A sobering article on responsible leadership in the age of populism. Worth reading. An extract:
The way today’s leaders increasingly rely on referenda, petitions and social media to legitimize their action suggests the emergence of a worrying trend of delegation of leadership and therefore responsibility.
In Britain, the Brexit referendum is a case in point, where those who put this issue to a vote and campaigned for the UK to leave the EU did not take responsibility for the consequences. The illusion that politics can simply collect people’s preferences and mechanically turn them into a reality threatens to override the idea behind political representation.
In a representative democracy, the mission of leaders should be to temper citizens’ input and emotional responses rather than to foster the violence of the majority. In other words, the relationship between representatives and represented must be ongoing and should entail judgement on both sides.
The article lists 10 personal qualities that should be present in a responsible leader. The person who will assume the role of the next President of the US in a few days time would appear to lack all of them.