Krugman: A True Leader Admits Mistakes

Paul Krugman gives us yet another reason to vote for a President Biden.

Last week Joe Biden made an off-the-cuff joke that could be interpreted as taking African-American votes for granted. It wasn’t a big deal — Biden, who loyally served Barack Obama, has long had a strong affinity with black voters, and he has made a point of issuing policy proposals aimed at narrowing racial health and wealth gaps. Still, Biden apologized.

And in so doing he made a powerful case for choosing him over Donald Trump in November. You see, Biden, unlike Trump, is capable of admitting error.

Everybody makes mistakes, and nobody likes admitting having been wrong. But facing up to past mistakes is a crucial aspect of leadership.

As a Scout leader, I talk to young people on a regular basis, trying to coach and mentor them on many things. I teach them scout skills like knots and first aid. I take them wilderness backpacking and snow camping. I try to instill a love of nature and the outdoors, a framework for making ethical decisions, and the skills they need to become effective leaders.

When I talk to Scouts, I frequently ask them what makes a good leader. Listening, respect, and inclusiveness all are all important skills, as is the ability to make decisions. But one skill that deserves more attention is the ability to admit mistakes.

I admit that this was a lesson I had a hard time learning, and it too me far too long to learn it, I hope that I can help some young people learn it earlier than I did.

Admitting our mistakes, admitting where we went wrong is the key to all progress. Out understanding of everything, is based on learning where we were wrong, and doing better.

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