In democracy this parochial ideal of followers and leaders change 180 degrees. The followers are really the leaders and the leaders are the followers -- of the wishes of the people. The struggle and challenge in every democratic society is the wriggling out from the vestiges of thinking in an oppressed past into a moment of freedom where one can exercise his or her decision with responsibility. As we all know, with great power -- that inherent attribute vested in the democratic process -- come great responsibility. This means, without the exercise of responsibility - that reflection needed to ascertain the good or bad consequence of the action we take - the power of freedom that we inherit in democracy is meaningless for in such a case we go back into the jungle.
Our follower-ship must be imbued with active reflection upon which we are asked to follow. Only when we become thinking human beings can we materialize democracy into the vibrancy it deserves. Otherwise it will be just old wine in new bottles so to say.