Reporter's Note: I write a letter to President Obama every day. I am very dedicated to my job.
Dear Mr. President,
Well, your speech at the United Nations has certainly grabbed a few headlines. Take that, Syria! Here's some for you, Iran! And if either of you make us stop this car...
Heaven knows both nations have certainly done more than enough to iritate almost any American president, so I don't suppose anyone should be surprised by your strong words. The catch, of course, is that strong words often have to be backed by strong action.
One of the biggest mistakes parents make is threatening kids with consequences for bad behavior if they have no intention of making those threats turn to reality. A child who is told, "Clean your room or else..." rightfully may be curious about that "or else" part. And if he or she learns that what it really means is "or else I'll just keep making spineless threats" then the whole parent-child power structure falls apart.
Now, granted, we're talking about whole nations, not children. But I think some of the principles remain the same. If you are going to suggest that you will not stand by for an unlimited time while these two nations mess around, you have to really mean it. I trust you do. I suspect that you and your team already have a secret plan of response for continued non-compliance, and that's good.
Because while making threats is not always the best way to work on relationships, making empty threats is assuredly one of the worst.
Hope all is well. Did you see the game last night? Wow! Call if you can.
Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
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