In the latest issue of The Atlantic, Paul Starobin writes about the political system in Kazakhstan. In Kazakhstan, they basically have a benign dictator (officially he is "president", but the elections are a sham) who espouses a free market economic philosophy. He is a dictator, and there is a pro-democracy opposition, but the opposition isn't a popular uprising. In fact, many ordinary people support their dictator. The West supports him, too.
The dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev made a statement which made me think about our present government. About his opposition, he says, "Just get them a tasty pie and a good position, like the mayor of a city, and they will forget all about their opposition views."
They way government is currently being run is similar. The only difference is that it's not the opposition being given comfy positions, it's cronies and financial political supporters. But why? You're the president, why are you still kissing ass? When you give positions to friends with no experience in that field, are you really trying to make your nation better? The urge to entrench your political party in power for the next 50 years is an entirely autocratic and anti-democratic urge. You would think that when you get to the most powerful position in the world, increasing your wealth and your grip on power would be irrelevant. You would think that, while adherance to the party line may have gotten you to where you are, you are now responsible for a nation, a nation of Democrats, Republicans, apathetic, rich, poor, healthy, sick, smart, stupid, sane, insane, black, white, and every color in between, so you may want to honestly work for ALL of them. You are above party labels now. You have four to eight years to make your mark on history.
Presidents are just people, and most people have huge egos. You would think the the biggest ego stroke in the world would be to be remembered as someone great, who made tough choices in the face of adversity, who spoke to all Americans, who didn't get drunk on power and turn your back on American ideals, and whose main priority was to help people, not parties. When in comes to our current president and his gang of inept cronies, you would be wrong.