Today I received an interesting phone call from my wife. During it, she told me that one of her friends voted for Pres.-Elect Obama, although professing Christ.
During the run-up to the election, many of us were baffled on how this could be the case. Surely anyone that was pro-life could not vote for someone that was ok with infants that were born alive being killed—and that was just the beginning of our problems with the Senator from Illinois.
It’s not easy to be a leader. To some extent, I’m not sure it’s something you can train someone to be. It comes from the inside, and though discipline can sometimes mimic leadership, a true leader is someone who brings people along with him/her, not someone that has to call rank or try to entice the followers to come along.
This is why there was conventional wisdom during the summer that Sen. McCain was in trouble in the polls because the conversation was all about Sen. Obama. When you’re simply running on “don’t vote for that guy” you aren’t presenting a case why to vote for you.
In any relationship it’s the same way. When you’re a leader, people follow you—they seek your advice, they look to you for vision, and they want your judgment. When you simply have the position, they overrun you, they are not inspired by you, and the leave.
For quite a while I’ve decried the current voting system. The idea that we can have a person for elected office chosen by a group of people that can choose any quality they want as a basis for a vote is prone to have dire results on a nation. When I can choose a candidate because of how I feel about him/her, or what color their skin is or their party affiliation, we erode the system that was designed for people of character to choose someone of character to lead them.
Freedom is something that has to be protected. It’s something that is fought for, and it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’ll always have it. Like most things, freedom can be traded for profit, and some on the lower end of the spectrum are doing just that.
I’ve spoken before about changing the election system. Using computers to make someone go through the issues, eliminating the party affiliations from the ballots, etc. as a way to combat an uninformed electorate from voting based on the color of tie the person wore during the first debate, but it wasn’t until today that I thought more about Leadership and Pres. Reagan.
It’s Not About What You Believe
Unfortunately. I say this because it should be. It should be about policy. It should be about character. Unfortunately it’s about popularity and leadership. If you have a person who is a leader, people will follow. If you have a leader, you don’t have to worry about pleasing every part of your big tent—the tent will follow.
The leader (especially the popular leader) will inspire, will direct, and will attract. And that was one of the big differences in this election. Pres.-Elect Obama inspired, even though people disagreed with his policies. Pres. Reagan inspired. It was more than conservatism. It was more than popularity. It was leadership.
A Leader Stays True to Convictions and Takes Responsibility
You can believe what a leader says, because they will weather the storm and take responsibility. This is something that Pres. Bush does well. Even though the Iraq War tanked his popularity, he stayed firm. He was a leader. This helps explain him winning in 2004—Sen. Kerry wasn’t a leader, Pres. Bush was. You could trust what he said.
In any case, I believe that more than getting the right policies and the right convictions, in order for the right to gain momentum and reclaim the Presidency in four years, they need to find someone who is a natural leader. They need someone that people want to follow, that can be bigger than the small issues, and focuses on a vision.
The next leader has to know where he wants America to go, not just what policies he wants to enact or what things he wants to change. A leader that can call us to be something bigger than we are and can show us the way will triumph every time.
2 thoughts on “It’s Easy to Criticize, Harder to Lead”
You’re one of the few people who I’ve seen say that about Bush and I totally agree with you.
I haven’t agreed with all of his policies and decisions, but if there is one thing I can say for President Bush is that he is a man of conviction. I’ve felt safe these past few years from terrorist attacks because I knew he wasn’t going to back down.
Unfortunately I don’t have that same sense of security about Obama. Hopefully he can “change” that.
The argument of the pro-life group that you just can’t vote for a candidate who supports abortion has never sat well for me. It seems that there is a hierarchy of government sins and abortion is cardinal. But so many Christians don’t bat an eye at the war on drugs or the war on terror and the many lives being killed there at the point of a gun. Not to mention that the pro-life candidates have so far been unable to stop abortion in fact. I for one have always been upset with the two party system for this fact, I believe that I’m voting for some horrible evil plan no matter who i vote for: abortion or war.
Leadership: Anyone who has had a leading role knows that part of the job is managing criticism. A good leader will listen to the criticisms objectively and carefully and if they are legitimate will seek to better his position in regard to those criticisms.
The Masses: It occurs to me that the problem of being able to select any quality one so chooses upon which to base their vote would not be such a problem if people were properly educated in the area of government, politics, economics and ethical morality. If people understood what a president does and understood the science of politics and economics, perhaps personality cults would have less popular standing among voters. The responsibility here lies in the parents of the next generation and on the school system that will train them.
It’s Not About What You Believe: Agreed. However I’d attribute Obama’s win to two factors: How bad a candidate John McCain was, and how bad a President George W Bush was. Most people voted for Obama because they are fed up with the neo-con agenda. Little do they know they are falling right into the hands of the neo-lib agenda. American politics are so well crafted that no matter which party takes office the overall movement favors a select group and furthers their cause. Big banking globalists to be specific.
A Leader Stays True to Convictions and Takes Responsibility: I disagree with the assessment that Bush did this. When he ran for office in 2000 he said he didn’t believe in engaging in nation-building, but that’s what we have been doing. In Iraq, he’s changed the ‘reasons’ for which we started the war at least three times so much that Americans are now left to postulate their own reasons. Finally, and perhaps most significantly, he changed his view on economics toward the end of his last term. He always fought for free-market capitalism, but he was a leading voice in the call for the socialist bailout program. Remember Enron? Remember how he said “Big corporations must be held accountable for their actions.” ??? Where did that mantra go? Up in smoke as soon as his economic advisers sat him down and told him that the American economy is too inter-connected with the world economy to allow the banks to fail.
In the end, people are following Obama for the same reasons they followed Hitler: He has ‘believable’ solutions to the real and pressing problems weighing on the masses of the people. Unfortunately for the masses, like Hitler, Obama’s ‘solutions’ will also bring about new and perhaps ‘unforeseen’ problems.
Now, I’m not saying Obama is going to execute genocide or start WWIII, I’m just saying that if people believe a leader will change the things they hate most about society, such a one will gain much support in times of distress.
Arthurs last blog post..Confiscation Through Inflation