While the President and the Advisor were engaging in a few moments of chatting about things that don’t matter, the Advisor wondered if he should ask the President a question he had had for a long time but was reluctant to bring it up. Finally he decided to be bold and ask. “Mr. President, you have used the term, ‘leading from behind’ in talking about foreign affairs. Just what does that mean and how do you use it?”
The President looked at the Advisor and said, “It is the core principle behind all my decisions. Under other Presidents this nation and the world has not fared well by the use of American military and economic power. How much better things might have been if they had been willing to exercise patience and let others advance their policy positions? You know the term came from Saul Alinsky. He used that strategy constantly when he was a community organizer in Chicago. I think it is a brilliant strategy. He would pick a subject he felt was important and work slowly behind the scenes to encourage others to adopt his ideas and take action to accomplish what needed to be done. If things didn’t go well, it wasn’t his fault, and he could quietly work to put his issues back on track. Often a breakthrough would occur that he hadn’t foreseen. And that was good. It indicated the value of harnessing the minds and energies of others to accomplish your objectives. At times he would pick the other side of the issue if the Progressives could use it to damage the opposition and clear the way for more ‘leading from behind’ probing.”
“What happens if the policy fails due to lack to leadership and direction?”
“If the strategy of leading from behind on an issue fails to advance Progressive goals it is because the people failed to understand the issue or were not adaptable enough in picking the tactics. It is difficult for the opposition to defeat Progressive ideology and actions because it appears as if the movement has no single leader. And that is correct. Leading from the front often results in failure and the loss of leaders. In my way the leadership cadre is very broad and if the leaders among the people are adaptable enough to change messages and positions, the deep leadership ranks are protected even when the effort seems to fail. Failure is rare because even if an effort is defeated by our opponents, we have been able to dictate the agenda and make some small gains and that is all we need to do to complete our transformation process.”
“Are you using the leading from behind strategy in the Middle East and primarily in Syria?”
“Of course. My objective is to change or transform the world order. How could I do that if I was openly leading the action? I’m leading from behind. Iran, ISIS, and Russia are doing exactly what I want. If Russia ends up being a power in the Middle East with warm water ports for their warships and control of oil from the region won’t that end the strife and lead to a world society where the people will be much better off and the world’s wealth and resources will be more equitably distributed? Russia will have what they have always wanted. They have no desire to occupy Europe. The balance of world power will be forever changed for the better. The need for vast military expenditures will be gone. Colonialism, Capitalism, and Imperialism will be history. Those are the real evil ‘isms’ of our world. Progressivism is the natural ideology for a world of equals.”
“Mr. President, I’m astounded at the breath of your response to my question. Do the leaders of your Administration share this view of the world?”
“Very, Very few. And that is good. Most of them would be more than astounded. They waste their time trying to either solve or pretend to solve the issues of governing. I only need a few people. The rest can mill about on trivial battlefields, as long as they do what they are told. Okay, I really have to go. Keep the questions coming. You help to keep me sharp. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight Mr. President.”
The Advisor put his head down on the table and thought if you can’t handle the answer, don’t ask the question.
This is an account written by a fictional advisor who doesn’t exist but should.
Check out the latest Jack Brandon mystery suspense novel at your local bookstore. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80