Leader of the Free World – an Obsolete Term


Time Magazine of June 3, 2013, page 12, in the article Obama’s Grand Old Party:

Millions of American teenagers will go to proms this year. Their photos are more likely to be stored on Facebook than in a shoe box. But it’s fun to imagine that in one of those pictures, there’s a girl in a pastel dress or a lanky guy in a white sport coat who will end up becoming the leader of the free world.

The term “Leader of the Free World” may have been appropriate for Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson. I am not so sure about Nixon, Carter and Ford. Ok, maybe Reagan was the last Leader of the Free World.

What’s the “free world?” Is China free? With the onslaught of Chinese tourists all over the world, I would say yes. China is free. Is Russia free? I think so. The only countries not free are North Korea, Cuba, a few African countries – mostly un-free due to their economic plight, and a surprising number of Middle-Eastern countries, in their own way. Did I forget one?

What’s a “leader?” Ask anyone in Germany if they considered Bush or Obama their leader, and they’ll laugh at you. Ask any Frenchmen. Ask any Briton, Japanese, Brazilian, Finn or Italian. Bush was not the Leader of the Free World, and neither is Obama.

Let’s stop the nonsense and plead to the press to discontinue using such a hackneyed, self-aggrandizing term.

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