Some presidents have been accused of leading the country in the wrong direction. At least one has been accused of leading from behind.
Now many critics have an even more profound concern: a president who often doesn’t seem interested in leading at all.
Even his would-be Republican allies are agog, as President Trump lurches from one crisis to the next, impulsively tweeting, lacking a coherent message, and warring with the media. He has shown limited ability to harness support for policy initiatives in Congress, even though it is controlled by his own party. He’s done little to provide the public with a vision for what he wants to do.
He’s given just one prime-time speech to the nation since his inauguration, a joint address to Congress back in February.
Neither is national leadership coming from outside the White House. Top Republicans in Congress have shown an inability to use the power of majority control to get big things done and an unwillingness to challenge a dysfunctional White House for control of the Washington agenda. And Democrats? Bless their bleeding hearts. They have almost as little influence at the moment as cable television hosts.
With the country confronting profound domestic and international problems, Washington is experiencing a void of leadership unlike in any other period in modern history, according to scholars and political specialists. In its first six months, Trump’s presidency has created an extraordinary power vacuum that is leaving the nation and the globe uneasy.