The Queen Builds Trust
Monarchies tend to be more trusting than non-monarchies. Why? One hypothesis is that societies with non-partisan leaders, who are “above the fray,” have the unique ability to remind everyone of the common interests of the tribe/nation. That’s one reason Queen Elizabeth’s amazing message to the British people is so effective. She speaks to all of the British people about their common concerns, about how they need one another, while taking no partisan stances.
It helps that, as she points out, she addressed the nation during World War II, as a teenager. This was a time when the Brits say “everyone did their bit,” activities that I think played a major trust-building role during and after the war.
The Queen also thanks people in whom people already trust a great deal, like nurses and doctors.
Further, she emphasizes how many people are observing important social norms and succeeding in tackling the virus. And she stresses that people will want to look upon their own actions favorably in the future, again stressing the importance and motivation for following important norms, like staying home, washing one’s hands, and so on.
In short, the Queen builds trust by being a long-time non-partisan, tribe-unifying, trust-reminding, norm-cueing, and compliance-motivating high-status trendsetter. From a trust-building perspective, she’s got it all!
Trump cannot be this kind of leader, not just temperamentally, but because he polarizes public opinion perhaps more than any figure in American politics in historical memory. The difference in leadership ability could not be more stark.
If you haven’t watched the video, take a few minutes and watch it.