“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill

Assignment: Do we expect too much from our public figures? Plan your response and then write an essay.

Our political leaders are not necessarily heroes, but represent the will of people, who delegate the responsibility for decision-making to public figures who have gained their trust. Do we put too much emphasis on people’s moral values when we expect them to lead a country? Is power unquestionably associated to corruption? “The price of greatness is responsibility.” As history shows, great political leaders eventually abuse the responsibility they have.

Citizens’ expectations are an important category in politics, since they determine the long-term strategies of the government. If citizens have high expectations, political figures have to work much harder to gain the trust on the following elections. If, however, the expectations of the citizens are low, the government will be able to maintain the positive image without much effort.

When we analyze people’s hopes about the development of our society, we will notice that most of them have specific expectations that the government cannot meet. However, most people would prefer not to contribute to the decisions that are being made, but still expect the system to develop in their favor. The aspiration to enjoy the benefits of democracy without making contribution to good governance is utopia.

When the citizens give up on their own responsibilities and expect public figures to control the society in their favor, the rulers start working for their own interests. Although the governments always claim to work for the wellbeing of their people, the leaders don’t make proper decision without being pressured from citizens. We can never expect too much from public figures.

It is our responsibility to urge them to realize the promises they made before gaining power. In this case, idealism is always better than realism. People who call themselves realistic adhere to Orwell’s statement “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

They believe that all politicians are the same; they only care about their personal interests and that’s how it always will be. If a political figure is abusing the responsibility, people tend to justify him as long as he does “something good”.

The so-called soft authoritarianism creates a false image of the social life, since the real dynamics of the society’s development is being suffocated with a form of propaganda called spinning. When the citizens reconcile with the notion that “politicians are just people with flaws, it’s only expected from them to make mistakes,” the country start sinking with an intimidating pace.

In my opinion, all politicians who abuse power and don’t care about meeting people’s expectations should bear liability. Our cynicism and assurance that no current or future politician could fully protect the interests of citizens is working against us.

We do not expect too much from our public figures. In fact, we tend to expect too little. Our limitations prevent us from delegating responsibility to truly honest leaders who haven’t achieved “reputation” by lobbying and political spins.

As long as we tend to delegate the process of decision-making to leaders who have already failed us, our society will not progress. Political figures are normal human beings, but that doesn’t mean we should expect them to be corrupted. People have the power to supervise, so we should stop overlooking our leaders’ trivial and serious mistakes.

Read new assignment prompt “Is it possible to maintain conflicting loyalties?” – by Eric Felten

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