From David Harsinyi at The Federalist, Admit It. You Just Want Your Own Dictator:
Not that this fetishizing of ‘leadership’ is confined to the progressive left or the conservative right. In fact, more than anyone in American discourse, the self-styled moderate pundit loves to talk about leadership. It would be a full-time job cataloging how often a person will read about the nation’s dearth of genuine leadership—which is, in essence a call to ignore the democratic forces that make truly free governing messy and uncomfortable. There are entire conferences teeming with DC technocrats trying to figure out how proles can be led to preferred outcomes and decisions. The moderates seem to believe that organic disagreements can be smoothed over by a smart speech or two, while they always mythologize the political leadership of the past.
For many, it’s always the worst of times, and we’re always in need of the greatest of leaders. It’s worth mentioning that Putin is democratically elected, with polls showing his approval rating usually somewhere in 80s. Unity! Regrettably, sometimes I think that’s how unity would look here, as well. We, on the other hand, have disparate forces with an array of concerns, outlooks, and conflicting worldviews. This is why we might be thankful that federalism and individual freedom, often scoffed at, are at the heart of the American founding.
“There is danger from all men,” wrote John Adams, in what might be the most genuinely conservative of all positions. It crossed my mind recently that today the president of the United States has more power than any king or queen in Europe. Now, obviously you have to have a certain skill set to bring people to some consensus, to make decisions about war and to administrate a massive body like our government. But the president is not your savior. A person empowered to make everything great also has the power to make everything horrible. If a president can alone transform America, then something has gone terribly wrong with the system.