Mar 10, 2014

Why Charisma Is Important In The Afghan Election?

Charismatic quality will be a driving force for candidates for the upcoming presidential election in Afghanistan. A charismatic leader can unite Afghanistan which badly suffers from disunity, while a charismatic leader can also disastrously drive Afghanistan into a complete opposition direction.

In the west, sometimes, a leader does not have to be charismatic. A good example would be Angela Merkel, probably, she is one of the most uncharismatic leaders in the world, but the most powerful women in Europe.  Despite the lack of charismatic quality, she remains the most popular and dominant figure who last year won the third term as a federal leader in Germany. People in Germany complain about her lack of sociability, her outfit and call her ‘boring’ and ‘snoring.’ In 2010, German philosopher Jürgen Habermas complained that modern Germany had a yearning for "charismatic figures who stand above the political infighting."

On the hand, Barak Obama, the most powerful man in the world, is considered one of the most alluring and charismatic leaders in the history of the United States. Before being elected, pundits in America have called Obama a “rock-star,” because of his unique charismatic quality. He is being regarded something as “rare” and “special,” the quality that John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy had. Obama is intelligent and most importantly, he is famous as an eloquent speaker and his rhetoric suffused with passions that is shared by people of all stripes. During his speech, women scream and swoon, and shout at Obama "I love you." None of Obama's predecessors aroused such feelings, even the founding fathers of the United States.

In the developing countries, rally around a leader, is usually takes place when patriotism is enforced by a leader. However, in Afghanistan patriotism is buried by tribalism, religionism, regionalism, and parochialism. But having said that, among the 11 presidential candidates, there are a few who have unique charisma, just enough to rally people around hi,m and win the election.

So, why Afghanistan needs a charismatic leader and why charisma is an important factor, particularly, for an Afghan leader who will replace Hamid Karzai? If you look the word “charisma” in the dictionary, you will get these synonyms: alluring, bewitching, captivating, fascinating, charming, enchanting, engaging, magnetic and seductive.
In the next few posts, I will try to highlight some of the important charismatic quality and skills that Afghan presidential candidates have and have not.


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