We owe it to ourselves and the future to speak up against delinquent leaders

Port Macquarie-Hastings deputy mayor Lisa Intemann
Port Macquarie-Hastings deputy mayor Lisa Intemann

As a young school student, I was greatly taken with the idea of a benevolent dictator as the best form of rule, offering clarity and efficiency, as well as positive outcomes.

But I was equally advised by my teacher’s admonition about the dangers of dictatorship generally, so easily could we be caught by malevolence and corrupted power.

Decades later, amid discussions about Australia’s state of over-government, a person I greatly admire expressed it was better to be burdened with too many layers of government, because at least that gives us a fighting chance to avoid the excesses of some tyrant.

In watching the evolution of the Trump administration, I am more and more persuaded by my good friend’s view – better a bit of time-wasting bungling than suffering a torrent of misrule.

Whereas most everywhere in America and definitely in Australia, people are responding progressively to important challenges such as climate change, rising inequality and revelations of sexual abuse, Donald Trump continues to behave poorly.

His latest announcement gives support to a senator with a string of sexual assault claims against him. But that’s hardly surprising considering Trump’s own stated opinion that he has the right to speak to and touch any person however and wherever he wants.

I’ve known people like him, and they are eminently dislikeable in their own lives. But when ensconced in positions of public power and authority over others, they become abhorrent and worthy of our harshest criticism.

We should expect more from our leaders that just selfish me-ism. We owe it to ourselves and indeed to the future to speak up against such delinquents, and not ignore the damage they do to society and especially the barbaric figurehead they present to our children.

Thankfully, regular people are increasingly awake to the value of mutual respect including to those less powerful than ourselves. It’s the only mature way to go forward, Mr Trump.

These are Lisa Intemann’s opinions and not those of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.