22 October 2008

The Leader We Need, Revisited

I've touched on this topic not once, but twice, the latter just a few weeks ago. It comes up again as the product of a conversation I had with My good friend, Alfredo. To his question of what kind of leader We needed to right Our foundering ship, I replied "Someone who meets two conditions: A visionary first, who, second, is willing to surround himself/herself with people smart enough to say "No" to him or her."

When he asked "What is the next step?" I confessed to not knowing, for after those two conditions are met, the plans can take virtually any shape. It boils down to someone with extraordinary talents rising above the muck of local politics who evinces enough self-confidence and maturity to seek out differing viewpoints in order to polish the end result of planning and execution.

In other words, We need a miracle. Catch me on a bad day and you'll hear Me say We need a fucking miracle. 

But, as the song says, miracles do happen, so when could that miracle occur? My best estimate is that the earliest a visionary leader could arise would be late 2009, after the current legal prosecution of two local political animals comes to a close. Why? Because each party will need to "freeze" itself as "proof" of innocence until the final gavel falls. It's basically the group reflex that multiplies the abject stupidity of the individual response of "I'm innocent because I stay."

Read that again, because it is correct.

Could a visionary leader appear outside of the two major (major as in herds, not major as in quality) parties? No. At least not one capable of generating the critical mass needed to start a positive change process against Our cultural/historical inertia and make it stick. A capable leader from a non-major party--if one ever appeared and shut up you Rubén "I Sink My Party" Berríos apologists--would end up a curiosity, a respected "voice" most often subjugated to minor issues. From that vantage point, We're better off learning history (something We don't do) because We're certainly not going to see any being made (except in the crime arena.)

Lastly, if the visionary leader who can change Us for the better appears, it will happen only after We receive a severe shock to Our psyche. Given how passive We are, that shock will have to be huge, on the level of political or economic disaster. Imagine "Katrina-rocked New Orleans" and you'll get a frame for what I think is needed. Anything less than that will basically elicit a response amounting to a deep sigh, a resigned shoulder shrug and the muttered curses of the perpetually-downtrodden. In other words, We'll find ways to put up with almost any negative in order to avoid actually doing something about it.

Now you can see why I answered "I don't know" to what happens after a visionary leader appears and selects a working group that combines intelligence and the will to challenge his or her efforts. Not because the leader will face constant opposition (s/he won't), but because what will emerge from that combinaton is the results-oriented friction to polish ideas and actions, to streamline concepts and processes. And that, people, is something We don't have now, so who can say what it will lead to?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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