Wanted! A leader in the White House

After 7 years as President, Barack Obama’s Iraq strategy is still ” not complete”. His Syria and Ukraine “strategies” are only conspicuous by their absence.

Once upon a time and a fairy tale or three ago, I had very high expectations of President Obama. He had set the expectations himself with his rhetoric. There was nothing he couldn’t. But all that he will have accomplished by the end of his two terms is to have been the first “black” President of the United States – and he can’t even take credit for that.

I have a theory that world development proceeds in steps and that these discrete steps are dependent upon the number of “leaders” available at any time in the world to work together. With “leaders” I mean those who take people along with them towards some vision of the world and are not mere “followers”. For the last 150 years the “leader” of the US has been, is, and must be a necessary – but insufficient – ingredient. The world stagnates or even moves backwards in the time when the political leaders are “followers”. A critical mass of “leadership” is not possible when the President of the US is a follower. It would seem that for the last 7 years we have had a “follower” in the White House whose actions are subordinated to his fears. It is paralysis by analysis which reigns. The closest to a leader in Europe has been Angela Merkel but even she has  not communicated any vision of Europe – let alone the world – to chase.

The clarity of a vision is important for leadership. A “consensus” vision is diffuse and muddled – almost by definition. My hypothesis is that real “leadership”, if existing simultaneously in 5 key countries/regions of the world, can provide the necessary and sufficient conditions to create new wonders. If the “leaders” of the US, Russia, Europe (whichever of France, Germany or the UK qualifies) together with China and India actually shared a vision of what could be done and “led” their people along that path, there would be a paradigm shift and a step-change to a level not ever seen before.

BBCThe US does not yet have a “complete strategy” for helping Iraq regain territory from Islamic State (IS), President Barack Obama has said.

Business Insider: “When a finalized plan is presented to me by the Pentagon, then I will share it with the American people,” Obama said. “We don’t yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis as well.” ………. Obama said in September that the goal was to “degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL,” but that goal still seems far off.

ISIS Islamic State Iraq Syria control

Graphic Business Insider / Reuters

The development of proportional representation in democracies is a natural inhibitor of “leaders” and “leadership”. The focus on consensus politics means that, very often, it is the “lowest common”  standards and goals that apply. This turns even very good leaders into mediocre followers. The coming together of a critical mass of “political leadership” in the world cannot be predicted. But it will surely happen some time.

It might even happen in my lifetime, but looking at the field of Presidential candidates in the US, the next President of the US is likely to be another follower, and it will not happen anytime soon.

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One Response to “Wanted! A leader in the White House”

  1. Mario J. Pinheiro Says:

    It’s very hard to find a good leader….To form one it needs a lot of sacrífice, knowledge and wisdom.

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