Volodymyr Zelenskyy Is the Leader of the Free World

Marc Ash / Reader Supported News

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article first appeared on Reader Supported News (RSN) on March 18, 2022.

There can be no more compelling or effective leader of the democratic free world today than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Fate has called upon him to rise to a level of courage and clarity few figures in history have demonstrated. His sense of purpose, his struggle have almost overnight become those of the entire Western world.

At a time of declining observance of democratic values throughout professed democratic societies Zelenskyy and his Ukrainian countrymen and women are giving their lives to be free and to join a Western structure that gives them hope and inspiration. That inspiration sustains them in this struggle just as surely as it inspires those countries they hope to become a part of.

What is leadership? Is it given? Is it awarded? Or does it grow from struggle and triumph, adversity and perseverance? Does Volodymyr Zelenskyy not speak for all of us? Does he not lift us on his shoulders as he does his own people? Does he not renew our faith in democratic values as Ukrainians themselves live and die for them?

What is courage? Is courage making bold statements standing at a parliamentary lectern? Is it writing a check to support a struggle on the other side of the world? Or is it remaining in the line of fire and leading your people as a vastly superior invading army tries to overrun your country?

Who could be a more inspiring spokesperson for the thing we call freedom. Who could be a more courageous proponent of democracy? Can we now go back to the charade we have allowed democracy to become in Western societies?

If the Western Democratic Order survives in a material and functional form there will be no more important figure than Volodymyr Zelenskyy. His legacy is being written here, now as is ours. At a time when true leaders are increasingly rare one has risen.