Rendered Fat Content


Rembrandt van Rijn:
Man Helping a Rider to Mount a Horse (c. 1640-41)

"Vote for the one not trying to impress you."

Lord, help us, please, resist the StrongLeader's seduction, for we do not need StrongLeaders. We need leaders who can do their freaking job without continually plotting strategies for getting away with breaking the law they swore to uphold. We do not need leaders who just make stuff up as they go along, who act upon their animal urges, who hold eternal grudges. We need leaders capable of leveling with themselves and their followers, ones who eschew the trappings of power, rather than those who seem to need to impress, anyone with mommy or daddy issues. We need clear-eyed adults, ones who've dealt with their stuff, ones who might have crashed and burned before, ones who remember who they are and were. We need magnanimous ones, ones willing to kneel before their followers, in service to their supporters, ones who won't pander to get ahead. Ones with a head on their shoulders and a heart in their chest. Ones for whom good enough is best.

Il Duce, Mussolini, was the prototypical StrongLeader.
He strutted well, as if strutting was the quintessential skill of any effective leader. He was a peacock in constant seduction, needing to seduce himself most. He spent most afternoons in the arms of a mistress young enough to be his daughter, one to whom he swore eternal devotion before returning to his wife and children later that evening. He was a center stage clown who demanded constant adoration because he needed that. He was apparently that unsure of himself, just like every StrongLeader before and after him. He very nearly ruined his nation, also typical of StrongLeader presence. When the trance he cast broke, "his" people strung him up along with his mistress. StrongLeader headstones most often proclaim, "Good riddance!"

StrongLeaders seem to need to enfeeble their followers, perhaps to further elevate themselves above the ordinary status they personally fear. They tend to be ambitious bordering on shameless. They lead their closest associates into temptation, sometimes even unto felony convictions, like our own tough-talking actor who successfully played the role of StrongLeader back in the eighties. I believe he holds the world's record for number of administration employees who ultimately did Federal time, if my memory serves me, something on the order of seventy-nine. He, though, retired without indictment, though as the StrongLeader, he was responsible for inciting the infractions. Damn the Torpedos, full speed behind.

Is it just me, or can anybody recall a StrongLeader who didn't ultimately become a Shakespearian-quality tragic figure? It seems as though we might have managed to learn better than to insist upon this sort of performance, demanding perhaps Congruent Leaders, instead, ones less likely to let their grave responsibilities go to their heads. A strategic, systemic thinker rather than one seemingly ruled by untempered passions. One prepared to sacrifice but never placate. One insistent upon justice for even his enemies. One who understands that the office holds the power they wield, not themselves. One capable of being humbled by responsibility. One willing to wrestle with the truly eternal dilemmas rather than merely trivialize them. One who maintains a decent menu of things they'd never, ever do, and sticks to it.

Vote for the one not trying to impress you.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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