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Who is Really the Leader of the Free World?

Is he really the leader of the free world??

Not another rant against (or for) Trump, but rather a deconstruction of this mindless term so often repeated.

“Leader of the free world” is notable for its idiocy on multiple levels.

First of all, WTF is the “free world?” Presumably, the Western “democracies,” as opposed to the “unfree” world, run by communist or fascist dictators. Of course, the truth is a little more complicated. For example, is someone serving a 20-year sentence in a U.S. prison for a victimless crime part of the free world? So the very term “free world” is the kind of reductionist propaganda meant to prevent critical thought.

Next, why is the U.S. president the leader of this supposed free world? Are the leaders of European (and other “free” countries) subservient to the U.S. president? Supposedly, at least according to the Constitution, the President is not even “the leader” of the United States, much less a whole coalition of countries. The whole idea of the republic is a system of checks and balances where the president is but one part.

Finally, and most importantly, the term is an oxymoron. The idea of the free world, which consists of many millions of people, having a single leader, is contradictory to the very idea of freedom, which implies individual autonomy.

Of course, a term such as this is not meant to be deconstructed or taken literally. However, it’s an example of the type of speech that contains lots of statist assumptions. When you speak of “the leader of the free world,” in either a positive or negative way, you’re buying into a system that labels you an insignificant cog in the machine.

Ultimately, freedom cannot be reduced to politics or ideology. It’s more a state of mind or state of being.

So who is really the leader of the free world? It can only be you.

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” -Robert Heinlein