Many Bosses, Precious Few Leaders

It’s something I say all the time when opining on the lack of a Churchill presence in our political world. There is a degenerative effect to such a void, and its chasm is a generational bumper sticker whose ugly residue can’t be chiseled off so easily.

Truth of the matter is, we’ve been finding our leaders on a micro level ever since Camelot was ambushed in Dealey Plaza. From Martin Luther King to Bobby Kennedy, the Beatles to Elvis, Harvey Milk to Hank Aaron to Hawking to Bono. The commonality in these names and all the others who’ve floated our rudderless boat over the past half century is that none of them resided in the Oval Office.

Leadership on a macro level has been usurped by scandal, attrition, Hollywood and every other man made disaster known to Henry Cabot’s log. Leadership from the very top of the Beltway became a trivial pursuit question the moment Nixon became Tricky Dick. And no matter the conservative revolution of Reagan or Boomer Clinton refurbishing a tired standard, or even the cultural significance of Obama. We turned these men into caricatures thirty seconds after their close up.

Is our current state of shit storm a self fulfilling prophecy? Is it the result of us having collectively thrown up our hands after Kennedy was stolen and Nixon was found to be a paranoid crook? Did we forget to cancel our subscription to the Zeitgeist after the failed leadership that turned Vietnam into a verb in perpetuity? Did we never mind the details for too long a time because iconic stimulation was a much more palatable cup of Joe?

Since then, the electorate has behaved like the baseball manager who keeps going to his bullpen until he finds the pitcher who fucks the whole thing up. Trump has been warming up in the bullpen for a long time. And now I have to wonder if this period in our history will make us smarter and more discerning of the process. Or will the idea that Trump could game the system and win polarize us even further?

I hope to hell it’s the former. I hope it has occurred to us that Trump is what happens when we refuse to build consensus. 2016 is what happens when the need to be right prevails over getting it right. We get a President who is a meme master, but who couldn’t lead us out of a wet paper bag.

It’s time to wise up or quit bitching. We can’t have both.

















82 thoughts on “Many Bosses, Precious Few Leaders”

  1. B,

    Once again, you have strung together a bunch of words to create phrases that flow. Not only that, what you write is smart and true.

    Have you noticed this pitiful political phenomenon is not limited to the United States of America? Have you taken a look at the world leaders out there? We have a quasi-worldwide (I can’t put ALL the leaders into this basket) disease that has spread into epidemic proportions.

    We have created the rats that have spread the plague. It’s too late to inoculate once you’ve caught it but we bloody well better start for the next round.

    So like you, Imma hope for your idea that we are going to get smarter after this…

    To finding the real leaders,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Q,

      I wish it wasn’t as true as it is, sadly.

      And yes, it’s global. It’s funny (sad . . so sad) but in the workplace, the terminology is “it’s a global issue”, which means the whole system is shit for . . everywhere. And you’re right, there is a leadership vacuum and it is indeed a global issue.

      And yes, as we were discussing, Trump set a precedent. Scary to think someone out there might be taking notes on how to gain power. And who knows?

      To the real leaders, wherever they are.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. It so is.

        Global issue – funny when people use it within one enterprise – scary when we realise it truly is global and not relegated to our own belly-buttons.

        How this dork managed to work the system so well… and yes, heaven help us all because for damn sure someone IS taking notes.

        Please. Leaders! Do Come Out!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There’s a great big world out there, and it’s hurting for some real leadership.

        He did though, didn’t he? It became apparent early that to Trump’s way of thinking, any publicity was good publicity. He fed the media catch phrases and they ran with it.

        And yes, that idea struck me when Trump went nuclear as per judicial nominations. From 60 votes to a simple majority 51. Consensus? Fuck consensus.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s hurting real bad.

        And, we have to give him credit for knowing how to market himself. Isn’t that the main idea? I can’t remember the wording and have given up searching but it is basically: Speak of me ill, or speak of me good, but speak of me… you get the gist..

        Un-fucking-believable that “concensus”…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes I do, and yes he does. He is the master troller, the king of memes and he’s proud of it. It works in much the same way as a disease. It doesn’t matter HOW it invades the system, all that matters is that it does.

        How can anyone call what he’s done democratic?


      5. He truly is. They have to take his access to social media away! Bloody hell in a handbasket.

        It is so far from democracy it needs a new word. Oh wait… it’s criminal.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’ve said it since he was elected. Those minions who work for him have the easiest gig. They simply nod their heads and do as he says.

        And not for nothing, but Ted Cruz can exit stage left anytime he pleases. That pic of him standing next to Trump after word came down that he wants to divert money from FEMA for the wall makes me ill. Cruz wants us to believe he’s the political version of Chuck Norris, but he just looks weak.

        It is criminal.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I remember a friend of mine in England saying for sure Trump would win. We poo-pooed him and he insisted. Fuck. And he surrounded himself well and those who don’t play, get fired. Win-win for Trump.

        Yeah. That’s another thing. Cruz is nothing but a coward.


        Liked by 1 person

      8. I remember one of the hosts of Shark Tank saying the same thing. They interviewed her a few months before the election and she was going on about how Trump was nasty, self centered, impulsive, etc. And then the last question was, can he win? She was like “Oh, he’ll win,”
        Cruz is a chameleon. A shape shifter.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. While we were on a train from Berlin to Prague last month, we shared a compartment with a young woman from New Zealand — she told us they are struggling with some of the same issues in terms of quality of their “leaders” as the U.S. is. I know it’s the case in Australia, as well as in many countries in Europe.

