Let’s imagine you knew of someone who made lots of claims about things, but made them without evidence. He did this thousands of times — not in a cowardly way, but publicly. He cited his “gut” feel that he knew what was right, though it often was opposite to the evidence and science. You thought he should be responsible to make important decisions for millions.
Imagine this person’s businesses were a bit of a mess. He’d been given a good inheritance so he had good potential. Though he had many successes, unfortunately with six of his corporations he had declared bankruptcy. This man kept opening new businesses, and many of them failed and were closed, or were being investigated for wrongdoing.
But lest you think much that this man did was a failure and self-centered, imagine he ran a charity in his name to do good things. Later it was found the charity was taking money it said was for doing good, but instead was being used for his own ends. The courts said the charity had to be wound down. They said that he would have restrictions personally if he became the director of another charity. 1
Difficult Situation: Handling of Pandemic
Imagine he directed programs to keep people safe from a grave disease, but things had somehow gone wrong. Other people had done wise things for the people they were responsible for. Things had worked out well for them with only a small number dying. But somehow, tens of thousands of people, instead of being saved from the disease, had died under the programs this man oversaw. Other tens of thousands who had recovered possibly faced severe health problems for years to come. But reassuringly, shortly after 150,000 in his country had died from the virus, he said repeatedly, “I think we have done very well.” 2
Comments on Racial Strife and Nation’s Soldiers
Imagine people were attacking each other because people with a certain color skin were said by some to not be given a fair chance. They seemed to be singled out for mistreatment by the police. He rightly said this was the problem of the political party which didn’t hold the presidency. He said others he didn’t agree with politically were now and would later mishandle this situation. While things seemed to be spiraling out of control, he rightly didn’t make any comments about the way he WAS handling it at the current time. It was obvious to all that HE had nothing to do with the mess that was going on.
Imagine many top officials allegedly said that this man said soldiers who died fighting for his country were “suckers” and “losers.”
Imagine if you can that it came out that this man had downplayed from the start the threat of the sickness towards people, which eventually killed nearly 200,00 of them. He had done this because, as he said, he “(didn’t) want to create a panic.”
Imagine also that this man was asked about the upcoming election for his position. When asked if he’d guarantee a peaceful transition if he lost — he refused to do that.
I know this is all a stretch. It sounds beyond the realm of what’s possible. But if it could happen — this man in this scenario clearly would have a position of very great importance, responsibility, and power. As this would affect millions of people’s lives and your life, you’d probably want that to continue. You’d want him to stay in his position so that he would continue to do the things mentioned here — wouldn’t you?
Marty Poehler is a businessman who lives in North Carolina.