It’s Lonely at the Top… of the Podium

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Published February 5, 2020
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The Montclarion
Alex Kitchmire | The Montclarion

A couple times per semester, The Montclarion editorial staff has the opportunity to meet with President Susan Cole and her advisers to discuss university developments both in policy and infrastructure.

The Montclarion often publishes content critical of the administration and President Cole. Although there may sometimes be disagreement and contention between the student body and the administration, there is no doubt that the administration does its best to act on behalf of the best interest of its governed.

Running any institution is a difficult job and too often a thankless one.

People across America seem to have forgotten that sentiment when it comes to thinking about its leaders.

Whether you are running for president for the United States of America or running for president of a club on campus, nobody is perfect.

Especially when selecting government officials, too many voters in America have become perfectionists.

People often say about candidates running for office, “I like them but,” and then provide one example of something minor that a candidate once said or did that suddenly disqualifies them from a personal endorsement.

To agree with every single thing any person has ever said or done is highly improbable.

Too often, people are judged harshly on things they said or did years, sometimes decades ago. Not allowing people to grow philosophically over time is foolishly unrealistic.

Muhammed Ali once said “a man who sees the world at 50 years old the same away he did at 20 years old has wasted 30 years of his life.”

Obviously, there is a line of what past problematic behavior is permissible and what is inexcusable.

Furthermore, changing your opinion does not necessarily mean you are disingenuous. Your perspective can evolve over time as a result of enlightenment just as easily as it can be a product of the intricately complicated political chess match that is ever-changing.

The shrewd criticism projected onto our leaders today has led to a sharp polarization of political perspectives that bears no apparent end.

Candidates running against an incumbent official denounces their administration and claims they will provide the fresh, outsider perspective to turn things around.

This 180 approach to power transition continues to leave half the country dissatisfied with their leadership, especially at the federal level.

Distrust in our government is reaching a peak on our country’s timeline. President Trump recently became only the third president in our history to be impeached, and his administration’s approval rating is only at 49%.

Additionally, just this week, the Democratic party committed one of the greatest governmental blunders in contemporary history at the Iowa caucuses.

Each side of the aisle scoffs at the other, claiming themselves to be indisputable. Therefore, we now find ourselves in the midst of a seemingly never-ending cycle of policy reversal and stagnant government.

The current right-wing administration is working to reverse the progress of the previous left-wing administration. If the election swings the other way in November, the next four years will be spent reversing the progress of the current administration and so on and so forth. Each leader will continuously be slandered and have their potency diminished.

In this era of widespread access to media, the spotlight on our leaders has never been more bright. Every mistake is highlighted in excess and every triumph is met with skepticism and a fine-toothed comb.

There is no right way to do the job of governing, except doing so with the governed put ahead of oneself for the betterment of all. It is then up to us to trust our democratically elected officials and give them a chance as long as they give us one too.

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