March 8, 2021

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Letter: The Value of Reading Character

A few months after Trump became President, I transferred all my 401k money from stocks to a 3.5% interest-bearing account. A number of people told me that I was overreacting because the economy was doing well. But I replied: “The issue here is one of character, and based on Trump’s character, I do not believe that he will be a capable leader in a time of crisis. In fact, I’m confident that, should a major crisis happen, Trump will make significant and even catastrophic mistakes.” 

Unfortunately, Trump has proven me right. In 2018, he fired a significant number of experts who were trained to identify and combat pandemics here and abroad. In January of 2020, numerous people, including some of Trump’s aides, were warning him about the Coronavirus, but instead of heeding those warnings, he downplayed and even dismissed them. In February of 2020, he mocked reports about the Coronavirus, calling them a “Democratic hoax.” It was only in mid-March that he started to take the crisis seriously, but by then it was too late, because the virus had already started to spread throughout the country. Had Trump been a capable leader, the Coronavirus would be under control in the United States and the stock market would not have plummeted nearly as much because he would have taken the threat seriously and acted accordingly.

Some of you might think that this is an anti-Republican message. But it is most assuredly not. Before moving to Morris, I lived in Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney was my governor. I didn’t always agree with Romney, but I always believed that he was a capable leader. Before moving to Massachusetts, I lived in New York, where Hillary Clinton was my senator. I didn’t always agree with Clinton, but I always believed that she was a capable leader. What led me to hold these beliefs was their character. These two politicians value science and they respect our intelligence communities. Were Mitt Romney or Hillary Clinton currently president, we would still have problems with the Coronavirus, but they would be minimal compared to what they currently are. Consequently, the stock market would not be down nearly as much. Look at your 401k’s, and ask yourself this: What would have happened to the stock market had Trump not fired experts who were trained to identify and combat pandemics? And how would the markets have responded if Trump would have taken the Coronavirus threat seriously in January when he was first warned about it? Donald Trump is a deeply flawed character, and given his many failings, we as a country are paying and will pay a very heavy price. Reading a person’s character is vital.

Michael Lackey

Morris, MN