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Peggy Noonan nailed our collective international crises in her WSJ column this weekend. She states that we live in a time where there seem to be no exceptional people — what she calls “genius clusters” — on the international level (never mind in our own country) to step-up to the plate and lead us forward.
The leaders of the world aren’t a very impressive group right now. There’s a sense with some of them of playing out a historical or cultural string, that they’re placeholders in some way. Many are young, yet so much around them feels tired. […] There was a small genius cluster in World War II—FDR, Churchill, de Gaulle. I should note I’m speaking of different kinds of political genius. There was a genius cluster in the 1980s— John Paul II, Reagan, Thatcher, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Lee Kuan Yew in his last decade of leadership in Singapore. The military genius cluster of World War II—Marshall, Eisenhower, Bradley, Montgomery, Patton, MacArthur, Nimitz, Bull Halsey, Stilwell—almost rivaled that of the Civil War—Grant, Lee, Stonewall, Sherman, Sheridan, Longstreet.
She also makes a critical point regarding the times we live in:
Obviously genius clusters require deep crises, otherwise their gifts are not revealed. Historic figures need historic circumstances. Also members of genius clusters tend to pursue shared goals.
The world is in one huge mess. What will need to happen for great men and women to emerge and step forward? Any thoughts about who is waiting in the wings?