People ultimately make sure to get the leaders they deserve.
I remember writing this to a former USiAn friend of mine after September 11, 2001 when their incredibly smart president (more Christian than the Pope in his own words) sent troops to Afghanistan to kill anybody in sight that looked different to an honest to God W.A.S.P.
She felt terribly hurt and stopped talking to me. I hypothesize she had abandoned her life-long Democrat convictions after watching how Al Gore had been highway-robbed of the USA presidency the year before. Oh well, having grandchildren messed up her priorities. I’ve always believed that having children is a greater motivation to try to make the world better, it becomes not just a desire for a better living environment, but a desire to leave a worthy legacy to our descendants; where is the importance of leaving our grandchilder a couple billion dollars, if they have to live in a toxic wasteland? I’m probably wrong and that would explain why I’m still heirless.
At the time her reaction came as a shock. It was unjustified in my opinion; nowadays it simply reinforces my cynical perception on people. You see…, one thing is to believe in humanity as a biological species with a future even if in its descendants; no matter if our descendants are so dissimilar to us as birds are to dinosaurs. A very different one is to believe in its individuals, most of which are bound in self-destruction through killing their neighbors and destroying the means of survival of their children and grandchildren, while justifying it on cockamamie religious, philosophical and political arguments.
A few weeks ago Ecuador elected a leftist President with affinities with Chavez — but don’t let me start on the other candidate that made it to the second round, he is a real crock of, er…, manure. And then the Venezuelans go and reelect Chavez. It is amazing how the masses (those poor enough to have no access to the Internet and to have the nerve to believe that interconnected computer networks covering the planet are some hoax made up by radio show broadcasters) can believe that such megalomaniac — who believes himself the reincarnation of Simon Bolivar — is a good man and even a socialist. A clear demonstration of the old Roman way of populace control: Bread and circus keep the mass happy. No self-respecting Roman emperor minded sending a million or two to die in the fields of Northumbria!
Recent history has given us leaders loved by their people, namely, Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zhe-Dong, General Stroessner, Pohl Poht and many, too many, more. I share the perception of Carlos Fuentes, one of the few Latin American intellectuals worth a cent, of what is going on in Venezuela. And I’m sad for my neighbors. I’ve realized I wasn’t paranoiac when I started cooking conspiracy theories based on the actions and (evidently schizophrenic) discourse of the man.
Ha! And don’t get me started on the cadre of inbred oligarchs that have misgoverned my country in the last 75 years and the people who elect them, my “fellow citizens”… Every time I’ve voted in a presidential or a congressional election I’ve heeded the words of the Master; “Kung-tzu said: The wise man is he who can choose the lesser among two evils”.