- Politics and Social Issues
Obsessing Over Leadership: a National Pastime
It's All about Who Can Lie Better
For more than one reason elections remind me of a woman having to decide between two or more prospective husbands. Not seemingly aware of the long standing evidence how at the end of the day someone is bound to get screwed one way or another - she gets to watch the show of some locked horns in a duel for that honeymoon.
For it's all really about that honeymoon, not about a marriage, somewhat bringing to mind that saying : "Lies are like prostitutes, we can have as many as we wish, but truth insists on marriage." Hence the metaphor, since nothing during that courting sounds even a bit like truth. Well, truth doesn't only "set you free", but keeps you single - or not elected.
Let's Elect Those Speech Writers
O.K., hoping that the metaphor, backed up by some wise proverbs has succeeded to throw some humor into this, otherwise serious pandemic of public gullibility, let's try now to go a bit more serious about it - if it's possible.
Please, do your best to forgive my somewhat satiric approach, as I just can't help but stay loyal to my political cynicism, especially when it's about leadership. According to my firm convictions, lavishly backed up by the evidence that the history and current world issues are providing, leaders are basically careerists not really giving a rat's behind about our wellbeing - just smart enough to present it as if they did.
There has never been a short supply of good speech-writers who expertly put into a leader's mouth those clichés that have been proven to work. Masses are known to be suckers for some strategies, and the best ones are always about ridiculing the opponent.
The All-Telling Story of a Hair
To us it doesn't look strange that a mountain goat is fussing about the size of a ram's horns, but we may go very particular about our potential male leader's hair style, or suspecting a female candidate wearing a wig.
Thus, the presidential qualities may as well include the hair, before we even touch what's going on in that jelly grey mass behind it. In a good metaphor grey is actually a correct color for any politician's brain, as it's depicting their thoughts about the people that they use as a stepladder to the throne.
Indeed, if even something like hair can make enough of an important factor in a candidate's qualifications to be publicly discussed, then isn't it time to start questioning our criteria, before we call ourselves competent to elect ourselves a leader?
We Elect Leaders Who Are Led
What particularly amuses me is that part of the campaign where the runners are resorting to some teenage tactics to put down each other's personality. That would certainly include portraying each other as an "enemy of the nation", with supporters even coming up with names like "Hitler".
Now, for a moment let's all be serious and ask ourselves - what's really so different about which one of those favorites is going to take our taxes money and keep disappointing us one way or another for the next four years?
For either of them when elected is bound to end up as a puppet in a chess game that's going to make silly their wildest dreams of power. What I mean is a battery of unforeseen pressures from abroad and from within the country that will make them dance to someone else's music.
Not Really a Glamorous Profession
Running a country is an extremely complex thing, and none of us should ever pretend to be smart enough to understand what it involves. Those crucial pieces of information that might so-so give us a true hint about what's going on - are all of a highly classified nature.
Which means that government business is none of our business. So much for democracy and our participation in political affairs. There is actually something proper about it, because we don't have qualifications to grasp all the angles of activity involved.
That's all another reason why we are not in a position to assess abilities of our presidential candidates - because even they may not know how much will be on their plate once that one of them gets elected.
Are We Really Informed Citizens?
So, how about our news media? Aren't they our reliable source of information making us "informed citizens"? Nope. Theirs is the business of selling the news, not necessarily meaning that they either know the complete truth, or that they will tell you much of it without refining it - depending on whether they are leftists or rightists.
What they get about government business is what is revealed to them at a press conference or from interviews - again, with a politician that's of a left or a right political orientation. News media give us enough to yap about basically leading us in circles and undecided whom to really bitch about.
But then, we are only people, and does it really matter to us whom we are bitching about - as long as we can stay pissed off.
To Bitch Is Human
Have you noticed how the voters are expressing so much more passion in dragging through the mud the name of their unwanted candidate than praising their favorite dude or dudesse? Like it ultimately doesn't matter what are those good qualities of a future leader, but those bad ones are something to keep bitching about..
So typically human - as in our personal lives we also keep focusing much more on what we don't want than on what we do want. Our mentality machine is calibrated to generate mostly negativities, and when we collectively join our forces in that direction, we are a public that's likely to do it again - elect a yoyo.
I mean a one who will start their presidency by saying how "those promised things will have to wait, because there is a lot of damage done by the previous administration that first has to be fixed, and we all have to make some temporary sacrifices." Cheers.
So Much Fuss over a Resume
Indeed, why all this fascination with leadership? Why all this campaigning parade? How long does it really take to place a candidate's resume squarely on the public table for everyone interested to see?
I say "everyone interested" because my intuition is telling me that there is a general decline in people's enthusiasm over leadership, after neither side has proven in recent elections to bring some really beneficial changes in the standard of living of the majority.
But let's get back to the question of how long it takes to see all there is to be seen about a candidate? A week? A month? Why more than that? For example, we can tell right away who has a better looking hair style. Just kidding.
All That Money for What?
What's the big deal spending all those millions on advertising of one's own agenda and badmouthing the opponent? Does anybody ever think how senseless it is?
Imagine yourself applying for a job, and some of those others applying for it send to the employer a caricature of you, along with some juicy stories, like your dog persistently crapping on the neighbor's lawn, or your car having an exhaust problem and contributing to the global warming.
How is that for a resume? Then, of course, if you happen to be bald, or have one of those comb-over styles, forget about that job. Well, with thoughts like this, here I come to the end of my story, expressing my confusion over this peculiar public pastime of pretending to be good judges of our future leaders.
Let's Treat Them as Nation's Servants
Was I born a century too soon? Because in "my" time people would treat their leaders as nation's servants, not as "deities who work in a mysterious way and whose actions are not to be questioned". (Who said that religion was separated from politics?)
In "my" hypothetical time those public servants would be given a probation period within which they would have to prove their abilities to lead millions of people. For starters, they might have to show some inclination to use those bullet and bomb dollars for education and an optimal medical coverage, so that we have less soldiers and more students and healthy people.
I don't know why I think that we would also have less enemies in the process. But well, it always takes time for people to figure out what it is that they really want - after they run out of all profanities about what they don't want. There is a hope though. Always a hope.