The loneliest feeling in the world is when you think you are leading the parade and turn to find that no one is following you. No president who badly misguesses public opinion will last very long.
(Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. Interview with former Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, University of Illinois, Urbana (Spring 1958).
FDR was always conscious of the need to educate the public on important national issues and was determined not to take the lead unless he was reasonably sure of public support. However, he was also extremely adept at providing leadership for the public to educate them to support policies he believed were essential to the public weal. He made this same observation in a letter to a friend with only slightly different wording.)
If thou fill thy brain with Boston and New York, with fashion and covetousness, and wilt stimulate thy jaded senses with wine and French coffee, thou shalt find no radiance of wisdom in the lonely waste of the pinewoods.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Poet," Essays, Second Series (1844).)