It has been said throughout the ages that leaders are not born, they are made. And history has proven this to be true for the most part. Sure, someone may have been born into royalty, and as such, they eventually take the crown. But just because someone is born into privilege and a family of power, doesn’t mean every child will make a good leader.
Thankfully, in the United States, our process of leadership is one that requires individuals to prove their abilities, making it much more likely that those placed in positions of power actually have the skills necessary to carry out the rigors of the job.
However, even in this system, it is possible for some to “fake it till they make it,” as they say. Some give off all the right airs and even make some wise decisions that lead others to believe they are needed, whether they actually have the mettle for the job or not.
But it is times like these, when a crisis is at our very door, that this mettle is tested and when true leaders are made. And when others are seen for the frauds they are.
To put this to the test, let us look at two very similar state governors: Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom from California. Throughout the last several years, the two have shown like-minded governing decisions and skills. Both lead one of the most populated and liberal states in the nation. Both have also become some of President Trump’s number one enemies.
However, during this pandemic of COVID-19 that is spreading around the world, the two have taken very different approaches. One has put all-partisan squabbles aside, reached out to the President, and proved that he would do what is actually best for his people.
The other, in contrast, has only given into the fear-mongering spread by mainstream media, locking his state down and causing widespread panic among his citizens.
Just take a look at these two statements recently made by the men and decide which type of leader you want to have.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told Today’s Savannah Guthrie on Thursday that he would not be locking down his state and implementing a “shelter-in-place” policy. While New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has suggested such a move, Cuomo said it would only make matters worse.
He said, “The fear and panic can get out of control more than the virus.” He added, “I’m not talking about the imprisonment of people in their homes. I’m not talking about quarantine and roadblocks where you’re locked into a geographic area. That will explode panic in New York City.”
Cuomo noted that he would be closing all schools and many businesses to stop the spread of the virus. In addition, he asked that President Trump send the Army Corps of Engineers to the state to mitigate the stress of already overwhelmed hospitals and medical staff. But he insisted that he would not be giving in to fear and panic.
He told his state in a press conference that “we will get through this.” Sure, it will be tough, but in the grand scheme of things, this will only last a short time, and we will get through it.
And then, on the other side of the country, we have California governor Gavin Newsom, telling the President that he believes over half of his state will contract the virus. In a letter to Trump asking for medical support, which was given, Newsom ranted and raved about how his land was ill-prepared for this, and that disaster was already at his door.
Newsom frantically pleaded with Trump to send aid, going on and on about the spreading number of those impacted in his state. Although, a spokesperson later admitted that Newsom’s projection of 25.5 million in California getting the virus was made without considering mitigation efforts already being made.
Newsom has locked down his state, declaring a “shelter-in-place” policy that essentially confines people to their homes. It is noted that the “increase” in cases Newsom quoted to the President, was due to an increase in available testing in the state.
He, unlike Cuomo, seems to be in full panic mode, closing everything down, predicting the worst, and definitely not putting on a hopeful front for his citizens.
While I may not agree with Cuomo on many political aspects, he sure has proved himself to be a worthy leader. Newsom, not so much.