Indecision is the worst flaw of any leader

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - June 23, 2021 - 12:00am

To me, the single biggest reason why it is not good to have a person like Leni Robredo occupy the presidency is her inability to make a quick decision. Not only is it not good, it is dangerous. A person who becomes president is expected to make a lot of important decisions, many of them quick ones. Right or wrong, he or she has to make them and we will just have to live with the consequences of any decision our leader makes.

 That is the essence of a democratic representative form of government. We cannot make such decisions ourselves. That would make things too complicated, too contentious, too time-consuming. We will just have to learn to abide by what decisions are made for us by those we freely elect to lead us, content in the knowledge that we can always change leaders at regular intervals if we do not like the decisions made on our behalf.

For several months now, Vice President Robredo has agonized over whether to run for president or not. That is a strange predicament she made for herself. If she cannot make such an easy decision, how is she expected to make the harder decisions when she actually becomes president, decisions that may entail going to war, for instance.

I say it is an easy decision to make because she is already the vice president. That means she is just a heartbeat away from the presidency. That means at any given moment, should the constitutional circumstances allow, she would be the president. That being the case, any vice president worth his or her salt already thinks presidential the moment he or she became next in line.

Before going to sleep the vice president must always assume that he or she could be roused from sleep to become the president. Or he or she could wake in the morning knowing that at any time, the call might come handing over the tremendous weight of presidential responsibility and authority on his or her shoulders. Those shoulders must constantly be primed and ready.

And yet here is VP Robredo, the months overtaking her, still vacillating over the question of whether she might run for president or not. If even just the thought of running unsettles her, what about the very real possibility that right at this very moment she might be summoned to assume the presidency? Will her knees buckle? Will her head spin? Will her heart punch through her breast?

What a chilling and disturbing thought that we have right now, right at this very moment, a vice president who is not prepared for the job entrusted to her, who apparently has not given it a thought that she might be in Malacañang in a moment, who cannot make up her mind over something that is supposed to be a simple matter of course.

When you are the vice president, you are already actually the president-in-waiting. Nothing distinguishes you from the president other than the happenstance of fate. For VP Robredo to be unable to come to a decision over a months-old question tells us very very clearly how grievous a mistake it was to bring her so close to the presidency, and just how extremely lucky we have been so far that fate has not intervened on her behalf.

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