Miscellany, Slo-Man

about the “most powerful leader” in the wwuurld


with apologies to Clarkson, May and the Hamster, but recently the Slo-Man has been gorging on a steady diet of Top Gear, topped off with James May’s 20th Century and James May’s Big Ideas.

The Slo-Man’s LifeLongBestFriend (LLBF) reported rumblings about Barack Obama and his (already) failed promises. The LLBF saw distress in the social media and on the talk shows and it made him thoughtful about the end of the lune de miel.

When the people vote for “change” and most people say they do, do they really want change? Do they believe the leaders they voted for will be willing and able to fulfil their promises? Well before the election results the Slo-Man recalls reading an article about the promises Obama would / would not be able to keep if he came to power. And the LLBF (who has a soft corner for BBC comedies and word play) murmured “Yes, Prime Minister”. That biting satire from Jay and Lynn brought into focus how the head of state typically flies by the seat of his pants, blown this way and that by the exigencies of each political reality.

Now the Slo-Man notes that polls reported that about 90% folks in America supported the war in Afghanistan in 2001. Current support is much lower, ( to use an understatement ) and the Slo-Man wonders, what did these people think would happen? Sending a family member to war, is what people voted to do.

Almost 9 years on, there is still shock when “roadside bombs” kill soldiers. That is a modern war-zone. Maybe some felt that an underdeveloped country would be easy to control by a well-equipped army. Lessons from Indo-China? To reduce loss, how about increasing the use of unmanned drones ? But there are folks who object to unmanned drones.

It seems to the Slo-Man that there are always folks who object. Some will object to the fan-dance and some will object to the fan, but object they will. So what is the leader of the Free World ( now there’s a point to ponder in a later entry) to do?

What is the answer, pull all soldiers back home, leave the tribal countries be, give up on finding those Weapons of Mass Destruction and that great, bearded benefactor of the defence contracting companies ?

Alas, poor Barack! He’s done what any great leader would do, taken the HealthCare debate off-camera, despite pleas to put it on C-Span as he promised. It’s not easy being a political leader with the eyes of the world daring you to blink. There are so many who are strident in their one-sided, I-could-do-better, un-informed-and-proud-of-it vituperation and just one elected leader.

The Slo-Man signs off secure in the knowledge that he has no answers and will never be a politician and the LLBF nods in agreement. He’s left shaking his head sadly. His sympathies go out to the families who are actively involved and those whose lives are forever changed.

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