Complete Society

Ideas and strategies for a sustainable world

The leader we need: Intelligence, Integrity, Inspiration

Over the last several weeks, the combination of all the economic and political events with my (sometimes frightening) readings on peak oil and climate change has crystallized the connection between this election and our sustainable future.

The person who we want/need as President is the same one the world needs to avert societal collapse caused by hitting the limits of our natural resources. The most important criteria we use to choose this person is the same for both roles.

Broadly, I feel like these criteria fall into three areas:  Intelligence, Integrity, and Inspiration.  I’ll go into more detail on these in upcoming posts but for a quick summary:

  • Intelligence:  The problems and decisions for a President and for sustainability are complex.  These aren’t yes/no questions or simple preferences like white car vs silver car.  The leader we need has to have the sheer brianpower to handle complex questions, balance dozens of competing factors, weigh multiple interlocking tradeoffs, weave subtle nuances together.
  • Integrity: Our country and the world needs someone who is fundamentally dedicated to the common good and sticks to that principle with honesty and transparency.  With the power this person wields comes great responsibility and our only hope is for this leader to have equally great integrity.
  • Inspiration:  The issues facing America and the world aren’t going to be solved top down.  The issues are too big for prescriptive measures from a chosen few.  We need large scale participation in the solution and the only way we get that is if our leader can inspire millions to engage.

Obviously, going into this election year, I was already biased towards the Democratic Party.  But learning what I have about the candidates in the last 6 months and evaluating against these three I’s has really convinced me that Obama is the leader we need.

Notice that the 4th ‘I’ isn’t there: Issues.  More on this later, but first ask yourself, does one or several specific issues matter in the overall global scheme, or is it more important what a candidate’s position on issues says about their character, the other I’s ?

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October 11, 2008 - Posted by | Politics and Governance, Uncategorized |

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