“Great leaders always seem to embody two seemingly disparate qualities. They are both highly visionary and highly practical.” – John C. Maxwell
As we face down this present Chinese Coronavirus pandemic, I am thankful that President Trump is demonstrating both the visionary and practical qualities of leadership that Dr. Maxwell highlighted so aptly.
The visionary: President Trump has led throughout his presidency, and even before he was elected, with a vision for America. His vision for America is of an economically resilient, militarily powerful, and inherently good and moral nation. A nation that does not interfere in the workings of other nations and asks them not to interfere in ours. A nation that is as self-reliant in all manners as our founding fathers envisioned as they fought for independence.
President Trump’s understanding is that freedom, not the government, makes our nation exceptional. That is why he removed burdensome regulations and unleashed our economy. It is why he called upon our allies to bear their fair share when it comes to defending against borderless threats, such as the now decimated ISIS. It is why he negotiated and re-negotiated fair trade deals to bring jobs back home and made domestic prosperity amidst a global marketplace achievable once again.
As we face the health and economic crisis brought on by the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, we should all be exceptionally grateful for his fearless visionary leadership, which has allowed us to enter these uncertain times from a position of strength and with a robust booming economy. Just as the measures taken against the spread of the virus are designed to “flatten the curve,” so our patient care infrastructure can keep up, having started from a powerful economic position has helped mitigate the blow to our economy, and will speed up the recovery when we turn the corner.
Not only will his leadership help to speed the economic recovery from the current situation, his America First focus is drawing widespread attention to the fact that China has nearly monopolized the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and medicine as a whole. It is safe to say that China is an untrustworthy global partner at best and, more likely, a hostile opponent at worst, which makes President Trump’s vision of unshackling us from such economic entanglement even more prescient.
It is thanks to President Trump’s visionary leadership on our economy and trade that we will make a quick and strong economic recovery as this saga comes to a close.
The practical: early in the crisis the president acted swiftly to halt travel from China, the pandemic’s ground zero. He was roundly criticized by Democrats and slandered with terms like “xenophobe” and “racist.” President Trump is not a xenophobe or a racist, but rather a realist and cognizant of the data and science behind where and how the virus originated. To the president’s credit, he has gracefully refrained from the “I told you so” that he deserves. It was this action to ban China travel and later travel from the European Union that has helped to slow the spread of the virus.
President Trump understands that it is more important than ever that he and all government leaders put America, and the American people, first. Doing so is not selfish or nationalistic, it is practical and smart. Only a strong, focused and deliberate America can tackle this pandemic and usher in a public health and economic recovery, while simultaneously helping the rest of the world do the same.
When we come out of this difficult time, and we will, it will be President Trump’s visionary and practical leadership that will have marshaled us through, as well as, properly prepared our nation to ensure we do not find ourselves vulnerable in this way again. I am proud that President Trump is the one leading us through this trial and know that America will emerge stronger than ever on the other side.
Dr. Kelli Ward is a family physician, two-term Arizona state senator, and the chairwoman of the Republican Party of Arizona.