Following Followers

Yesterday was one of those days. Impossible to follow the news without being reminded of just how much the world has changed, even in the last ten years. It’s not that leaders have become less important. It’s that followers have become more important. Important to the point where focusing on leadership to the exclusion of followership is to focus wrong.

  • The previously promising presidential campaign of the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, has been derailed, possibly permanently. Derailed by African American residents of South Bend, furiously protesting the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer.
  • The dictatorial leader of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, suffered his most stinging defeat in years. In consequence, Erdogan has lost, at least for now, electoral control of Istanbul, by far Turkey’s most consequential city.
  • The protests in Prague were the largest in the Czech Republic since 1989. Well over 200,000 people took to the streets to demand the resignation of the country’s prime minister, Anrej Babis. Babis has long been accused of corruption and malfeasance. Signs are anger against him has reached a boiling point, a point at which sweeping change transitions from request to requirement.  

I cannot foretell the future. It’s possible that all this sound and fury will in the end among to nothing. But, it’s just as possible that Buttigieg’s heyday is over. That Erdogan’s heyday is over. And that Babis’s heyday is over.

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