Thursday, December 18, 2003

Follow the leader

This won't turn out the way I wanted it to. They never do.

Oh well. May as well jump right in. If I keep criticizing myself before I get it done, I'll never get it done.

I wonder how George W. Bush will be depicted in history books. Pre-September 11th, Bush was thought of as a buffoon. Someone who mangled the English language often, and looked more or less like one of Santa's elves...that had been kicked in the head. He was viewed as a puppet, and Dick (Cheney) was often seen as the brains behind the operation.

Of course, now, he's viewed as someone that has helped run the country (into the ground!) more or less successfully. He still mangles his speeches, and he still (to me, at least) looks like he's taken a few too many boots to the head, but the majority of the focus on him is no longer on his goofiness. Immeadiately after the eleventh of September, 2001, Bush somehow 'proved' himself. He demonstrated that he had 'leadership abilities'. Since then, though, he's managed to destroy what credibility he had by defining the new century with his oh-so-popular War on Terror.

Gah. I'm doing this wrong!

I need Bethy. She's the history woman. She'd be able to answer things for me clearly.

Okay. I'll simply do stream-of-conciousness, and if it turns out well, then yay. If not, well...

What makes a leader "good"? Looking back at US Presidents, there doesn't seem to be a "good" leader after JFK. And I don't even know that Kennedy was a good leader. He was popular. Is that the same thing? Is that all it boils down to? At least in regard to the public? Because (I'm guessing) that Hitler was not very popular, but people followed him. As vile and misguided as his views were, you can't deny the fact that he had charisma. Or something that made folks say, "Hey, that Hitler dude is pretty all right."

It seems, too, that so many of our presidents in history are just ...there. Nobody remembers Polk. Or Taft. Or Garfield. Or that one guy. You know, that one guy. Is this because they were bad leaders? Or is it because there was nothing going on in history that allowed them to demonstrate their "leadership abilities"? If 9/11 had never happened, would George W. Bush have wound up being another one of "those guys", destined for oblivion? Or, put another way, is Lincoln only considered a great president because he had the Civil War going on in the background?
In High School a friend of mine and I were joking around one day. He was saying how he knew everything, and to quiz him. "Okay," I said, "Who was the 16th president?"
"Abraham Lincoln." he replied.
"Who was the 17th?" I asked.
"The guy after him."

Good times. [/Digression]

Here's the thing. I don't think we need leaders.

I believe every single person reading this would go about their lives just fine, if aliens were to come and wisk away Bush, and all of the White House. And Congress. And other countries appointed leaders as well. In fact, your lives might be better as a result.

Imagine. No arbitrary "leaders" writing laws telling you what is right and what is wrong. You'd be able to live the way that you wanted to.

"But there would be societal chaos! There would be anarchy! People would riot in the streets!"


People ultimately do what they think is right, regardless of what any laws tell them. Rioting in the streets may happen ...gah. I'm not in the mood to argue this. Let's just say that those that believe that it's our 'leaders' that are keeping the majority of people "in line" have a vastly different viewpoint than I do, and leave it at that.

Also interesting to note - anyone that wants to lead (usually said "rule") the world is considered evil. It's all right to be the leader of a city, or a state, or even a country, but not a planet? Huh.

Well, rereading this, I was right about one thing. It didn't turn out as planned. Hopefully, though, it'll spark some interesting conversation..

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