Our expectations of our government are criminally low these days. We barely ask that you escape indictment in order to qualify to lead us. We take it as a matter of course that you will lie, cheat, steal, foul up and still somehow deserve our vote. Now, to be president, it seems you don’t even need to deal with the wars you start.
What else is left in the job, if war is somebody else’s task? Taxes? Handshakes? Ribbon-cuttings and speeches to chambers of commerce?
Miss America has a more demanding schedule.
It’s hard to imagine Abraham Lincoln appointing a middle manager to handle the Civil War while he … well, Lincoln wasn’t exactly a party animal, so it’s hard to imagine what else he’d be doing with his time, but can you picture him handing off responsibility like that?
His country was on fire all around him. And as befitted an American president, this was foremost in his mind. The war wasn’t easy, but he was in charge, cost him dearly though it did.
“Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away,” he said in his Second Inaugural Address, in 1865. “Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’ “
Weighty words, from a man who took his job seriously. Maybe all he needed was an implementation manager.