S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hungry for leadership

The American electorate is desperate for new leadership.* Nine hundred and thirty-five lies of the current administration are but frosting slathered on the towering wedding cake of reasons why:
  1. Right Wing -- The bottom white cake layer is the right wing theocratic base of the Republican party. People of color have reason to feel left off the current administration's priority list.

  2. Neocon -- The second layer is the marble cake neocon influence on foreign policy. Neocon dogma is a strange marbled combination of hardline Democrat beginnings swirled with current imperialistic ambitions that include military intervention.

  3. Incompetence -- The third layer is the one that fell in the oven -- the cake of competence. The current half-baked leadership is remarkable inept in far too many of the key dimensions of leadership.

  4. Feeding Fears -- The next layer is yellow cake which is related to fear mongering. This layer is very fluffy, having a mushroom-cloud-like flavor.

  5. Aggression -- The layer near the top is the spice-flavored aggression and unilateralism of the U.S. in the Middle East. This cake is characterized by its lumpy unmixed style of go-it-alone diplomacy.

  6. Fiscal & Legal Irresponsibility -- The top cake layer is chocolate mocha flavored. The current administration is addicted to the chocolate of runaway spending and the caffeine of law-breaking.

Leadership qualities are what voters are wondering about. What should we look for as we watch political ads or listen to candidates debating, whom to trust to tell the truth? The study of 935 lies is an indicator that the country is ready to face the facts about the dishonest run-up to the war in Iraq. But it will take years to recover. Shameless fear-mongering has debilitated our confidence as a people and called into question OCP's (our current president's) leadership in a very flat world. What can leaders do about our current president (OCP)?

Will Democratic and Republican leaders not running for the presidency be able to assist the electorate in deciding who will be the best for the job? Does the endorsement of a Senator or a Governor indicate that person understands leadership's state of the art? Not necessarily, but some voters may decide that "it takes one to know one." Though endorsements by the leaders we know and trust can help, it is more useful if we make up our own minds based on knowledge.

The tapestry of leadership theory is not that hard to digest. For example, behavior is an indicator of leadership capacity. Good leaders have a vision beyond what is right in front of them or what someone is telling them. A good leader instills confidence in those who are looking to him or her for direction and guidance in difficult matters. Good leaders are trustworthy. They lead by example. Their thoughts words and actions are consistent with those of good leaders from the past, the present and, we hope, in the future. These qualities matter in leaders in all walks of life, whether it be politician, a corporate executive, or a platoon sergeant.

And it is becoming more clear over the years that women can lead and that African Americans can lead. All people who are not white males, thank goodness, can now can be seen as potential leaders. Step back and think what good news that is for non white male members of the electorate who have not had such viable choices in the past.

A crowded roster of candidates -- We could have a worse problem. I sense a renewed hopefulness in the country, an excitement about the possibility that things could change. Else, why would the word "change" get so deeply into the lexicon of most of our candidates. We may be on to something here!


*Reference on wanting to learn about leadership: Recent examples -- Readers often come to this blog as a result of a Google search on leadership and related ideas, terms such as "good qualities of Democratic leaders," "google quotes freedom of fear" (Australia). One visitor did a Yahoo! search on "good leadership qualities."

View my current slide show about the Bush years, "Millennium," at the bottom of this column.

My links: (Cross-posted at The Reaction.) My “creativity and dreaming” post today is on enhancing creativity at Making Good Mondays. Technorati tags:

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