Dear editor,

When I worked in product development for various companies, marketing departments would periodically give us new assignments: A new product that does this and that better than our competitors. It should not be any larger than X or Y or weigh more than our competitor’s product. It should take less time to assemble than our current product … and so on. The marketing department did not say that we needed to make the product out of steel, or aluminum, or dictate other specific design instructions.

So when the former president dictated that we build a wall to address illegal border crossings, I asked myself what the experts who are charged with guarding our border thought about having the design dictated to them. In my opinion, leaders convey challenges to their teams who they get to know, and then back them up, appraising their efforts and guiding the team when needed. I don’t see that kind of leadership in the former president.

Our present president has asked Congress to redirect funds for wall building to exploit smart tactics and infrastructure, including barriers where they make sense, as recommended by those doing the work. That’s effective leadership, in my opinion. Unfortunately, that request was refused and the money will not be used as effectively as it might have. A friend of mine said, “When I hear ‘wall’, I think ‘ladder’.”

Peter Truitt of Danbury

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.