Leadership Without a Compass

Last night the American electorate once again said emphatically – ‘I do not trust the establishment and I refuse to accept business as usual.’ The most important statistic collected from last night’s election was the fact that 69% of the GOP voters said they believed their elected officials had abandoned them. And, 62% of the same citizens said they are very worried about their future. In the Democratic primary, the answer was the same in Michigan, with a little less emphasis. What’s important about these two statistics is that one can feel abandoned, but safe institutionally. One can think the ship of state is sound and not floundering. In this current case, not only are people not sure about the stability of the ship, but they are unsure of its course or destination. They fear their future is in peril.

The establishment hierarchy of both parties cries out in defiance to the average citizen that the protected elites have some sort of inherited right to lead without positive results. They are beyond living in a bubble; they live in their own fantasy. They have no clue of the plight, the frustration, the concern, and then therefore the resultant anger of the American public. The talking heads of the networks this morning were lamenting that Mitt Romney’s recent speech obviously had little force or effect in impacting Mr. Trump. They were actually besieging Trump with the question: ‘Would you consider choosing Marco Rubio as your running mate to build a bridge to the establishment?’ Talk about a bridge to nowhere. There is no credible establishment influence left, except in the delusion of their own the minds. The collective establishment of the media networks, elected officials, Wall Street titans, and people of privilege are now waking up to a reality where they are the side show instead of the main event.

The establishment and the ruling elites of both parties continue to assail Donald Trump for lack of substance, and Bernie Sanders for unrealistic, unimplementable solutions. Yet not one of them has offered a solution of their own except to pursue business as usual. Their theme is, ‘Simply trust us, we will do better. You require us to take care of your affairs because you don’t really know what you need. At the same time, try to look the other way while we are doing just fine and prospering.’ The establishment has just taken hypocrisy to a new height. Not only do they refuse to address the issues at hand, they are not even interested in addressing the underlying emotions that are driving the American electorate to take matters into their own hands. They are an isolated island, asking the average citizen to respect their control from afar.

The Presidential primary process of 2016 continues to render uncertainty and division. The events this past week involving the two most recent Republican nominees for President, Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney, are unprecedented.  By launching an all-out assault on the current GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump, they have diverted the course, and therefore the outcome of this primary season into uncharted waters. The electorate is now more divided than ever. The invectiveness of the debate and the intervention of the establishment have left the public with deep wounds. Unity is now fleeting.


Leadership is sailing without a principled compass. The destination they seek is undefined. The route is not calculated. Therefore, the ultimate port is anywhere.

The citizens of the United States are seeking answers for a country that they know is on the wrong track. They may be parochial in their reasoning, but even in their desire to seek a destination that serves their own personal self-interest, they call for a leader who not only can provide the direction to such a destination, but also safe passage over rough seas through proper navigation.

What does this mean?

Our country is desperate for a leader who will stand on principle, a person who will state clearly exactly where he or she wants to lead the country. Only Bernie Sanders is without obfuscation on his intent and purpose of where he wants to take America. He is a socialist. He will tax the rich, break up the big banks, and redistribute wealth. He will expand government programs and make more services free to the public, such as college tuition. In other words, an America wherein the government controls and regulates all assets, all income, and is responsible for egalitarianism. He is dead wrong, but at least he is clear on where he wants to go. However, even he is lacking in illustrating how he would navigate the course to such a destination.

What the country received from Mitt Romney’s rant in claiming that Donald Trump is a phony and a fraud, is that Trump is not acceptable by character and temperament to be the nominee of the Republican Party. It would have been acceptable and appropriate for Governor Romney to state the principles on which he stands, the priorities that are important to the American people, and the policy that he recommends to course correct our ship of state, and then explain why Donald Trump did not meet his standard. Instead he simply attacked Trump with the assumption that the establishment’s judgment would later adequately present itself.

The response has generally been outrage at the establishment’s insistence that they anoint the next nominee.

There has been ample ventilation about what is wrong with America, but very little discussion about how to fix it. And there has been little rhetoric about foundational principles that unite us as a culture and a society. We have become a country led by leaders without vision, willing to remain on a ship on the wrong course, hoping against hope that it will course correct itself. It is delusional leadership based on a compass with no true north.

Even worse, those who support the establishment lurk in the shadows with concealed identities. They do not have the courage to stand on a statement of principle in which they believe is important for the generations. Instead, they hide behind Super PACs and 527 committees where they air millions of dollars of media ads, financed by their personal wealth, attacking their enemies while they hide in obscurity.

What are they afraid of? Who are they? What special interests are they protecting? But most importantly, what is their solution for righting the ship of state? On what course would they take us to get us to what destination? But most simply, what is the true north of their compass?

The United States of America is the greatest country in the history of the world. I say this without hesitation. Its creed and success of fairness, due process, and rule of law is unprecedented. The tenets of its economic structure have produced greater economic prosperity per capita than any other system, past or present. We as Americans are in this together. We should be striving as a society to maintain basic principles to equalize the pursuit of happiness for all. Leadership is beyond critical. It is necessary for the survival of our country that citizen leaders arise and establish true north on a compass of order and security. This true north must be understandable, it must be clear, and it must project a clarion call that sets a course in which all have confidence.

Our democracy is at a crossroads. We are now the people versus the elite – the elite in media, the elite in business, and the elite of elected officials. To the absolute consternation of this elite, the people are winning through the process to make their voices heard.

Only in a democracy do the people have a say in determining on what ship, by what course, led by which leaders, to what destination for the generations, guided by what compass they will arrive.

We should thank God for democracy.

My name is Marc Nuttle and this is what I believe.

What do you believe?