        As I say in another comment here — once the 24/7 news channels, and the omnipresent social media channels take somebody in and spit them back out, it is impossible for an individual to look anything but small.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Right, and look where it’s gotten us. There is a guy in office who thinks it’s a great idea to funnel emergency funds to a fucking wall. Excuse my French, but this is insanity squared.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Mexico is ABSOLUTELY paying for the wall! And every time they say no, it gets a little higher!

        No, Mr Trump, the only thing that’s higher than this wall of yours are the peeps who think you were a good idea.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s an interesting topic. For me, I would vote for Obama every four years for the rest of my life if I could. He was a leader — well, at least for the first six years or so. It seemed he lost a little bit of that in his final two years as he raced to legacy-building things that moved him too far to the left. But, still, he was the absolute best person for the job for those eight years and you look at how he was treated by the other side and by the media.

    I think there is truth to the theory that our system has become so daunting, so invasive, so perverse, that good people simply won’t put themselves through it. As 24/7 news channels developed (what? about 30 years ago?), and then the internet, and social media, there simply is no word spoken, no thought formed, no action taken that isn’t subject to 85 layers of inspection and analysis. It has become impossible for people who hold public office to have private lives, to make mistakes, to learn as they go. Why would a good person who could be a great leader put themselves through this?

    I was having a conversation with a co-worker about the age of our “leading” politicians — Trump, Pelosi, Feinstein — and the age of some of the potential 2020 candidates — Biden, Sanders, et al — and it just amazes me that they still want to do this at their age. The only thing we could agree on is that they are suckers for power for power’s sake. A leader isn’t, but because of that, a leader looks at the circumstances of our current political system and says “Nah. I got better things to do.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true!

      You’ve often talked about a third party and how such a thing happens. Is it possible, can it gain the necessary traction. I think something HAS to give. The system is experiencing a unique upheaval, so why not now? If ever there was a time. And then of course, the question becomes . . . who?

      Seriously, who in the blessed hell WOULD want to take all of that on?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. People like Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger need to stop holding conferences and put their $$ behind a teal third party, not to run for President but to run at the local level. It will only be successful if it starts there and then build up. Nobody in the modern era has been able to run for President as a third party or independent and win, or to successfully change the dynamic.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s just it. Running for Pres means they are ego driven megaphones. Starting at the local level would demonstrating a desire for real change. I’ve seriously considered that I would run for local office is something like this we’re to happen. And I hate public speaking and being out front.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. We, north of the border, really liked Obama, too. Yes, the last two years were maybe not his best – I guess it is difficult to NOT succumb to that legacy stuff – especially when you are constantly being harpooned by all and sundry.

      I honestly wonder why anyone would want to put themselves through 24/7 invasion that life becomes.

      They do it coz they are close to death anyway!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. We all deserve Trump. We allowed our elected representatives to spend full-time careers as purveyors of bull shit. We honored people like Hillary Clinton who should be in jail. We stood by as the politically correct walked among us and bashed away honest conversation. We turned to the instantaneous gratification of so-called social media as opposed to holding newsmakers accountable for what they do and say. In short, we abandoned the idea of getting involved to make things better. Your post was over the top good, Marc. I suspect society will continue to wring its hands and blame our Chief Clown for all the problems. This is an easy way out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Boss,

      You done trumped my post with this comment. And I don’t mean Trump trump, I mean great Trump! THIS, what you just said, is what I was feeling as I wrote this.

      Absolutely spot on, mister.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We have different ways of saying the same thing. But yours are John Waynesque, whereas I tend to be flowery (in a totally masculine way of course, haha). Either way, it works well for each of us. Which is one of the reasons we’re such great pals. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I just reread this, and love the word rudderless. KInda says it all. And I love that you mentioned Bobby, a true hero of mine. It’s a pity the likes of him were not here now. He’s stand up to the gold-plated powers that be demanding action for the betterment of the people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good ‘un. It has oomph without being in your face about it. Bobby championed the people who needed a voice. He had the idea that the world gives you much in order so that you may give much of yourself. A leader, natural born.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know a few things about you. You love to write, read and lean towards history. More in the past than the pathetic present. Bobby was our presidential apostle who would have made a difference. We haven’t seen another in a long while. In between your music themes and finely tuned melodious references, political passion leaks through. A thin girl’s two cents.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are correct on all counts, madam.

        I’ve nary a sacred cow, as my heroes run the gamut. Bobby was a keeper, that we didn’t get to keep.

        Thin girl, you have a sixth sense tucked inside that two cents of yours.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My only complaint is the hubris since it killed so many of them. Jack was told, don’t come to Dallas, it’s not safe, yet he went. Bobby took countless chances always insisting on walking out the front door the irony being, the one time he goes a back way, his murderer awaits. John Kennedy Jr. was told by seasoned pilots, do not fly in this weather. He did anyway and took three lives. Hubris is in their DNA, like freckles and wavy hair. So bewildering.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’m recommending a book by Christopher Anderson…The Day That John Died. It’s well written and reads like a brush fire. He tells you everything from him attending a Yankee game the night before. How he stayed at The old Hotel Stanhope to give he and Carolyn some space. You’re like a fly on the wall watching their every move knowing in a day’s time they will be no more. It’s a riveting read. You can get a used copy on Amazon. Your Friendly Ghoulish Librarian.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I remember reading a piece in one of the tabloids in the days after. It was about his final hours, as he was going around the offices at his magazine. He was restless, it was early afternoon on Friday, his getaway day.
        I remember going out with a friend for dinner that night. We were celebrating her having gotten a new job. As an Italian, the memories of that dinner are so awfully sad for me, because all I can think is . . that was the night.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My dear friend,
    As always, I am impressed as hell, by the way in which you are able to string words together. This one, indeed, was especially remarkable, in the true sense of the word. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

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