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Leaders’ views can influence followers’ behaviors

I watched a documentary about cats, and part of that show was about how Pope Gregory IX (1605-1621) didn’t like cats, saying they were associates of Satan and how many of his followers started torturing and killing cats. This is an example of how a leader’s views can influence the behavior of his followers.

Hitler didn’t like Jews, and the result was the Holocaust. It seems those German citizens who were opposed to his actions were far outnumbered by those who supported him or were indifferent.

When President Trump declared a ban on Muslim immigrants, there were news reports of Arab-looking people being shot. When he called Latino asylum seekers robbers and rapists, there were news reports of Mexicans being shot. When he called COVID-19 a Chinese virus, there were reports of Asian-Americans being harassed. He shared a video of one of his supporters saying the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat. He has divided America and will continue to do so as long as he is in office.

We now have a situation were white people can protest carrying their military-style assault weapons while unarmed black men are being killed by police and vigilantes. However, this doesn’t excuse violent protests. But keep in mind, Dr. Martin Luther King said a riot is the language of the unheard.

He has mismanaged this COVID-19 outbreak by not taking any action for 10 weeks, first calling it a hoax, then saying it was no big deal and not believing the warnings of doctors. The consensus is if he had taken action earlier, there would be a lot less deaths and he seems to be blaming everybody else, the Chinese, the World Health Organization and troublesome governors.

About the only thing good since this COVID-19 outbreak is there has been no mass shootings of which there has been 62 during his presidency and his response to all has been thoughts and prayers, but no action has been taken other than armed guards in schools and having children learn lock-down drills.

Is this the kind of leadership we want for the next four years?

Ray Wilson | New Middletown, Ind.