Presidential candidates and op-ed writers often lament the lack of leaders, as if entire generations of Americans were born without the skills of a Johnson, a Franklin D. Roosevelt, or a Dwight D. Eisenhower. There are, of course, just as many leaders as there have always been. What the country is missing is old fashioned followers. The generations that emerged in the last half of the twentieth century lost trust in every vestige of hierarchical authority, from the edicts of Catholic bishops to the degrees of Free Masons to the stature of federal representatives. There haven’t been any new LBJs because the whole notion of leadership has changed – and the whole shape of democracy is changing.
- Bill Bishop from his book, The Big Sort