Over recent history, the things we have admired in a leader have included humility that is inspiring; integrity, honesty, a strong moral compass; capacity for love, compassion, sensitivity, understanding; sincere respect for human dignity and genuine concern for others; just to mention a few.
Granted that there are things that remain constant across history in what we want in our leader; as a people, we seem to be in the throes of a revolt to traditional values and leadership. We now seem to find those long cherished characteristics of a leader 'boring' and we seem to be searching out a “new” or “esoteric” type of leader. This is because as a people, we have evolved an imagination of seeing our best selves as 'superhuman.'
This explains the use of phrases like 'supermum', 'superdad', 'superkid' etc in our commonplace talk. Based on my argument that we choose a leader who is a patchwork of characteristics that we embody and admire, we have (subconsciously) decided that we want a 'superman' as our leader. A person who has “wonderful and unexpected” qualities. It used to be that a leader seeks to know where people want to go and would then lead them there. Superman is different. S/he is independent minded; makes their own values; curves their own path; is selfish; courts rivalry; doesn't mind hurting people if need be; and deploys an eccentric persona to mesmerize us to follow them.
It is otherwise unimaginable that in a civilized democracy like the USA, a presidential candidate could mock a disabled person, use sexist language, threaten to punch a reporter among others as Trump has, and still command lead support for presidency. Donald has been trumping some of the values, beliefs and ideals that Americans boast makes the 'heart and soul' of United States.
Republicans, who are statistically one half of Americans, are excited about 'superman Trump.' He reminds them of what they would like (albeit subconsciously) to evolve into. I bet that across the world, some of us who abhor Trump in public, admire him, at least fleetingly in the privacy of our thoughts. We live at a time where we are saying "goodbye" to 'human leadership' and hello" to 'super(wo)man' leadership.
By George Nyongesa