Joe Biden can lead in a lot more ways than using authority, which is the least effective tool of a leader. The President of the United States is not some guy on the street. He’s at a leverage point of a system, with great influence.
Imagine if Biden stood with the protesters of a pipeline. Imagine he simply took an inventory of his personal waste and minimized it and showed the inevitable increase in productivity and effectiveness people don’t believe until they experience it. Maybe it sounds crazy or like it may not work, What he’s did didn’t work either.
Imagine he acted genuinely, authentically, and effectively instead. I’m not saying he can solve all the world’s problems by himself overnight, nor that anyone should expect him to. But he can change culture more than almost anyone. People feel what they do doesn’t matter, that the future will be worse than the present, and that only governments and corporations can make a difference on the scale we need.
If he acted, sharing his motivations and vulnerabilities, just sharing he was doing his best, connecting with those who have been protesting for decades, attributing his actions to their work, he would embolden people to act. They’d feel meaning and purpose in their actions. They’d expect success.
The world lacks leadership in sustainability. Simply acting genuinely and authentically, he’d cause billions of people to notice. Billions would feel supported to act. It’s easy to imagine people reacting jaded. Many might. But they’d be a minority. Nobody wants plastic in the ocean, their food, their bloodstreams, and their children’s veins. Once he acted, that jadedness would fade. The people who disagree with him no matter what may disagree with him reflexively, so little may change there, but President Joe Biden could do a lot more than issue a strongly-worded criticism through his press secretary.
He could change the world from a pipeline protest, avoiding doof, or any number of simple actions. The only thing stopping him is a lack of imagination.
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