November 22, 2005

Comment to "Follow the Leader"

Now, who in American wants to be a follower? Practically no one. Individualism was built into this country from the start, and the distaste for a leader in that sense is not limited to the left--it's very strong on the right, too. The idea of "leader" is too close to royalty on the one hand and to dictatorship on the other.

In the military sense, leadership has little to do with political hindsight foibles, phobia, or other conditions of human thought and behavior.

Human society is both a congruently social one, with teamwork emphasized, as well as a purely heirarchical structure in which individual accomplishments and Alpha Male positions exist and are valued.

If you look at Japan, you will clearly see quite a lot of emphasis on teamwork, but you will also see a lot of emphasis on personal duty, honor, and loyalty.

The military has had to deal with this human nature without the blinders that politicians and businessmen tend to have on. Because the military cannot afford inefficiency because of some political correct SOP.

Therefore, the military has had to recognize that while you need officers (leaders) you also need people to carry out the officer's orders and enforce them (NCOs) without the leaders having to look over the underling's shoulder all the time (lack of initiative).

Initiative is a good thing, pure automation would actually be the result of poor leadership.

As such, leadership in its maximum form is actually a way of imposing Order on Chaos, without stagnation, entropy, or decay.

You get the structured purposefullness of a cohesive unit of people working for a common goal, but you don't destroy the individual diversity, intiative, and ingenuity that composes this unit. As such, Americans have clearly followed other people in our history, simply based upon the fact that the leaders proved to be both worth the trust, and had the same goals as they did.

Here, you see the heirarchy. The boss is treated as more important than the employee, but without the employee, the boss can't really do anything.

But you can't make equal the boss and the employee, because humans are not consensual folks, they don't operate as bees do.

The lack of leaders tend to result from the fact that to lead free men and women, you have to both show your respect for their dignity as well as prove that you are actually better than they are.

And that is quite hard to do, to convince men and women born in liberty, that someone is better than they are, that that person should be admired and respected and obeyed.

This brings me to the other point, which is Bush's lack of articulation.

Someone else made the point that everyone understands Bush's point. While that is true, the problem lies in the fact that Bush never goes up to the media and makes his point unless he absolutely has to. This is sort of like with polls, he doesn't use them unless he absolutely has to, sort of like on election night. Even then, he leaves that number crunching to Karl Rove.

Let me tell you people this, a President can't allow his public image to be "delegated" to underlings.

The American people can't be expected to follow the press secretary, Rumsfield, Conny, the White House press corps, or talking heads. They want to hear their President, and they want to know what he is doing, is planning to do, and thinks of us, the American people.

That is sort, of non-trivially hard to do when Bush ignores and subliminates, and absolutely avoids for the most part any media attention or giving speeches to the press.

The less he talks, Bush, the more time the media has to spin his words and make him say something that he actually didn't.

This makes the public distrust the media, true, but it also makes the public distrust Bush because we can't be sure of what he is thinking since he avoids the press.

He can't avoid the press without also shunning the American people.

His highest approval ratings where when America could see him face to face, talk about the issues that they were concerned about, and afterwards see that his words backed up his action.

Free men and women don't follow promises, they follow men and women of character.

People can be tired of others criticizing Bush for not being a great speech giver, but the fact is, that this deficiency and lack of communication is hurting the war effort both domestically and foreign wise.

Foreign affairs probably actually have a higher sense of confidence, because Bush has more direct dialogues with foreign people and our military in foreign countries, than Bush has with the American people on national television.

If anyone thinks that just traveling over the country is enough, doing face to face conversations, they will have to realize that the power of persuasion lies in national debates, not provincial ones.

Just compare Ronald Reagan, Churchill and Clinton's speeches/radio addresses to Bush's. You will see that Bush does the radio, but ignores anything else. The 21st century is not a "Radio century", enough people have televisions now. They had enough in Kennedy's time.

Bush supporters should not be hostile to articulate and meaningful national tv presentations just because Bush isn't good at having a dialogue with the American people, the lack of which is propounded upon by Bush's critics. It did not hurt Reagan nor does it hurt Arnold to have a charismatic national tv persona, and neither should anyone else who wants to support Bush believe that this lack on Bush's part is all that great an advantage in the long run.

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