Never-Trumper Republicans and Democrats alike complain that President Donald Trump is “not a leader”.
Of course, Democrats consider a leader someone who does not merely bring people together, but forces them together through compulsive schemes like welfare, universal income, socialized medicine and federally enforced speech codes. It’s less clear what Never-Trumper Republicans want. Given their support for candidates like Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney, it’s presumably a watered down, cowardly and covert version of the same thing Democrats want.
Do Americans really need a leader and, if so, why?
Truly free people do not need a leader. They need a protector. Not a protector from themselves, but from enemies of liberty.
Freedom does not and cannot happen in a vacuum. We’ve seen that in places like Iraq, where Americans tried to set free an entire country filled with people not prepared to embrace freedom. It failed. We’ve also seen it in post-Soviet Russia, where instead of embracing liberty and individual rights, the nation morphed into a fascist dictatorship run by Vladimir Putin.
In the end, the real battle is always between the individual and the state. It’s not between the different, competing attitudes of how the state should control us. It about whether the state may control us at all.
Both fascists and socialists – the most irrational elements of “left” and “right” – try to distract us with issues of racism, in hopes of creating divisions that will get the uncommitted over to their side. In the short run it often works, but none of it alters the fact that people either want to be free, or they don’t. If they want to be free, then they respect the authority of a government to uphold the rights of individuals to their private property, bodies and lives. They understand they don’t need a “leader”. They choose their own leaders outside of government/politics or—better yet—act as leaders of themselves, in their own lives. Imagine that!
Keep in mind that the American system was not designed with a Presidential “leader” in mind. It was designed with three competing and distinct branches of government – judiciary, legislative, executive – of which the President led only one branch. If people have reached the point where they feel they need a single leader to tell them what to do and where to go, rather than merely uphold their rights to life and property, then something has gone seriously wrong right there.
People who yearn for freedom do not need a leader. They only need protection of their inalienable right to be free. The rest is up to them, and they know it.
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