We Should Not “Admire” Political Leaders: New Article at FEE
A lot has been made recently about Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s failure to name a foreign leader he admires. But should we “admire” political leaders at all? When does admiration lead us to the cult of personality?
Maybe we shouldn’t even step onto that path. My latest article for FEE goes into more detail:
Politics is a grim business. True, a lot of good people want to improve the lives of their fellow citizens by entering public service either through elected office or by working for a government agency. But as much as we can laud the impulse to do good, we should not fall into the trap of admiring political leaders – particularly heads of State – simply for being who they are. The State, by its very nature, rewards humanity’s worst impulses. Additionally, we should not fool ourselves into thinking that everyone enters public service with good intentions. For these and other reasons, we should not further enable the power of the State by lending it our admiration.
For consistent readers of FTSA, you might notice this to be a slightly modified and improved version of an article from earlier this year.
In relation to the incident itself, I’d say not being able to think of a foreign leader you like is a lot less egregious than a narcissist who decides to go on a Twitter rant at 3:30am, or a candidate who lied about getting shot at in Bosnia when visiting as first lady.
But what do I know?
This election season can’t end soon enough.