Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Leader's Vision: A Big-Picture Take on American Politics Going Forward

It is amazing how so many people expect Presidents of countries to solve the nation’s problems like a magician. For example, my girlfriend is from a country called Suriname in South America.  The President, Desi Bouterse, was elected in August of 2010. The people of Suriname are complaining about high fuel prices and a bad economy.  Like President Obama, the Surinamese President was elected in the midst of a global recession. Yet, people expect instant results.

In both countries, people ask ‘when is he going to fix things?’  In both countries, people question whether the Presidents can do a good job since things have not gotten better. 

In the US, while President Obama has been quite ambitious, he needs to create a focal point. He has focused on banks, health care, jobs and the economy. Some think he is focusing on too much too soon which could result in mediocre progress. Some say he should choose one issue and do it well. Then move on to the next.  

There is another possibility. If you look at the Founding Fathers of the US, they focused on independence from Great Britain and included freedom and liberty in several areas. John F. Kennedy focused on sending a man to the moon with a big commitment to lead the global space race. While these leaders declared a possibility that seemed insurmountable at the time, their vision inspired people to come together to make the vision a reality. 

In fact, the success of many leaders like Martin Luther King and Gandhi have required many people to unite as one for a cause that was larger than the whole. In the face of a global recession and an interconnected world, it is essential for the leaders to come together for a cause that will inspire its citizens.

President Obama could still focus on the areas that he has deemed important. However, those areas are better served if they are components of a bigger picture. Take education. When Kennedy declared a man to the moon. The educational system had to produce the best mathematicians, engineers, astronomers, and computer scientists to name a few. Therefore, the US had reason to ensure the educational system was world class.

We are at a time of crisis. There is a quote which says never waste a good crisis. We have a huge opportunity to dare to dream and dare to come together as a nation and a world to accomplish something that has never been done.

What could be so enticing in the 21st Century that people of different races, cultures, religions, and social economic classes would come together as one? 

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