The Commander in Chief: The Qualities Needed of Leaders of Freedom-Loving Nations in the 21st Century
Author: Emilio Iodice
Reviewer: Elizabeth Gingerich, JVBL Editor-in-Chief
Publisher: Cranberry Press, LLC (November 17, 2020)
Hardcover: 379 pages
https://www.amazon.com/Commander-Chief-Qualities-Leaders-Freedom-Lo ving/dp/1 73455858X?pd_rd_w=1kg6K&pf_rd_p= a92e0124-cfa8-4f1e-82b5-a4a348d970 08 &pf_rd_r=B135ZQEJKD7SJQJDDWFG&pd_rd_r=dad30171-de92-487f-b3f7-ec57c99e 909f&pd_rd_wg=uPOLk&pd_rd_i=173455858 X&ref_= pd_bap_d_rp_1_i
In a year where the world began battling a devastating pandemic, suffering seemingly irrevocable economic harm, and experiencing declining morale, so many of us have turned to people in positions of authority to give direction and hope. In a timely fashion, author Emilio Iodice has provided a manual to aid in these efforts--one which gives a thorough accounting of which leadership qualities have succeeded in the person of the American President in the past--and which should be wholly avoided for repetition.
Iodice proclaims from the outset that when America has failed to provide strength and integrity--as history has shown time and time--the entire world fails as well. But with its many problems and weaknesses, the U.S. remains an example of democracy and of working pluralism. These are points made by the author although he does hesitate to say unreservedly whether this is still America's current stance and description. With a system of three branches of government and a regimen of checks and balances, the powers associated with the Office of the President have grown disproportionately, especially with regard to global affairs and in the issuance of executive orders. With that in mind, the tone set by the President dictates the position of America in the view of the world.
Iodice insists that transparency and accountability must be the primary measures used to identify the salient and desired characteristics of a U.S. President. The author notes that this assumption is one of global importance, and can mean the difference between life and death. The President, as an intricate part of the three branches of government, is the top administrator and leader of his or her political party. As its Commander-in-Chief, the American President reigns over an executive cabinet which presupposes the appointment of knowledgeable, experienced, and competent individuals. Any deficiencies in this decision-making process can--and has frequently in the past led--to disaster, ultimately dividing the populace, fomenting distrust in democratic institutions, and manifesting in acts of corruption and racism at the highest level. Examples given by the author on this point include Warren G. Harding's Teapot Dome scandal, Andrew Jackson's Trail of Tears, and Richard Nixon's Watergate. At the other end of the spectrum were other notable examples: the vision of Abraham Lincoln which led the way to the adoption of the 13th Amendment ending slavery, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal legislation which constructively addressed the travails precipitated by the Great Depression, John F. Kennedy's commitment to space exploration, and Lydon B. Johnson's monumental civil rights legislation expanding voting rights and worker protections.
Asserting Moral Character
Iodice emphasizes the importance of moral character and labels it as the underlying component of sound leadership. He asserts that it was Lincoln's moral...