When Politics Become Follow the Leader

During election season, current political rhetoric encourages us to think about who we want to “lead” us and our country. In his Op-Ed, When Politics Becomes Follow the Leader, millennial Allen Thomas makes the case that independent, free-thinking citizens do not need a “leader.” We should elect representatives that will protect our natural rights.

We are in the full brunt of election season and our countertops are filling up with political mailers. As I sort through them all I am beginning to see a repetition of the word leader and the constant questioning of which leader do you want to follow? It has reminded me of the younger days where we would play the game “follow the leader” on the playground. The most popular or outgoing kid was often leading the charge and the remaining kids followed their zany antics and paths toward fun. It seems voting for the President of the United States has become such a game.

Current political rhetoric encourages us to think about who we want to lead us and our country during the election season. We then choose our leader and wait on pins and needles to see what the first 100 days will look like and we ask for someone to “lead” us to a better future. But in all this I have begun to ask myself, do I really need or want a leader? As an independent, free thinking citizen, I do not need a leader to tell me what to do or how to act. Nor do you. What you and I really need is someone to protect our natural rights. I no longer want nor need to play follow the leader, I am capable of thinking for myself, forming my own opinions and doing my own research. We are not a country of elementary school kids in constant need of directions. We are a country of adults, born with inalienable rights and given a grave responsibility of keeping this republic, which means we need to abandon following the leader.

Much of the criticism of President Trump these days seems to follow a similar thread: he is the Leader of the free world and a leader shouldn’t use his twitter the way he does or a leader should speak more eloquently or he isn’t a leader I want to follow because I just don’t like him and he is a bad man. But honestly, why do we have this image of the presidency that is more about popularity? The presidency was created with the intention of having very little power to actually lead the country in anything except the military in times of war. In fact the word “lead” is not used when the Founders created the executive branch. They were, and we should be, rightfully fearful of a leader powerful enough to actually lead or guide a country (for example: the king or “der fuhrur”). The President is the keeper of the Constitution and their job over anything is to uphold and defend that Constitution. The President should be a balance of power in our government to protect us, the citizens. What if when voting for our president we ask ourselves who will best uphold the Constitution and the founding principles instead of who we would like to follow as our leader? The President is a representative of We The People, not someone who makes all the rules and someone we must follow (in fact, haven’t Democrats been saying that for four years?).

Now in this new concept I have just thrown at you, I would say it calls for us citizens to be that of which our founders so hoped we would remain: a self-reliant and engaged citizenry. Think about it, if we all could truly embrace the concept of self-reliance and personal responsibility, we wouldn’t need to play “follow the leader” every election season. Our nation wouldn’t look to the President to lead them to jobs or to entitlements or even to happiness. Trump or Obama or Bush wouldn’t have been solely weighed on their likability and celebrity status but on their abilities to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, since that is after all their oath of office.
What if we challenge ourselves to stop asking the question of who do we want to lead us and started asking the question: who will be our guardian of the constitution?




2 Responses

  1. I read this and my initial reaction was that it is a bit simplistic, but that wasn’t sitting very well with me. After all, the experience of my 52 years is that “often the best ideas are those that are simple”. I looked back at the mottos often expressed in various work places…”Action gets it going” or “now go out and do the job” or “get’er done” and I find that this is exactly what has attracted me to our current President and turned me off to the almost childish behavior (wanting something for nothing, attacking when in fear and blaming others) of the left. He sees what needs to be done and does it or at least has his administrative representatives do it.

    Although, I love the idea of everyone taking personal responsibility, much of the citizenry just won’t take it, so even sheep need a shepard. I wish this wasn’t the case, but it is the way it is. People need a leader, we did when Washington, Lincoln and many others were called to action, when the very basis of our country was being attacked. How bout we split the difference split the and say we need a leader whose first and foremost responsible for the oversight of the constitution and it’s application to our daily lives.

  2. Great article. I wholly agree that the President should lead the military and represent us upholding the Constitution and its founding principles. Thanks.

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