If there’s one thing I learned from almost dying in the Battle of Benghazi, it’s the difference between leadership and management. Managers focus on keeping their jobs, whereas leaders focus on completing the mission at hand, regardless of what it means for their job security.
This is also the difference between President Donald Trump and his presumptive Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.
Donald Trump is exactly the kind of leader we need to carry us through difficult times such as the current coronavirus pandemic. In comparison, no matter how hard he tries, Joe Biden will never compare. Biden is a manager — a lifelong politician obsessed with maintaining his and his family’s political power.
I will never forget after losing my friends in Benghazi — in addition to being blown up three times, having 20-plus holes in me, as well as having my left arm almost completely severed — I had to listen to then-Vice President Biden deny that he heard anything about our desperate requests for extra security prior to the attack.
Nearly a decade later, I saw a recent video of the former vice president defensively yelling at a union worker in Michigan for disagreeing with him on gun control, and I notice the same self-absorbed person. Biden is now and has always been one to put himself and his ambitions above the interests of the American people.
Managers, in their efforts to keep their jobs or gain promotions, often will place the status quo of their organizations above doing what is necessary or right. There is no doubt that Biden is 2020’s establishment candidate. He will bend to the whims of his party’s radical base and he will continue to serve as a willing patsy for his supporters in communist China, to the detriment of his own countrymen.
President Trump, on the other hand, won over a skeptical Republican Party in 2016 and has successfully converted the overwhelming majority of GOP voters. President Trump, unlike Biden, has always been authentic, bringing an entire political party in line with his vision rather than blowing with the breeze of establishment opinion.
Managers are out for money and power. A leader is willing to sacrifice money in order to accomplish his mission.
Biden and his family members leeched off of his political status, engaging in shady dealings in notoriously corrupt countries and enjoying comfortable positions at nonprofits that do business with the federal government.
President Trump not only forfeits his $450,000 salary as president, but has also willingly given up billions of dollars to put his business interests on hold and serve as president — and now he’s losing another fortune as his hotels and businesses around the world strain under the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
If there’s one thing I learned from spending 12 years in the Marine Corps, six years in law enforcement, more than nine years in the Middle East and working for various U.S. organizations, it is the meaning of true leadership.
President Trump lives and breathes for his country, and he demonstrates leadership every single day. If he were in charge during the attack on Benghazi, I have no doubt that President Trump would have immediately put forces on the ground to protect our personnel, the way he did as soon as he heard that our embassy in Baghdad was potentially under assault earlier this year.
Biden, on the other hand, tried to deflect responsibility for the Obama-Biden administration’s cowardly failure to take decisive action.
President Trump is the leader we need; Joe Biden is just a spineless manager for the entrenched political establishment.
Mark “Oz” Geist is a member of the Annex Security Team that fought the Battle of Benghazi, Libya, from Sept. 11 to Sept. 12, 2012. After serving 12 years in the United States Marine Corps, he became a deputy sheriff in Teller County.