WHILE I AM hesitant to borrow the title from Thomas Paine’s famous Revolutionary War pamphlet, I believe this is just what we need now — an injection of some much-needed common sense into the 2020 election debate before it’s too late and Donald Trump somehow gets re-elected.

Note that this is a non-partisan discussion. I am a retired U. S. Army officer and a political independent who strongly believes that we should put character and competence foremost when selecting our leaders at all levels of government. Unfortunately, in this hyper-partisan era, it appears that some Americans put too much emphasis on party loyalty or a politician’s position on some “hot button” issues. These are the only reasons why I can think that anyone would support re-electing Donald Trump!

After over 3½ years of Trump’s outrageous comments and actions, I cannot understand how anyone could think he should be re-elected. Trump has consistently demonstrated that he does not know how to lead and that he lacks the decency, integrity, and competence to be our president. His never-ending stream of lies and misleading statements are particularly disturbing. It appears that Trump has taken a page from Joseph Goebbels’ Nazi playbook — “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”.

I am no more a fan of the Democrats than the Republicans and I am not here to sing Joe Biden’s praises. However, as in 2016, we are faced with choosing the lesser of two evils. Even if you do not like Biden or agree with his policies, he is still a better choice than Trump. Even if you believe Trump’s constant exaggerations that Biden and the Democrats are going to turn us into a socialist state, this will not happen because the Constitution prevents such rapid and radical changes. Hopefully, we can elect someone in 2024 who is much better than either Biden or Trump and who can repair the damage that Trump has already caused to our country and any further damage Biden may cause.

Below are some of the attributes of a good leader that I learned at West Point and in 23 years as an Army officer and examples of how Trump has fallen woefully short in these areas. There are many other reasons why Trump should not be re-elected to include blatant corruption, nepotism and divisiveness that, in addition to detailed evidence for what I say below, are in a blog post at shorturl.at/denJ5. Since Trump and his supporters will dispute any reports from what they call the “Fake News”, the blog gives many examples of how Trump’s own words, tweets and actions prove that he lacks the decency, integrity, and competence needed in a leader.

Good leaders put the welfare of their people and organizations over their own self-interest. A particularly disturbing example of Trump not doing this is his constant attempts to downplay Russian interference in the 2016 election (and in 2020 also) in a misguided attempt to maintain his political legitimacy. This is even after the U.S. intelligence community, the Mueller Report and, most recently, a bipartisan report from the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed that this happened.

Good leaders set the example. Trump falls short here by consistently refusing to wear a mask in public during the COVID-19 pandemic and by hosting several “super spreader” political rallies where there was little mask wearing or social distancing.

Good leaders treat people with dignity and respect. Trump is very disrespectful toward anyone who opposes or criticizes him. He insults people publicly and gives them derogatory nicknames like “Sleepy” Joe Biden.

Good leaders are honest. Some sources claim that Trump has made over 20,000 false or misleading statements since he has been in office. One particularly egregious example is his tweet about the Mueller Report that, in part, said “Complete and Total EXONERATION” even though the report clearly states that it did not exonerate him.

Good leaders show humility. Trump has repeatedly talked and tweeted about how smart he is to include calling himself a “a very stable genius”!

We must expect more from our leaders and cannot accept Trump’s atrocious behavior! To put it in Trump’s vernacular, he acts like a total jerk. Here is the acid test — do you think Donald Trump is a good role model for your children or grandchildren? Would you really want them to behave in a boastful, arrogant, insensitive, bullying, and dishonest manner like Trump? If the answer to this question is no, then you should agree that Trump is totally unfit to be president and should not be re-elected!

Kurt Webber is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and a retired Community College System of New Hampshire professor. He lives in Gilford.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY Attorney’s Office works with local law enforcement to administer justice and manage the prosecution of most felony crimes. In April 2018, before I took office, my predecessor, Dennis Hogan, tried to obtain $500,000 of additional funding and had called his office “on t…

I FIRST VOTED for a Republican presidential candidate in 1964 when I was 21 and head of Youth for Goldwater at UNH. Since then I have voted 13 more times for every nominee of my party including Donald Trump four years ago. I have been a delegate to four Republican National Conventions.

Friday, September 25, 2020

DURING the COVID-19 crisis, charities have been delivering services to vulnerable individuals and families across New Hampshire, but we’ve also been hit particularly hard by the pandemic with facility closures, declines in donations, cuts in program revenue and staff reductions. Without addi…

Thursday, September 24, 2020

IN THE federal government’s anemic effort against COVID-19, nursing homes have effectively been left for dead. Despite deaths that began with the February outbreak in a Kirkland, Wash., nursing home, hospitals were prioritized for personal protective equipment. Hospital workers were publicly…

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

IT WAS ONCE written of Chester Arthur, the 21st president, that “No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted as Chester Alan Arthur, and no one ever retired...more generally respected, alike by political foe and friend.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2020
  • Updated

EVERY TIME military officers are promoted, they repeat the oath of office they took when first commissioned: “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

AS THE Union Leader and many other papers have reported, all of New Hampshire is experiencing some level of drought and nearly one quarter of the state is experiencing severe drought (despite our recent batch of rain), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Monday, September 21, 2020

THE PANDEMIC grinds on. A fraught new school year begins (sort of). Chilly weather brings ominous thoughts of how much more difficult it will be to keep distanced and stay safe. And hundreds of thousands in the Granite State struggle with maddeningly slow and unreliable internet service — if…

Sunday, September 20, 2020
  • Updated

IN THE summer of 2010, I started seeing flags everywhere. It was like when you buy a new car and then start seeing the same vehicle on every street you drive. The official name is the “Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon,” also known as “frequency illusion.” No matter the name, during that summer, fla…

WHEN I ANSWERED the front door one Sunday morning, a chaplain, a U.S. Navy admiral, and a casualty notification officer came bearing news from Londonderry. News I had to share with the primary next of kin — a dedicated Navy wife of 11 years — upstairs in our family’s home on the Naval Air St…

Friday, September 18, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020

IN RESPONSE to the well-written article by Jim Adams, former district manager of the Postal Service, although his opinion piece was accurate, it also omitted some significant changes in recent postal operations that go beyond a mere continuation of former policies. Most of the changes instit…

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

WHILE THE primaries are a fading image in the rear-view mirror and the chosen candidates are fully immersed in their general election stumping, there are still some interesting lessons to be learned from the results of those primary contests.