As the nation approaches a crucial point in what has become an extremely popular and often times near-volatile upcoming presidential election, more and more assessment of the two presidential candidates as leaders for this country are being discussed across nearly all media platforms. Pieces of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s character are being increasingly examined and scrutinized as we come closer to electing the role of the President of the United States for the next four years. It is imperative for both candidates to do these three things:
- Put their best foot forward in regards to maintaining a positive outlook for this country in the face of a pandemic.
- Work diligently for the overall benefit of the country as opposed to putting all of their energy and attention on winning the election.
- Know the extent of their capabilities. More importantly, know the extent of their limitations.
In reference to knowing their limitations, I’d like to make reference to a very sensitive
recent event that took place on a popular radio show known as “The Breakfast Club” that draws the majority of its attention from black audiences. In reference to black voters who may be inclined to vote for Donald Trump instead of Joe Biden himself, he claimed that if a black voter were in fact to cast their ballot for Trump that they “ain’t black.” This scenario relates tremendously to the leader-member exchange theory of leadership.
Essentially, this means that the leader as well as the team members are equally as important to one another. A leader is nothing without people to lead, and people who need led can be nothing without a leader. A recent article in the Washington Post discusses the complications that arose from this statement in detail (Linskey & Itkowitz, 2020). A former executive director for the Congressional Black Caucus, Angela Rye, claims that it appeared to come across “as if black people need Joe Biden more than Joe Biden needs black people.” It’s not difficult to see how this can cause complications for Biden’s run at the presidency as black voters have appeared to be an essential factor that has propelled him into the primary race.
Whether the intent of the comment was to belittle or to relate to the audience remains unclear. However, since the comment was made, Biden has gone back on that statement claiming that he was being “much too cavalier.” Whether this will have a lasting impact on the upcoming primary is yet to be revealed, however, this ought to be a practical example of what can happen when the relationship between leaders and followers is tested.
Linskey, A., & Itkowitz, C. (2020, May 22). Biden walks back suggestion that black voters who aren’t already supporting him ‘ain’t black.’ The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-says-black-voters-who-arent-already-supporting-him-aint-black/2020/05/22/4466d978-9c39-11ea-ad09-8da7ec214672_story.html