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Is Political Leadership a Fading Virtue in a Rapidly Changing U.S. Culture?

November 19th, 2013 | by Morris Beschloss | Comments

As the potentially all-time powerful resource-heavy U.S.A. is bursting at the seams of stupendous growth, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the apex of the world’s most prodigious national entity of modern times seems to be beset by virtual mediocrity. Depending on the triad of legislative, executive, and judicial balance that our wise forefathers inserted as the leadership advice into the world’s most long-lasting and barely revised constitution, which has withstood the ravages of almost two and a half centuries, is proving to be ineffective.

At a time when the rapidly evolving cultural mores, communication, and technology are changing more rapidly than ever, an impossible “accommodation,” by an increasingly uninformed electorate seems to have become the norm behind America’s non-existent leadership process. This sense of frustration with Washington, D.C.’s “Beltway” muddle seems to be getting worse, as increasingly arduous foreign and domestic problems are literally hopping from one crisis to another.

While there was always hope that a healthy alternative from one political party to another would. at least temporarily, generate progress by a healthy change of direction, the American electorate today seems to be increasingly giving up hope. This, unfortunately, is happening when most of the world is in turmoil. But it no longer sees the “new world America” as the hope of free nations as it did in the last one hundred years. That America straddled two major wars, a series of economic upheavals, and provided an escape hatch, at least for some.

From a nation that has historically produced leaders in crises— Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Reagan— that saving grace of leadership seems to have evaporated in the morass of bickering, confrontation, and temporary solutions that has left the country worse off, as the “Washington D.C. admixture” of lobbyists, political opportunists, and inexperienced celebrities seem to have captured the imagination of the bulk of America’s electorate.

Perhaps it’s a sign of the times that constant compromise and creating the false image of wealth redistribution have convinced those highly qualified that the political arena is increasingly unattractive. They have chosen the sanctuary of independent business leadership, rather than expose themselves to the infamy of personal and not infrequent character attacks.

This is probably why recent ongoing professional polls have put a pox on both major political parties, and is swelling the ranks of those who consider themselves independents more numerous than ever.

At the most critical time of potential in America’s economic, political and foreign policy leadership, real leadership, so replete in American history, is almost nowhere to be seen.

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