P oliticians who do not have the experience, background, or intelligence to take on the office they’ve duped the public into achieving, often partake in something called ‘Intellectual grifting’ though Urban Dictionary has yet to find a definition for it, it’s actually common.
Individuals with actual credentials, experience, and expertise who have the unfortunate finding of having to operate under these grifters find that their communal work and intellectual labor will be lifted and credit taken by the political grifter. It will come off as narcissism as the politician spews an endless resume of ‘I am’….
They will hold themselves up as individuals with extensive knowledge and understanding of specific sciences, high-level budget, advanced city infrastructure, advanced leadership in public policy of racial justice, and the fragile and important relationship of the balance of the public’s arts and sciences.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, actual talent sits around conference room tables tearing the grifter to shreds for publicly spear-heading and taking credit for something they’ve not the first idea of how to initiate if they were to attempt it on their own. It gets around too. The world of architecture, engineering, building, arts, sciences usually, is pretty small in any given city, no matter how big the city, or uh Country.
“Just look at my followers’….
Staffers find themselves run ragged to quiet behind the scenes meltdowns and miss-steps with the public. It becomes a whirlwind of smoothing leaks, reframing situational awareness, and public relations snafus.
“Yes, but, just look at my followers”…
As we have seen so much of this past four years, that outbursts, side-lined muttered insults, Twitter and other social media zings are actually projections of this bent personality’s traits. It has always been a keen truth that the smartest in the room tends to be the quietest. As true talent and intelligence very rarely ever grandstands. They don’t need to grandstand; they’ve got the intelligence to understand that it isn’t necessary. That age-old jargon that it takes a ‘Nasty Bitch’ or an ‘Asshole’ to get things done is pure bullshit. That it’s necessary to make enemies to be on the right side of history is and always was bullshit. Good leaders don’t have a series of burned bridges behind them. Yes, even ones that walk that tenuous line of delivering political hot button issues.
Maturity is first and foremost in any leadership position. There is no place for adolescence in politics.
“If you are NOT in my followers you are against me and my policies!”
What is so dividing about faux leaders like this is that the community feels split in two and struggling to explain the heartfelt truth of their stance while wholeheartedly disagreeing with the faux leader’s behavior.
“I agree with their policies, I just HATE their personality” OR “Both the political straw man and his policies are garbage and look what it’s doing to our community!”
Leadership is not about taking sides on a battlefield, it’s about the key components of actual leadership. Not everyone can manage people, not everyone can lead, but it gets extra dicey when a bent personality gets into office and exercises extreme sport personality disorders. Many times it just rolls into mental instability. To take the talent of others, wear it like it’s your own, and have the audacity to point at others and say, “You are so fake, look at you! Ha, make something useful of yourself like me” is probably the most twisted thing I can see a politician doing.
“BUT LOOK AT MY FOLLOWERS!!”
Followers? Not fellow citizens? Not individuals with unique lives, viewpoints and spectacular stories of their own, or dare we say, possibly more experience and knowledge?
The viewpoints of these faux leaders meld into weird territory where they actually begin to believe the personality they portray in PR edited Sanskrit is true. So it comes as a great shock when they get unceremoniously tossed on their ass from the office they so confidently felt was theirs and theirs alone.
“But! I thought I had followers!”
Real leadership will look beyond the grumbling of the masses who cannot be appeased, suit up, and show up every day with one goal in mind. I believe many great leaders begin their day with one mantra:
“Let one or more things I do today truly matter to my community.”
That’s a powerful statement, it’s a good base to attempt broad spectrum leadership. Politics is not about the good side and the bad side in theory, it’s the players that make it so. What can turn it bad is when adolescence accidentally gets an office for a time.
Adolescents believe in the good side, bad side of politics. They believe in friends and enemies, they’ll always use the situational structure of “I was the tried and true oracle that spoke to power and look power is shutting me down!!!”
No, it’s called paying the consequence of a public that is fucking done with self-centered grifting politicians who seem to invoke the ideation of fake leadership and the guise of power than of actual leadership.
America is DONE with it. It may not know what it wants to do next, but America knows what it doesn’t want. I think, through this awful year, I’ve been given an ounce more of faith in the American machine. We can still stop a train wreck. It looks messy, but we’re doing it. We aren’t necessarily getting everything we want, but we are taking the steps to illustrate what we don’t. The days of singular, grandstanding, grifting, me-first in politics while attempting to maintain the illusion of people first is over. It was over the second a pandemic rolled into our society and set our Nation aflame.