By Karen Malone Wright
Memorial Day kicks off Summer, and if the weather is good, grills are going and good times are to be had. I can remember my grandmother leading a family trek to the cemetery in the morning before the annual parade began, but I don’t know of anyone in our family who died in US military service. Several veterans, but blessedly, they all came home.
My Vietnam-era coming-of-age concludes that when a soldier dies, the person to “blame” is probably a system and environment much bigger than any one person. But as the only guy to drop an atomic bomb on human beings, President Harry Truman knew the face of the system is at the top, and the full weight of the destruction falls on him or her. President, Prime Minister or King, the job matters more than the title.
I don’t waste much time trying to imagine the experience of leading a nation, any nation. I definitely can’t imagine using the power that causes other people to die. And yet, there are those who actually seek the job out. For good or bad, they yearn for it. With the right combo of skills, connections, intellect and insight, they use the system to move us forward even in the face of terrorism.
In all of my deep thinking on the matter, not once did I factor in parenthood as a desired experience for an effective leader to have. Not once.
But, other people did.
As of May 2017, these countries are being guided into the future by a non-parent:
- Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
- Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland
- Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of The Netherlands
- Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister Sweden
- Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg
- Emmanuel Macron, President of France
- Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
- Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister of Italy
“Europe’s Childless Leaders Sleepwalking Us to Disaster” (American Renaissance)
“Emmanuel Macron and the barren elite of a changing continent” (Washington Examiner)
An article in a Catholic outlet included this crude statement:
“Nicola Sturgeon, the separatist Scottish leader, is also of the tribe [childless]. I might have known this, had I looked it up myself, and yet the curious thing is that I didn’t have to. I just knew by looking. Well, gentle reader must forgive me; I have uttered something politically incorrect. We aren’t supposed to know by looking at anything.”
He “knew” she was childless by looking at her. Wow. Can you stand one more? Beneath that “barren elite” header, there’s this gem:
“Contemporary childless leaders, however ascendant they feel today, may be the last gasp of secularism. The future is won by those who show up, and only the religiously orthodox are having children.”
(Image Credit: Tony Gentile/Reuters)