Here we are again, continuing our seeming never ending journey of how to find the good candidate or office holder. Now a good candidate should be someone who would make a good leader (Why elect them otherwise?), so this time I would like on what it means to be a leader. Oh brother, this means we better go back again to the Merriam Webster dictionary to discover the meaning of the word "leader". (Will it never end?) A leader is:
A blank section at the beginning or end of a reel of film or recorded tape
Many political candidates could be considered to be the equivalent of a blank piece of tape (or an empty suit, take your pick), but I'm not sure that's who I should want to pick for the running of the country.
Something for guiding fish into a trap
The concept of guiding seems like a good one to me, except of course, if you're the fish. Many times I feel like candidates are attempting to lead me into a trap that they will spring on me after being elected, and that they believe that I am too dumb to see it coming. Some actually manage to fool me. Sorry, but I can't see this as a quality to be sought in a used car salesman, let alone a political candidate.
A first or principal performer of a group
This too has a certain ring of truth to it. The concept of candidate and performer has come up before in our research, and while actors have become politicians (and vise-versa), I would prefer someone who isn't "performing". While I believe that acting like a leader is important, I don't believe that it's the same thing as being one. I suspect that it isn't.
Well, political parties could be considered as teams, their candidates are the ones up front, and these are called "races" after all. But while this is clever as a word game, I'm not sure I want to play the ponies with the future of my government at stake. Besides, who decides who gets to do the placing? (... and when we are talking about political candidates are we placing horses or just their asses out front?)
A person who has commanding authority or influence
This probably comes as close to the truth we are looking for as anything, though it scares me. It seems to me to smack of the cult of personality in candidate selection. Again, this is something that we have seen time and time again in politics; and if this is our definition we should be afraid. Past journeys down this road have led to unpleasant destinations. (Napoleon and Hitler come to mind in the category of such mistakes.)
Man, I am really starting to wonder about this whole search. Every time we define a quality that should be admirable or necessary in a political candidate, we either can't define it in any meaningful way or the definitions that we can find are ones that we wouldn't care to have in a candidate. I am beginning to question my reasons for continuing this search.