Charismatic Authority

osho.jpgEverywhere you look, Obama has been labeled as an inspirational leader; a charismatic leader uniting Americans behind him in his presidential campaign with such excitement that some say hasn’t existed since JFK. His inspirational message is delivered with such great charisma that some are reporting that he is even pulling Republicans into his fold. Is the existence of “Obamacans” an indicator of a world class inspirational leader?

It’s easy to recognize other charismatic and world class inspirational leaders throughout history; Winston Churchill, Abe Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King and even Christ.

Is Obama a modern day JFK or Winston Churchill? I think he has followers who would suggest so. But does it takes more than charisma to make an Abe Lincoln.

For a second, consider these additions to the list of charismatic and world class inspirational leaders; Charles Manson, Mohammed, remember Jim Jones, and even Adolf Hitler. All four of them had large followings, were inspirational, very charismatic, yet all four were also considered by many to be world class evil. So why did I include them in the list of inspirational and charismatic leaders?

Leadership, especially charismatic leadership doesn’t specifically require a leader to lead towards anything in particular, just inspire and lead. Good, bad, right, wrong, indifferent, or even evil are really irrelevant when it comes to leadership. In fact I would argue that it will be easier to find a charismatic leader who will lead towards evil and indifference than it will be to find one that will lead towards good and right.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14 NIV)

I’m not saying that Barack Obama is evil, nor that he will lead our nation towards evil, but I’m not saying that he is not. I don’t think many people, including the fainters, have a real good idea of where Sen. Obama is headed. I hear from a lot of Obama supporters that he will bring peace back to the Middle East by changing our approach to the situation.

There a radical regime continues to pursue its capacity to build a nuclear weapon and continues to support terrorism across the region. President Ahmadinejad continues his offensive denials of the Holocaust and disturbing denunciations of Israel. recently referred to Israel as a deadly microbe and a savage animal. Threats of Israel’s destruction can not be dismissed as rhetoric. The threat from Iran is real and my goal as president would be to eliminate that threat.

I will also carry with me an unshakable commitment to the security of Israel and the friendship between the United States and Israel.

My approach to Iran will be aggressive diplomacy. I will not take any military options off the table.

Funny how much those words spoken by Barack Obama just 3 days ago to Jewish leaders don’t sound a lot like change. To me, they sound a lot like what President Bush’s position on Iran has been all along. Where’s the change?

Charismatic Authority is authority based on nothing other than an individual’s own charisma; not through experience, service or some legal means; just charisma. I think Charismatic Authority is what Barack Obama is counting on to get him into the White House, and with the media’s help, it looks like his plan is working; so far. I say so far, because charismatic authority fades as bureaucracy takes over, some refer it as routinization or simply the honeymoon. What that all really means is that someday you’ll have to do the job you were hired to do and then people will find out what your really made of.

Will people start asking Barack Obama what he is made of before he is hired as President? I’m not seeing it nor hearing of it; the press isn’t asking. All I hear is hope and change, hope and change, hope and change, hope and change.

I hope we see some change, I hope the press changes their attitude and I hope they start reporting exactly what Barack Obama is hoping to change.