Our leaders are chosen by us - and that's why we can make a difference
Our world seems gripped by tyranny, extremist views and greed, led by people with "vision-warp" only interested in wealth and power as opposed to freedom, democracy and the idea of growing in understanding - understanding as in enlightenment. What is extraordinary is how these people dress themselves up as lovers of freedom and democracy but are disguised and appear to get away with it.
I am unsure if there are so many gullible people, or are most of us placid sheep who just want the quiet life and don't want to make a fuss? When do things get so bad that we do rise up in frustrated anger and send the kind of message that politicians fear but have to listen to?
And that is the west's problem? Life isn't necessarily that good, but it isn't that bad either, certainly better than the vast majority in our world. Most people have enough or nearly enough. They can get by - just about. But what I find most concerning is the direction of travel.
In America, the GOP congressional leaders, Mitch McConnell, Kevin Mcarthy and their followers, along with the legacy of Trump, is all pretty toxic. On the other side is Biden, a weak President, weakened further by his Afghanistan debacle. Here in the UK, we have our untrustworthy Prime Minister, Borris Johnson, who, along with his cohorts, makes light of people suffering and seems at times more of a clown than a leader. The trouble is there is no effective opposition, so he can do more or less whatever he pleases.
At the same time, Britain now has a dislocated relationship with Europe and a Europe that seems to be fracturing. A Chinese leader with his eye on Taiwan, a demonic fraudulently reelected Russian dictator and various other countries' leaders with extremist views, often gruesome dictatorships disguised as democracies.
This - one might say, has always been the case in the past. But what is concerning today is that we have always previously had a strong, relatively united and coherent opposition to all the extremists - The USA, The UK, France, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Australia - and now we haven't. Those relationships over time have fractured; they no longer have the strength-berring relationships and mutual understanding that they once did. Nor are our leaders aligned on a common purpose, and trust has been eroded on all sides. Western leaders appear inward-looking, and there is certainly cause to doubt that they all possess the metal and character demanded of solid and resilient leaders.
In amongst our greed and avarice, our populations have lost their ideals. We have forgotten the lessons of history - we have become fat, indolent and complacent. All what matters to us now apparently is - more! As Rockefeller was asked, "when is enough enough? He answered, referring to money - "When you have just a little bit more". And so it goes on, never-ending - the permeating greed that spreads like a Covid virus and infects everyone, no matter how much or how little you have. We are always left wanting a little bit more.
If we had a war, let's hope not - would the western powers win? Even with all our power, military might and technology - we may be a bit too soft and politically correct to fight and win a war now. All these people who are so quick to complain at the slightest hardship or a whiff of an insult, can you imagine putting them into a theatre of war? It could be that the fighting spirit has been bread out of a sizeable portion of the population. The "woke" PC brigade - who are so thin-skinned now that they take offence if someone looks at them the wrong way. How did we become so quick to take offence and be so accusatory of history and feel insulted by race or inference or not being the exception to the rule - is this what drives civilisation forward? Surely, rather than trying to white-wash history, it is more beneficial to understand history in the context of time and lessons that have or should be learned. Should we not be more accepting of what was and, because of what was, be more demanding and hopeful of what might be?
Perhaps leaders should be asking themselves different questions? Like: what is the right thing to do? What would be the most significant benefit to everyone? How can I speak for those who don't have a voice? What can I do now to become a good ancestor?
Rick - Suffolk - United Kingdom - 10th October 2021