Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rock Star Politicians

Most rock stars and politicians (and some corporate leaders) get into their professions based on a desire to perform, make life better for others, serve their fellowman. It isn't too long afterwards that egos and pride take over. Their ideology changes to where they are caught up in themselves. Nothing matters to them other than getting more money, drugs, women, material, titles, status. They are never satisfied.

Consider the obvious list of major egotistical political figures the world over: Cesar Chavez, Vladimir Putin, Nicolas Sarkozy, Bill Clinton, Kim Chong-il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Consider three very different yet eerily similar up and comers: Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama.

Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, a 51 year old dentist who became the president of Turkmenistan. He replaced the longstanding 'Leader of the Turkmen' in 2006, Saparmurat Niyazov, aka, Turkmenbashi, after his passing at 66 years of age. In his land, he rules supreme. He promised change after taking over but quickly realized that he could rule with an iron fist -- do anything, anytime, anywhere, to anyone. He rules over a closed society -- a North Korea with camels. However, he is making some strides in business and education. He is taking advantage of Turkmenistan's extensive natural gas reserves. Personal freedoms are very limited. The cult of Turkmenbashi has fallen on Berdymukhamedov. "So lock up your daughter n' lock up your wife, lock up your back door and run for your life."

Rod Blagojevich, governor of Illinois, was arrested this morning on conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. He was in the business of selling the Senate seat of Barack Obama to the highest bidder. He felt it was his right to personally profit from the governor's role of appointing a successor. He's just an egotistical idiot, not unlike ex-New York governor Eliot Spitzer and his high-priced call girl program.

Finally there's Barack Obama. The story on him is just beginning. His rise to the top has been of rock star proportions. His admirers and followers are extensive -- groupie-like in their behavior. He may not turn into a Bill Clinton, the definition of a self-aggrandizing president. But because of the people he has surrounded him with, he's going to have to be awfully strong to avoid the many pitfalls of the evil one.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Rare is the exception.

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