Q: The tea-party movement doesn't want a single leader. After all, the last thing it wants is to become part of the "establishment." But in recent primaries, tea-party candidates ended up battling each other, enabling some incumbents to win. Does a successful organization need a leader to steer the boat? Or is it enough for the upstarts to oppose the "old guard" on principle and to agree on some key ideas?
If you suck badly enough and don't have great relationships or support to hold you in place, anyone with something even remotely similar to a good idea can replace you.
This applies in politics, life, and even your marriage! I know a guy who treated his wife and kids badly for many years. He came home one day from a long business trip to find his wife and kids having dinner with what appeared to be his replacement (the nice single guy from across the street who kind of looked like him). He was told all his stuff was in storage and that divorce papers were in the mail to a post office box she recently got for him. So it's possible for the "old guard" to get sent into exile, but fortunately it's not that common.
What's more common is for a party/organization without leadership to disintegrate into a band of complaining idiots that couldn't fight its way through wet toilet tissue! I'm not saying that the fat lady is singing for the Tea Party; I'm just stating that she appears to be warming up and having a pre-song snack.
There is a term for a boat with no steering mechanism; we call it "adrift." If you don't have a leader, you do not have any ... what's the word? ... followers!
It's that same old issue since the beginning of politics. Some group starts a movement that they say is not part of the establishment, which needs to be governed not by humans but by its own amazingly right moral compass. The movement gains steam; a subset of crazy people gets involved (usually less educated, not understanding the actual goals of the movement, and often brandishing misspelled protest signs), and then they realize that a lack of leadership is causing them to allow their enemies to succeed. That scenario has held true since the time of the Greeks vs. the Romans right on up to the USA vs. Russia (and beyond).
As any drunken frat boy can tell you, every party has to have a leader; someone has to actually plan and throw the party! When it comes to parties, if you don't have a person responsible for making sure you don't run out of beer, it doesn't not matter what your beliefs are!
The history of politics allows you to easily see that things go back and forth based on what's important to a majority or minority of people at any point in time. But movements and revolutions need to be led in the direction that actually makes sense based on the overall goal; otherwise, how can you ensure you're heading in the right direction (or left direction, for that matter)?
Ultimately, if you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. It may also be the reason that the government with the most successful track record throughout history is a monarchy!
Posted by: Rabbitsmoker | June 17, 2010 7:07 PM
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