Once leadership of this nature is properly understood, Ms. Swift is eminently qualified to be President.
Before we indulge my flights of fancy, let’s stipulate that Taylor Swift is far too smart to have any interest in public office, as the world is her oyster and there is no upside–none–to accepting public office.
Having established that it’s not in the realm of possibility, let’s explore the “what if” of Taylor Swift assuming the US presidency. To start, let’s note that she turns 35 years of age–the legal requirement to be President–on December 13, 2024, so she will be 35 for her inauguration in early January, 2025.
There are obvious upsides to Ms. Swift assuming the presidency. One, we will finally break free of the gerontocracy that currently rules the nation. Aren’t we collectively tired of having doddering, tottering old folks in charge? Wouldn’t it be a welcome change to have a vibrant, smart, young president who as a bonus, is essentially apolitical?
Two, imagine having a superstar as the US president. Imagine the impact when President Swift vists a foreign capital of oldsters who still dye their hair jet-black with dollar-store hair coloring in a laughable simulacrum of youth. “The president of the United States will now perform a song.” If that doesn’t bring a smile, then you’ve been watching too many doddering, tottering old geezers cling on to power globally.
Here we are, still sending poor 100-year old Henry Kissinger off to Beijing on a diplomatic mission. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to send President Swift instead?
Three, Ms. Swift has displayed a truly formidable financial acumen. She has re-recorded and re-issued previously issued material to establish rights to her music, and will soon join Sir Paul McCartney as a music-made billionaire.
Four, she is not a divisive, corrosively partisan figure seeking office to mint millions. Isn’t anyone else tired of politicians claiming to “serve the public” while piling up immense personal fortunes in office, or shortly after leaving office? Isn’t anyone else tired of politicians actively seeking to create even more partisan divisiveness as an election ploy?
Ms. Swift is widely admired for being down-to-earth and responsive to her fans. Character matters, and it would be remarkably refreshing to have a president who wasn’t a phony.
The initial response to this “what if” is: but she’s not qualified. That depends on what failed model of leadership you’re clinging to. The current model of leadership globally is autocracy–autocrats, elected or self-appointed, issuing diktats and commands to underlings.
There is another, more effective model of leadership that’s tailor-made (ahem) for Ms. Swift: the figurehead leader who stays above the fray, and whose primary job is to channel public pressure on the self-serving bureaucrats and legislators to get it sorted–to set aside the partisan grandstanding and do the work to incrementally advance the interests of the citizenry, with negotiations, diplomacy and compromises, and by imposing accountability on currently unaccountable officials–in other words, how things actually get done.
The figurehead leader generates the positive spirit that enables the incremental work to move forward. By channeling public demands, figurehead leaders force recalcitrant officialdom to do the work to move the nation forward, and hold those in positions of responsibility accountable for their dithering incompetence. Get it sorted.
The figurehead leader appears to be “doing nothing” while they’re actually leading. Leadership isn’t just being a clumsy autocrat issuing endless decrees; it’s establishing goals and conducting oneself in a way that fosters an environment in which the citizenry demand that things actually get done by those who were elected or appointed to do the work.
Once leadership of this nature is properly understood, Ms. Swift is eminently qualified to be President. Isn’t anyone else tired of the autocrat model of “leadership” which is ultimately a simulacrum of actual leadership?
We need a change rather desperately, not just in leadership but in the model of leadership. A youthful superstar would offer a unique opportunity. Too bad it’s not a realistic option.
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