Where I Come From, It’s Not Called “Leading” If You’re in the Rear

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Barack Obama
As Obama is exposed as a weak and ineffectual leader, leadership must be redefined.

The Progressive assault on the English language continues. Ryan Lizza, writing in The New Yorker, tells us:

Obama’s reluctance to articulate a grand synthesis “has alienated both realists and idealists,” Lizza writes. However, he “may be moving toward something resembling a doctrine.” One of Obama’s advisers describes his actions as “leading from behind,” which, Lizza writes, does actually describe the balance that Obama now seems to be finding. “It’s so at odds with the John Wayne expectation for what America is in the world,” the adviser says, “but it’s necessary for shepherding us through this phase.”

Now I was pretty sure I knew what “leading” meant but I checked in with dictionary.com just to confirm and it turns out I was right! “Lead” is defined using words like “to go before,” “to conduct or bring,” “to show the way,” and “to go in advance.”

Of course, “leading from behind” is nonsensical as a linguistic construction as long as words have clear meanings; however, as Obama is increasingly revealed as a weak and ineffectual leader, the concept of leadership itself must be redefined. As George Orwell so aptly noted, “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

So if Obama wants to be hang out in the rear, I can think of many things to call it – following, for example – but leading is not one of them.

H/T Liberty Scout. Cross posted.

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itsonlywords
I think about things, then I write about them.

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bobmontgomery
April 25, 2011 4:38 pm

And the fact that the adviser used the phrase ‘shepherding us’ is at least one clue as to how they view ‘us’, isn’t it?

Lady_Penguin
April 25, 2011 8:51 pm

A shepherd he is not.

speciallist
Editor
April 25, 2011 9:34 pm

I looked up Ryan Lizza at dictionary.com, it said “the new Castrati”

redneck hippie
Editor
April 25, 2011 9:34 pm

Even if someone insists that Obama is leading, it only matters what he is leading us to–not a happy sort of place.