Monday, September 27, 2010

Leadership and arrogance

Lately there has been a lot of corruption. People in leadership find themselves suddenly in a position of power. My question is: Are many of our recently elected officials really leaders? Today I heard on the radio that it is really hard to lead in a democracy.

How is it that it has become hard to lead in a democracy? The only way that happens is if those elected officials are not really leaders. They were elected without proving anything to anybody other than that they can talk. But rhetoric has never made anyone a good leader. If there is no substance behind the talk, there is also no soul behind the face of a candidate.

Many of our current officials are really only at the top because they can stand the imposition of running for office. Running for office requires corruptibility nowadays because without it the ordinary person with leadership ability is getting nowhere.

Leadership ability is not necessary when there is a whole organization behind you to coach you and prop you up and make your cardboard figure into an arrogant puppet. The election campaign becomes a formula. The money comes from up above (lobbies etc.), and chances are if you look good on TV you'll be elected with the right kind of backing.

What does the electorate really know about the candidate? Very little. And what does the candidate know about the electorate? He or she knows only what a poll transmits. The direct connection is almost always completely lost. Thinking back--how long has it been that we have had a homely but capable President? It was so disingenuous when one of our recent Presidents pronounced that he was not interested in nation-building (his eyes were so twinkly, and his charm was irresistible), and how was it that a recent candidate promised something and when elected said that things are promised during campaigns and when that is over, reality sets in.

The cynical attitude and the arrogance are the show-stoppers of the campaign and they hold us back. A nation can only get a hold of itself when smirks and the glossing over of ineptitude are replaced with honesty, hard work and and genuine leadership.

It has become common that a candidate will not even display real abilities because it might expose him to scrutiny. So it's better not to say anything worthwhile than to expose yourself to future untold vulnerability. Throwing platitudes around as if they were pearls is the motto nowadays, just as long as you look good. So here we have it--the corrupting influence of good looks and money. Ignorance can be hidden very well when all you need is money for sound bites.


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