Letter: SBY is not comparable to Eisenhower
Paper Edition | Page: 8
This refers to an article titled “Yudhoyono and Petraeus: Between military and leadership”, (The Jakarta Post, June 25) by Wibawanto Nugroho.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Eisenhower are totally different. Unlike SBY, Eisenhower was effective in making his policies, which were carried out by many.
To be a success, he must change. I do not think SBY is comparable to Eisenhower since, unlike SBY, Eisenhower put his country’s national interests first; while SBY seems put his image first.
Eisenhower’s confrontation against the Arkansas government in 1957 to protect African American students was the real proof of being a great leader of his nation. What has President Yudhoyono done to protect minority groups here? Is he prepared to sacrifice his image in order to protect the minorities? Let us assess this together, clearly.
This is how the SBY administration has failed in managing the country for the last eight years. However, let’s be clear. What is it that has made SBY’s presidency become so ineffective?
First, he cannot assure/convince/persuade his administration, subordinates, political coalition partners, local government or other policy stakeholders that by doing what he wants as president, they would actually be serving their own interests.
Why has this happened? Because people have started to disrespect what they see as the gap between SBY’s rhetoric and practice, and actual achievements; and that gap is getting wider by the day. As President, SBY has formal, persuasive and charismatic power at his disposal, but, unfortunately, unlike Eisenhower, he has failed to tap into those sources of power.
Some say that SBY is the right guy in the wrong time. I don’t think so. This is just a poor excuse. A great leader is someone who can turn the wrong time into the right time; who can change unfavorable conditions into favorable ones.
Indonesia needs a leader who can shape his or her social structure rather than be influenced and/or constrained by it.