LEADERSHIP, FOLLOWSHIP, AND THE WIZARD

2 05 2016

Authored by William Robert Barber

Political leadership as expressed from national to State, even local municipalities, rely as much on the balderdash of huffing and puffing as the declarative and substantive. Noticeably however, the further away the political leadership is from the people, the more the reliance on the “huff and puff”. Nonetheless and despite the quantity of balderdash there is more to the game of political leadership than the often bombastic huffing and puffing: There is the indispensable pretense of leading by creative chimera wherein for the political election winner intangibles such as good looks, family pedigree, stylistic positives, rhetorical skill personal/professional connections, a pleasant smile, and the presumptive importance of an urbane image may prompt many a vote. Tangible qualities such as experience and proven records are nice but secondary within the scheme of attaining electoral victory.

Given the resulting wherewithal of political leaders in the current Congress, one could determine that leadership is a misnomer for simple follow ship. Today’s kinetically driven political environment dismisses real leadership as “over the top,” egotistic, demanding, and insensitive; wherein the fact that the protagonist of concern is eventful true, factually non-fiction, and palpable could very well describe an un-electable candidate. After all he or she, being human, could have acted honestly, with clear evidence of straightforward behavioral intent, and almost certainly, by doing so stepped outside of accepted popular culture. Our protagonist could have exercised the sin of independent thinking and did so without clearing with legal, campaign manager, or focus group. Whether the “thinking” was rational, thoughtful, or intelligently discerning is not the crux; the very idea of getting off script is the worrisome concern.

The self-appointed contrarian onlookers will be gunning for our protagonist, the innocuous contrivers seeking fodder to feed the choreographers of drama, the useful-impetuous and ideologically inspired counterparties, all ostensibly performing their duties in the interest of the “non-rivalrous-non-excludable public good” — by means amoral, immoral, extralegal, in sum pernicious, they are intent on destroying our protagonist.

It is therefore entirely probable that political leadership as presently exemplified is here to stay even though acknowledged as less about leading and more a characterization of following.

Stage left enters Trump, the boldly audacious who says what he wants and wants one’s vote; from stage right Cruz, who withstanding his numerable faults and missteps is the last man standing. Somewhere backstage or possibly buried in the audience is the Republican Party’s alternative. This alternative according to the cadre of stop Trump folks is the second coming of a savior. Wishing for the reincarnation of George Washington, the Republican faithful swirling in a maelstrom whiles Trump the presumptive and refuse-to-believe-it-is-happening Cruz prepares for the inevitable. The he/she savior remains a mysterious anonymous.

Trump has perfected the image of leadership and the voters have purchased his wares. He is the personification of illusionary pretense. He is the Wizard of Oz.

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