Half a world away from the United States, there’s a country that seems like our polar opposite.
While coronavirus cases here are surging before flu season has even started, thanks to a mask-avoiding, dithering president, over there they’ve essentially eliminated it because their leader acted swiftly and decisively, with an ambitious goal to wipe out COVID-19, not just control the spread.
While the U.S. never manages to pass effective assault weapon bans or even mild, common-sense restrictions, over there, after 51 people were killed in a house of worship last year, they quickly passed new laws banning the deadliest types of semi-automatic weapons.
While this country has never been more divided, that country’s leader just won re-election by a landslide.
What’s the difference? Well, let’s start with the fact that New Zealand’s leader is a woman. I know that may sound like a fairy tale to many Americans, who are getting ready to re-elect a 74-year-old man (please no!) or elect a 77-year-old man as their 46th (male) president. But somehow, 40-year-old Jacinda Ardern is managing just fine, thank you very much.
Sure, New Zealand is a much smaller island nation. And Ms. Ardern has her detractors (what politician doesn’t?). She’s not invincible (sorry Helen Reddy), but she certainly seems to be doing a much better job in trying times.
“This has not been an ordinary election, and it’s not an ordinary time. It’s been full of uncertainty and anxiety, and we set out to be an antidote to that.”Jacinda Ardern in this AP article
We’ve never had a female president. Even though study after study has shown that women score higher than men in most leadership skills.
Research has consistently found women tend to adopt a more transformational leadership style, which includes demonstrating compassion, care, concern, respect and equality.From this CNN article
Compassion. Care. Concern. Respect. Equality. I’d say our current leader is 0 for 5 on those. Unless “care” = “cares only about himself” and “concern” = “concern about stock market prices.”
Maybe someday… hopefully sooner rather than later… we the people of the United States of America will wise up and elect a woman president. It shouldn’t be such a foreign concept.