Do our leaders direct the group from love or from ego? Do they direct the group from the narrow mind or the big mind? Every person has the potential for seeing the world differently, and this can lead to spontaneous vitality or dogmatic stagnation. A positive leader would pursue the vitality and nurture others. A less positive leader, those sharing dogmatic stagnation, would project their own thoughts onto others, promoting a destructive "same thought".
I believe that there are many levels of awareness. These levels could be differentiated into self awareness, group/tribe/society awareness, and a global awareness. They are the same though. The paradox is that each level is connected and each is different. Each awareness level has it's own vibration and intention, and hence, it's own needs for guidance and facilitation. The priest/prophet/sage/leader serving a group vibration will tune into the group's needs and serve those needs. A group/society/tribe/club that vibrates at a different frequency from the individual will not serve the individual well. The individual then has a choice. They can (a) change to the groups vibration (b) drop out and shrivel up from lack of contact with others (c) find a group that nurtures them. Myspace is full of these tribes. During serial profile jumping I found a tribe of 18 year olds in Australia that wore their hair such that it covered one eye. A gothic tribe.
To bring the discussion back home... while the guidance for a group will not be the guidance given to an individual, the more integrated a group is, the more connected individuals will be. In a healthy society the leader's guidance for a group will flow into guidance for an individual. The group will be healthier and harmonious when individuals are supported in their own paths. Ego does not rule. It is instead just part of the landscape.
Is this the case in the USA? Has it ever been? That's another discussion.