Yesterday I wrote, as part of my political wishlist, that Israel get rid of its personality cult-ism. I would like to elaborate on this.
The biggest problem the Democrat (aka “left-wing”) parties have nowadays is the lack of leaders. They have leaders, of course, but the suggestion that any one of them might become a prime-minister is considered an absurd in Israel. “Can you imagine X as a prime minister?“. Well, actually I can’t, but it’s irrelevant on two grounds:
(1) our definition of “presidentially” is wrong. Presidentially is that kind of charisma any leader must have. President Obama has great presidentially and he looks great in all of his photos. I guess it’s important for the American people that their president will look good, I think it’s fair, although I wonder if they’ll prefer the incompetent handsome president over the wise but less visually appealing. In Israel, look is important but experience is a much bigger advantage. Former prime-minister was seriously considered to re-election in spite the face waited for a trial verdict related to corruption. The notion was eventually dismissed when he was found guilty and sent to prison. Experience is the same reason action president Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu might be re-elected for the third time. I’m not sure what should be the criteria for selecting a leader but I would like to see integrity and humility in my leader. Lack of experience can be dealt with when you’re not ashamed to admit your faults and find ways to overcome them.
(2) We should vote on ideology and not for a leader. The most likely candidate the become a prime-minister in the upcoming election is Netanyahu, which is quite impressive considering his last term in office. It’s not clear to me why people vote to him; I even heard someone saying “I’d vote for Bibi even if he was the head of the labor party”. I think this statement leaves room for a good anthropological research for the reasoning people do when electing their leaders, or better questioning what would be considered a betrayal or a failure of the leader. Following the leader blindly without any criticizing means the leader may act as a he pleases.
Democracy’s worst enemy is apathy, that permits extremists rise into power and cancel democracy altogether. But people don’t care, they have much more interesting to think about, and I don’t blame them. In fact, I completely agree with them: I think the state should run smoothly with my best interests in mind. It should be transparent from my point-of-view. I don’t need and don’t want an important leader to talk about or to admire. I just want to decide every now and then what my interests by selecting the political party that thinks like me.
Our democracy is far off from ideal and in fact at the brink of death. It needs to be tended and cared for until it will come about, and this can be done by *not* selecting the mighty dictator that promised us to revive democracy, rather than by making the well informed decision on the ideology in which you believe in.