The clownification of America

There are many theories regarding how to define a leader, what makes a leader good, and how to build leaders. One theory uses charisma to define leaders. People who have outgoing personalities that attract attention and interest from the public, who know the right things to say and always appear to be interested and sincere. These are some of the defining qualities of a charismatic individual. Some people believe charisma is a sufficiently qualifying factor of leadership. I disagree. A charismatic person may or may not have any substance to them; they might be able to lead, or maybe not. The charismatic leader may have the best interest of his followers at heart, or just as easily he might be manipulating them for his self interest. It is difficult to tell.

I look at the political mess in the United States and see how often the stars from Hollywood throw their opinions around. These are examples of charismatic leaders, the Hollywood folks. People flock to them and want to be like them, but why? I suppose the scientific explanation would be that people are easily distracted by and inherently attracted to shiny things. So we have the Hollywood group bird-dogging for their preferred political officers. They lead the masses to the center ring and encourage them to cast their vote. Some people follow because the stars are so charismatic, but in reality they are just clowns, putting on a show. Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise have portrayed soldiers in movies, but do they have the substance or experience to back up their acting characters?

The U.S. government is currently full of charismatic leaders, people with no legitimate experience who have garnered a large gathering of followers who like the way they smile and speak. As a country we continue to vote for the same clowns that fail to correct so many problems with economics, energy resources, and national security. Why do we do this? Are we so hung up on the theory that charismatic individuals make good leaders that we ignore facts and keep voting for the shiny objects?

Well, we have clownified our government. We have elected a bunch of people to look good, promise big things for the common good, and then pursue their personal interests at the expense of the non-elected folks (you and me).

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About paulbrodie

I am a writer and a musician. My education is in psychology with emphasis in industrial/organizational psychology. My work experience has been primarily with electronic document management. Academically and intellectually I am interested in criminology and sociology. I am married to my favorite person in the world and we have one daughter.
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3 Responses to The clownification of America

  1. Chris"TAL" says:

    I agree. Then their children named “apple” will one day put in their two cents.

  2. Stephen Brodie says:

    Politicians need to experience consequences more. They have protected themselves while legislating rules for common man. They rule their own compensation increases and throw a bone to constituents each election season because most voters are duped. They do seem to clown with us – because they can. Another good reason for term limits.

  3. paulbrodie says:

    Not only do they dupe the American people, I think they are also duping themselves. Some of them talk the talk of helping people become independent, but in the same sentence they state that people are unable or unwilling to do it, so someone needs to “help” them along. There is a mentality of forced independence. It can’t work that way. I just saw a headline that said the President’s approval rating is up since the election. Buyer’s remorse followed by cognitive disonance removing rationalization.

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