Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lives of Our Leaders: It's Hard to be the King II

It’s doubtful that there will be any more Abe Lincolns, Teddy or Franklin Roosevelts, or John F. Kennedys. It’s not that there aren’t honorable, even inspired men in politics. It’s just that the job description has changed. It’s one thing to triumph over Everest, but quite another to conquer the entire Himalayan range. Health care, financial reform, Iran, Iraq, Middle East crisis in general, borrowing crisis in Europe, North Korean hermaphroditic bad boy, Social Security on the fritz, oil glorious oil (spilling), tea party uprisings, terrorism at home and abroad, intractable Afghanistan, burial ground of ideological warriors, and now anti-missiles that don’t do the job (“Review Cites Flaws in U.S. Antimissile Program," NYT, 5/17/10). Things were looking up for Obama, but will he be humbled by the sheer magnitude of the challenge, as the results of the upcoming mid-term elections might suggest? What the world requires is a Dirty Harry, a Terminator, someone who will punish the bad guys and free the good. But our avenging angel can’t be too concerned with due process or all the things that make America great. To get things done, America needs a brash, territorial president like Lyndon Johnson, whose canine behavior was demonstrated when he boldly exhibited himself after urinating in the congressional bathrooms. Obama wants to be a man of action, but he is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, the thinking man, the troubled smoking prince who suffers a fitful sleep. Tyranny is the only working political system in these parlous times, and Obama lacks all the qualities of a good tyrant. Firstly, he stubbornly refuses to embrace a xenophobic view of the world. He refuses to create an enemy over which he can lord with self-congratulatory moral superiority. He is a believer in the politics of inclusion. He also refuses steadfastly to lay the blame on his predecessors. Finally, he seems to be faithful to his wife. One of the most important qualities of a great statesman is that he be principled when it comes to humanity as a whole, but a total hypocrite and cad in his relationships with women. This shows that the leader of civilized society has cojones, and will blow out the brains of anyone who tries to get in his way.

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