The source’s ideological perspective demonstrates that adherence to democratic principles might be challenging and result in unpopular decisions criticized by the majority; moreover, following the selected course demands courage and destination from a leader; however, this devotion and readiness to remain honest can be rewarded measuring outcomes and accepting the right of a leader to make decisions. The ideological perspective offered by this source should be embraced to a great extent.
The relevance of ideas offered by this source is evidenced by the role of true leaders during turbulent times. The fact is that democracy usually presupposes the pluralism of opinions, liberalism, and the need to consider multiple perspectives on an issue to ensure its resolution and the state’s evolution (Fielding et al., 2009). However, facing some challenges or entering crises, nations might suffer from the lack of a single vision on how to respond and what strategy to accept. It can result in numerous debates and a waste of time, which becomes a precious resource. Under these conditions, a leader becomes a person responsible for decision-making a choosing a course of action.
However, they might face a dilemma selecting among the popular and correct decisions. For instance, Abraham Lincoln accepted the decision to abolish slavery and make all people free. Following his democratic principles, the President pursued this idea correctly realizing that about half of the population might condemn him. As a result, this solution triggered the Civil War and multiple deaths; however, in the long-term run, Lincoln’s courage to select an unpopular course was rewarded as the USA evolved into one of the most powerful and democratic states, and Lincoln is viewed as one of the most honored Presidents.
Another issue proving the validity of the source’s idea is the ability to doubt decisions made by leaders peculiar to democracies and liberal communities. Classical liberalism states that the rights and freedoms of individuals are the central value of any state and should be protected by all means (Fielding et al., 2009). The opportunity to express an opinion and discuss or neglect another one belongs to this cohort, meaning that for democratic and liberal states, the work of a leader and his decision-making can be complicated by the existence of opposite opinions (Fielding et al., 2009). At the same time, it is impossible to please all population groups and parties, meaning that some individuals are always dissatisfied and consider a certain decision erroneous one.
Under these conditions, leaders should be ready to disregard the meaning of the majority if they are sure that adherence to democratic principles and values demands following courses not accepted by others. It demands courage and readiness to resist pressure and protect the decision; however, in some cases, it is the only way to overcome the crisis and create the basis for further states’ evolution.
The opinion of the majority or more powerful party is not always the right one, which leads to the ideas reflected in the analyzed source. For instance, the early 1900s in the USA were characterized by the dominance of some monopolies dictating their terms and infringing the rights of common people. Companies such as the Standard Oil Company had their lobbies in the government and regulated the market (Fielding et al., 2009).
However, Theodore Roosevelt accepted a set of reforms unpopular among the rich and high class to improve the position of middle-class Americans and eliminate the dominance of giant corporations with no rivalry or effective monitoring (Fielding et al., 2009). The decision was made following the democratic principles and Roosevelt’s belief that economic liberalism is the basis for the successful development of a state and improvement of its nation’s well-being. From a long-term perspective, the decision became an important step towards the democratization of the economy and its transformation into a fair market with multiple opportunities for other actors. Furthermore, citizens of the USA acquired the chance to improve their well-being due to the new regulations.
Furthermore, in Canada, such as in numerous Western states, democracy and liberalism are followed by the pluralism of opinions. It means that every individual has the right to express his/her ideas and visions on a particular issue and foster them (Fielding et al., 2009). From this perspective, any decision can be doubted using credible and powerful arguments or appealing to benefits associated with another course. From the democratic perspective, such ideas cannot be disregarded as they are the part of the political discourse within a state and should be considered to avoid discrimination or biased attitudes.
For this reason, the leader’s task becomes more complex as possessing the right to make final decisions, he/she is also responsible for outcomes and can be condemned for failures. At the same time, having more relevant and up-to-date information, such rulers can make unpopular decisions resting on the current situation and state’s demand. It can be seen as an example of how adherence to the principles of democracy can create a precedent and trigger public dissatisfaction. Thus it also shows the readiness to follow a certain course and protect these values.
The values and beliefs of liberalism also show the relevance of the source’s central message. One of the major assumptions of this paradigm is that all human beings are reasonable and can make decisions benefiting themselves and society (Fielding et al., 2009).
Combined with the principles of democracy, this belief can justify the decision-making that results in pursuing the unpopular course. In other words, all individuals, including rulers, presidents, or people with authority, can enjoy the basic concepts of liberalism and have the rise for their own vision, which cannot be judged or condemned. From this perspective, the existence of the alternative thought cannot be viewed as the challenge to liberalism or democracy; on the contrary, it is a result of tolerant and wise societies that provide others with a chance to express their opinions, even if it might be difficult because of the unpopularity of a particular vision.
Classical liberalism also proposes that all individuals have equal political power, which can be expressed differently. At the same time, better stability will result in greater involvement and allow individuals to use their freedoms. For instance, Canada, as a liberal democracy, provides its citizens with fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression, thought, opinion, press, and discussion (Fielding et al., 2009). It means that all individuals, regardless of the popularity of their positions, have the right to protect their principles and act in accordance with the code of ethics or conduct peculiar to them. This idea justifies the central message offered by the source and emphasizes the need to embrace it to a great extent. Only struggling for their rights, individuals can attain success and show that some ideas are really important and protect them.
Multiple unpopular decisions made by leaders exemplify the importance of the message and its applicability to different settings. For instance, ideological conflicts have always been the central forces shaping the world and resulting in wars and military conflicts (Fielding et al., 2009). For example, Nazi Germany, with the strong ideology of dominance, supremacy, and expansionism, managed to conquer multiple nations and achieve a high pace of its growth.
It also preconditioned the further division of the world regarding their values and dominant ideologies. The Cold War demonstrated the role of an individual and decisions made by a single person to pursue some views. For instance, Kennedy accepted the unpopular decision to make a compromise and look for ways to avoid deterioration of relations with the USSR. It resulted in avoiding the real war and establishing new methods to cooperate. It evidences the importance of following certain ideas and protect them, even if they are unpopular.
Altogether, the source’s ideological perspective assumes that democratic principles can be a heavy burden for leaders because they presuppose making unpopular decisions that are vital for people at the moment. However, in the long-term perspective, they are rewarding because of honesty, dignity, and determination to do everything to protect a certain value. Multiple examples and the ideas of democratic liberalism prove the relevance of this statement and the need for its embracement. The freedom of expression and point of view provides individuals with the right to act regarding their values. For this reason, it is vital to be focused on pursuing a certain position and be ready to protect it regardless of the pluralism of opinions and thoughts.
Fielding, J., Christison, M., Harding, C., Meston, J., Smith, T., Zook, D. (2009). Perspectives on Ideology. Oxford Press.