As our world slowly disintegrates, morally and physically, we are in urgent need of strong leaders. We need leadership by example. A leader needs to be respected at home and abroad.
It means commitment to the country, providing freedom, welfare and justice for all its citizens. It means firm and fair enforcement of human rights, law and order and negotiating sound relationships with other countries for its own security and the betterment of the world.
A majority of leaders have not been up to the task. At one extreme, the entire population is subjugated to the whims and personal benefit of one head of state and his entourage of sycophants. Take a bow, Kim Jong-un. In other cases the leader subjugates its neighbouring countries. Step forward, Putin and Netanyahu.
Freedom of speech and tolerance of dissent, a free press, the rights of women and every kind of minority group should be prerequisites for a civilised country. The army, the police and judiciary must be uncorrupted.
In varying degrees, the leaders of China, Russia and Iran deny human rights and free speech while threatening other countries with nuclear, military or cyber aggression. Others are obsessed by preserving their own power and consequent lifestyle with no regard for the people they govern.
There are quite a few examples in Africa as well as Syria, Venezuela, the Philippines and, at present, the USA. Many leaders are corrupt, misusing taxpayers money either for personal gain or to cover up treasury mismanagement. Others are simply incompetent or lacking in judgement.
The world would be a better place if certain countries could follow the lead of the US and dump their leaders. At the front of the list, we have Xi Jinping, Putin, Khamenei, Kim Jong-un, Assad, Netanyahu and Mohammad bin Salman, followed by Dutarte (the Philippines), Madura (Venezuela), Bolsonaro (Brazil), Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Lukashenko (Belarus), Erdogan (Turkey), and Orban (Hungary). There are many more unqualified demagogues, especially in Africa and much more incompetence and negligence worldwide.
With the most charitable of intentions, Angela Merkel misjudged the social repercussions of allowing mass immigration. Apart from that, she remains about the only leader of any major nation who has displayed leadership qualities. Unfortunately, such qualities are rare.
The last truly successful statesman was probably the universally respected Lee Kwan Yew who liberated Singapore from British colonialism and transformed his country from an impoverished backwater into one of the most stable, disciplined, prosperous and influential countries on Earth.
If the planet is to be saved, it must be through a rapid increase in education. Leaders can set the example by governing with honesty, compassion, integrity and sound judgement. Regardless of individual or national creeds, the teachings of Christ should be the inspiration of leaders. The simple message of “love thy God” and “love thy neighbour”, if applied with resolve, would reduce many of the world’s problems very quickly.