Americans are strong advocates of individuality and equality, and that might be a huge contributor to current societal issues we’re facing.In his latest column at the NYT, David Brooks says that our cynicism in authority has resulted in our refusal to deem anyone worthy enough of leading us because we think that we’re just as smart as everyone else.
And this is why we end up with opposing-authority movements, such as Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Parties.
But Brooks says our country doesn’t have a leadership problem, we have a followers problem, and before we can have these great leaders again, we have to re-learn how to “elevate those who are extraordinary,” and “trust their discretion.”
“The common assumption is that elites are always hiding something. Public servants are in it for themselves. Those people at the top are nowhere near as smart or as wonderful as pure and all-knowing Me.
“Vast majorities of Americans don’t trust their institutions. That’s not mostly because our institutions perform much worse than they did in 1925 and 1955, when they were widely trusted. Vanity has more to do with rising distrust than anything else.”
“To have good leaders you have to have good followers — able to recognise just authority, admire it, be grateful for it and emulate it.”
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