Douglas Carswell

28 MAR 2017

Don't buy into the big man myth

How often do we hear that all we need is a new leader? Whether it's Donald Trump, Barack Obama, or Tony Blair, we're assured that all our problems will be solved just by changing the big man at the top. That myth is at the root of what's wrong with politics.

The more popular leaders are on entering office, the more they inevitably disappoint. How could they not? No human being is a god.

Yet every few years we seem to go through the same charade. Forget that the last messiah didn't work out, or the one before that. Just have faith that the next one will.

This idea isn't just absurd. It's dangerous. Right now, voters who have lost faith in established saviours are turning to insurgents instead. But what happens when the insurgents fail? The danger is that people will lose faith in democracy itself.

Rather than obsess about the people at the top, we should be focusing on everyone else. The most prosperous and successful nations are those where power is dispersed. What matters is not the personalities, but the systems.

The solution is to take power away from big-man elites, and restore it to individuals. Read my new book Rebel to find out how.

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