James Mattis and Donald Trump. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Every day, the news is full of stories about success and failure.
And one trend you notice over time is that the success stories almost always include failures that preceded the success, and taught the successful invaluable lessons about how to succeed, or rather, how not to fail.
For instance, when a Bill Belichick-coached team loses, it’s like clockwork – he says “we’ve got to work harder and get better,” and more often than not they do.
And I can’t imagine a field where learning from mistakes, not assuming you know everything, and working well with others is more crucial than in politics.
The makeup of the biggest blunders and failures is always the same – the perpetrators were too arrogant, didn’t listen, didn’t learn.
President George W. Bush thought he could remake the Middle East and nation-build successfully where so many others had failed.
President Obama thought the same, with comparably-bad results.
And now President Trump is roaring down the same dead end.
You will recall how, in his nomination acceptance speech, candidate Trump declared of the country’s problems: “I alone can fix it.” But that hasn’t proven true of anything he’s touched, especially foreign affairs.
In his resignation letter yesterday, Defense Sec. James Mattis offered no praise for Trump, instead focusing on our allies and alliances, the same things the president has been so eager to disrespect.
Mattis isn’t the only one who’s tried to help the president get a grip, but he doesn’t listen, doesn’t learn, and therefore, doesn’t succeed.
They say those who ignore the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them.
The mistakes of others, and their own.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.
Listen to Jon's commentary: