34 – The Unseen Crash of American Leadership (29 Apr 2011)
The notion of American leadership is, today, a fantasy. When we speak of leadership we think of something that is positive. A leader who is accepted voluntarily is not going to lead you and your loved ones, along with all your compatriots, unnecessarily into dangerous waters. That kind of leadership is the lot of those who have been enslaved or seduced.
American leadership used to exist. In fact it was crucial in shaping the post-World-War-II world, which in the second half of the twentieth century consolidated into a relatively peaceful and relatively stable international order, one hospitable to a Russia and China once these shed their ideologies that had isolated them with a rigid authoritarianism. But it crashed. While signs of serious political malfunctioning were observed long before that moment, we can pinpoint the actual crash to when an utterly incompetent president decided to appoint enemies at whim, and thereby broke with tradition, international agreements, and what had been achieved by international law; all that his predecessors in the immediate postwar period had helped establish.
American leadership is a fantasy because a country can only be a good leader if possessed of a minimal degree of inner stability and self-control along with purposes that are shared by those being led.
When Barack Obama entered the White House he told “every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity”