“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”
History is littered with leaders who abandon rational thinking. It’s not a pretty picture.
“Jews aren’t people. They’re animals.”
“Slaughtering the infidels is what God wants.”
“Let them eat cake.”
“Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
In my lifetime I’ve never witnessed a more anti-intellectual, anti-rational, anti-truth vibe in the United States of America. Reasonable thought and discourse has been replaced with idiotic conspiracy theories, blooming paranoia, and – most disturbingly – blatant, verifiable lies that are normalized.
Disagreeing with something or someone is natural and healthy. Internalizing falsehoods, abandoning reality, making things up, and demonizing those who you disagree with is toxic. We’re talking clinical psychosis.
Donald Trump hitched his wagon to the anti-politician wagon and was rewarded with the presidency for it. People voted for him because he said he wanted to “drain the swamp,” “lock her up,” and “Make America Great Again.”
We were rewarded with an anti-intellectual, anti-truth, anti-politician. We elected a person who thinks reality is a TV show or something magical you create based on your gut instincts, not “the state of things as they actually exist.”
When we have leaders that spend more time attacking their enemies, real and perceived, than actually leading, our society suffers. We suffer, whether we agree with them or not.
Bad things happen when we have leaders who treat the truth with blatant disregard. Worse things happen when we don’t hold them accountable and demand better.
What we all want from our leaders, deep down, is someone who sees the world for what it is, and inspires us to change things for the better – for all of us. That is true leadership.