Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How to decide whether to vote for Hilary or Mugabe.

Hilary Clinton’s fixation on gaining the nomination provides a great insight into the drive for power that afflicts some people. I say afflict because their drive consumes them: they are prepared to sacrifice everything, even their dignity, for power.

She shares this affliction with some of history’s less desirable characters: Stalin, Caesar, Napoleon, Mugabe, etc. All with inflated, yet insecure, egos.

While there is no doubt that Obama wants the job badly, he doesn’t seem to have the same fire in the belly. He is being encouraged (read, pushed) by more influential figures who reckon they can exploit the man’s obvious charisma. These shadowy figures may be more pragmatic than extremist but are no less scary all the same. Dick Cheney types: driven by a need for a power and an aversion to media attention. They become ‘the power behind the throne’?

This approach of 'power grapping by proxy' has its risks: the ‘Bush’ type anomaly, where the innocuous front-person gets a mind of their own half way through the process and wants to make his mark. Though this risk can be mitigated by ensuring they owe more than they can repay.

And so to the even more obvious lunatics such as Hitler, Pol Pot, Mengistu, Bin Laden, etc. These are the ideologues who can be fundamentalist or extremist and who wanted to establish a new world order (under their leadership, obviously). They believed they will build a better world (albeit for a small elect) and that any holocaust on the road to achieving that is a small price to pay.

I can here the goodly folk out there saying: ‘I would vote for none of them. Give us the selfless individual who wants to do the right thing’. I have bad news: they have all been trampled to death in the rush to the top, or have retired to their reading rooms long before their names were mentioned. So we are left to choose from a group of people that have only their own interest in heart. But help is at hand.

If we take ‘Fundamentalist’ to ‘Megalomaniac’ as a measure of the motivation to power and ‘Pragmatic’ to ‘Extremist’ as a measure of the approach, we could slot the power-hungry into one of four informative classifications that would help decide which way to vote. They are: Pragmatic-Fundamentalist (PF), Pragmatic-Megalomaniac (PM), Extremist-Fundamentalist (EF), and Extremist-Megalomaniac (EM).

The PF is fine if you agree with his/her fundamental beliefs. If not you can still live with the approach, but it may hurt. These tend to be rare, like ‘O’ negative blood groups. Good examples of this type of leader include, Pope John XXIII, neo-cons, Gorbachov, and probably John McCain maybe even the backers of Obama.

The best hope lies with the PM group. They have no loyalties and are motivated power only. They are a problem only for people who go up against them. The Clintons belong here, as do Putin, Napoleon, Caesar, Delors, etc.

The EFs are truly, truly dangerous. They can only accept their way and if you are not fully on board then you are an enemy. Thus the majority are a threat and treated as such. Think of any of any serious religious leadersand you have an EF. Other luminaris include, Sadam, Bin Laden, Pol Pot, Mengistu, Lenin, etc.

The EM are risky, they can swing either way. Robert Mugabe springs to mind: from the time he came to power in 1980 until the early 90s he was a paragon of pragmatism. The only people who suffered were those who disagreed with him, and the majority of people could get on with life whatever way they wanted. But then he swung the other way: social and economic ruin for millions was better than giving up power. Think Stalin, think Mao, think Mahatir in Malaysia.

So playing the odds the choice has to be Clinton unless you agree with all McBain's (a fundamentalist at heart) opinion, and no one really knows the agenda of the Obama power-source. Obama. However in all circumstances, unless you are a ZANU card carrying member of the Zimbabwe army, you are best not to vote for Bob.

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