyone that has kids, wants kids or cares about our country and future generations. Maybe it’s time to listen to a younger generations needs, beliefs and wants?

The US has to clean up a very messy 50 million unemployment rate, pandemic, deep rooted racism and a multitude of other issues. What our future generations want and need should be considered.

Gen Z and Gen Y are the ones that have to deal with this and clean up any mess that has been created. With that in mind, all adults should be voting for a future based on what’s best for our progeny.

Trump is not my president. Not because he’s republican but because he’s a vile individual who has no regard for any life other than his own. Take a look at this diagram about how generations perceive the world. You can see a clear disconnect. We Need to start thinking and aligning with minority voters along with Gen Y and Z.

It is their future, maybe it’s best to explore validated information while eliminating preconceived feelings or beliefs? What harm does it do to look at the facts if it helps our future generations thrive? (Note, this was done prior to COVID).

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