It strikes me that we may be at a low ebb in our trust and belief in leaders in, well, all of world history. Here are my theses:
There are, in fact, extremely few good leaders in government, business, the religious world, and any other major sector you can name. As a Liberal, when I think of people in government that really might have a clue, the name Elizabeth Warren comes to mind. Do I think Hilary has any ideas of how to move forward? Hell no. When I think of business, I think of Elon Musk (the CEO of Tesla). He seems to know something about electric cars. Do I think he could fix the economy or do anything big like that? No.
Regardless of whether there are any good leaders, I don’t see people actually believing there are good leaders. I don’t really even see Conservatives believing in their candidates as leaders. Did anyone really think Mitt Romney was a great leader? Some people hated Obama, some people thought Mitt would do less damage his first term than Obama would do in his second. But did anyone really believe that Mitt could turn things around? I never got that vibe. (And note that this is non-partisan: I don’t see any Liberal holding up our side’s people as any good, except maybe the aforementioned Warren. Even then, though, that seems more a belief that she is righteous than that she is capable of effecting real change.)
I was reading a statistic recently about how much Catholics in the UK turn to their religious authorities for answers. The number was basically zero. And though some people prefer Pope Francis to the jackass who preceded him and seem to admire the new guy to some degree, I don’t see anyone really thinking he’s going to accomplish a whole lot in the dying institution known as the Catholic Church.
- There seems to be a belief that no one has any solutions, either. For example, a nerdy economist might not be a leader, but s/he might have a solution. But no one seems to believe that any off-the-shelf solutions are available for our economic and political woes. I recognize that there are Conservatives and Libertarians that believe, in a religious sort of way, that minimizing government would bring back prosperity. Actually, to put it in a fully nuanced way, I think they believe that doing so is “right” and that market forces would eventually result in things being prosperous again; and that, even if that took 15 years, that would still be the “right” thing to do. I would hold, however, that that is not so much a belief in a solution as a belief that a solution is not possible. Kinda like saying that you should just let your body heal on its own no matter what illness you have, with no medical intervention deemed suitable.
Now, my belief is that we’re at a turning point in human history where our economic, governmental, industrial, and cultural institutions are all breaking down at once, and they will need to be replaced with something different in order for society to function optimally again.
But is that just me? Am I seeing all the above through a distorted lens? Are there great leaders, and do people believe there are?
Edify me. Thank you!