Ethics Quiz: Trump’s Tweet On Fidel’s Demise

castro-tweet-trump

We are taught to speak only good of the dead in the immediate aftermath of one’s demise, and especially in the world of international diplomacy, restraint, respect and the Golden Rule are the accepted standards of ethical conduct on such occasions

This being the case, what is the right ethical diagnosis of President Elect Donald Trump’s tweet above about the announcement of Fidel Castro’s death, which includes an explanation point widely interpreted to suggest “GOOD!” of “Yippee!” ? Trump’s subsequent statement removed all doubt that he was not sorry to see Fidel go to that big sugar cane plantation in the sky, or better yet, well, you know:

“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades,’ Mr Trump’s statement reads. “Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. “While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve. Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban-Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”

Contrast that with President Obama’s equivocal statement, which said in part,

“We know that this moment fills Cubans — in Cuba and in the United States — with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”

Then there was former President Jimmy Carter, who said,

“Rosalynn and I share our sympathies with the Castro family and the Cuban people on the death of Fidel Castro. We remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country. We wish the Cuban citizens peace and prosperity in the years ahead.”

Hmmmm!

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz for this Thanksgiving Day weekend:

Were Trump’s tweet and statement about Castro responsible, prudent and ethical?

I think so, and I’m surprised at my own response. I suppose I am tired of seeing and hearing public figures lie when everyone knows they are lying, and if Carter and Obama really don’t think Castro was a brutal, murderous dictator whose departure is a blessing to all, then the Democratic Party is in even worse shape than I thought it was.

I have a hard Left friend who actually expressed praise for Castro’s legacy today on Facebook. When a figure who is objectively and factually as bad as Castro was, our leaders should not hesitate to be frank and direct. Obama’s non-commital History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him” is cowardly and evasive. Yes, and if history judges that Fidel’s ends justified his means, then civilization is doomed. Carter’s statement is even worse. “His love of his country”—that’s mitigation for oppression and murder, eh, Jimmy? If love of country your standard, you and Rosalyne must love Hitler.

Trump’s excessive candor and rogue mouth obviously are going to do a lot of damage in the next four years, just as they did during the campaign. Nonetheless, I don’t see anything unethical about calling a murderous dictator when he was, whether it’s on the day of his death or ten years later. This is one time when Trump’s refusal to be politically correct cuts through crap that should be cut through. As Edgar says at the end of “King Lear,”

“We should speak what we feel, not what we ought to say,”

…at least when bastards like Castro die.

Rather than using the occasion to find another excuse to attack Trump, Democrats should think about why it is that so many Castro admirers are in their ranks.

 

63 Comments

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63 responses to “Ethics Quiz: Trump’s Tweet On Fidel’s Demise

  1. charlesgreen

    “I don’t see anything unethical about calling a murderous dictator when he was, whether it’s on the day of his death or ten years later.”

    The one counter-argument I can see (and I don’t claim it’s an ethical argument) is that it’s likely to piss off unnecessarily a lot of Cubans, whose goodwill we would be better off having.

    Trump’s base may cheer at his candor, but he’s already won their vote. Obama’s more circumspect “we’ll talk about that when the time comes, not when the body is still warm,” is likely the better recipe for constructive inter-sovereign relations going forward. I fail to see a positive argument for pissing off a lot of people when you could easily avoid doing so.

    If this is a sign of his diplomacy to come–and I bet it is–it’s not a good sign. Ethical? I don’t know.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Trump may not need to worry about his diplomacy after all, now that Hillary is joining Jill Stein’s recount demand. I am guessing you are preparing a whole post on that, but all it’s going to take is a hack in Milwaukee, a misread in Detroit, and a sealed box of lost ballots in Philly, and it’s Madam President.

        • Don’t dignify this with attention. They didn’t get away with Florida, and they’re still trying a three state Hail Mary, embarrassing and expressing their essential corruption in the process.

          • Of course, if a fair recount proved that the results were wrong, great. But this is motivated by denial and the desire to delegitimatize the election of a figure Democrats don’t like, so the ends justify the means..

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              Do you think it’s going to be fair, remembering 2000? If it were just Jill I’d sneer and say it was not worth a response, but with Hillary joining? That’s a lot of money entering the process and Hillary has already shown she’s not going to fight fair.

              • Sure. And the numbers are daunting: no recount has every overturned anything close to the difference in any of the three states, and the Clinton camp admits that there has been no credible evidence of irregularity.

                Really, let them embarrass themselves and show their real values, or lack of them.

                • Steve-O-in-NJ

                  For possible use later:

                  I thought I was done with ranting about the election. I also thought everyone else was mostly done and the fire of outrage and self-pity that had followed had burned itself out. It probably didn’t hurt that most students had gone home for Thanksgiving.

                  Now Jill Stein, an extreme leftist who wasn’t even on the ballot in several states and had zero chance of winning, decides to demand a recount in not just one, but three states. Hillary pretends not to want to join in, but then says, well, ok, if we’re doing it anyway.

                  Keep a few things in mind:

                  -The deficits in all three states are higher than have ever been overcome by recount. This is a matter of tens of thousands, not a few hundred.

                  -There is no evidence of a hack, even the advocates of the recount say that.

                  – Obama himself doesn’t believe there was large scale rigging and says he believes in the results.

                  -The fact that Jill Stein raised so much money, so fast, reeks of either a scam or of super-wealthy donors trying to play kingmaker.

                  -Hillary herself said a month ago that Trump needed to accept the results of the election and to do otherwise would be frightening. Now she is doing the very thing she said would be frightening.

                  -We did this once before in 2000, over a lot fewer votes, in one state, by a candidate who had not already conceded against a President-elect whose transition was nowhere near as far underway. It changed nothing beyond dragging this nation to the brink of a constitutional crisis and allowing Democrats to say “selected, not elected” for four years.

                  -This smacks of desperation. A party that ran the second most despised candidate with the most baggage ever on a platform of name-calling and division saw their blue wall crack due to those very tactics. Now they want to try litigation and conspiracy theories instead.

                  -This smacks of disrespect for the process. The electoral college is clearly spelled out in the Constitution and it’s well known the presidency is not a direct popular vote. The processes for changing that are also clearly spelled out in the Constitution. You don’t get to change the rules in the middle of the game, leave alone after the game is played, because you don’t like the result.

                  -This, together with the ugly recent protests, smacks of proto-totalitarianism. Essentially one side is saying we will use the process as far as it takes us, then we will turn to litigation, rioting, low level terrorism, or whatever else it takes, but we will go all the way come hell, high water, or the people’s vote.

                  – This smacks of what I will call taffy ethics. Either the process is in danger from a challenge or it isn’t. Either the process is worthy of respect or it isn’t. Either a concession means something or it doesn’t. These holdings aren’t made of taffy. They only stretch and bend and twist so far. Twist them farther and they break.

                  – This smacks of an attempt to delegitimize the President-elect before he is even in office. Ironically, a lot of those pushing this effort are the same people who said that crossing, disrespecting, or opposing Obama was either racist or treason, and would have said the same about Hillary, except substitute “sexist” for “racist.” Either this kind of conduct is ok or it isn’t. It doesn’t become ok when the elected leader is of the party you oppose.

                  – Those who get behind this effort need to check their ethical compasses. It’s all well and good to say you’re the party of equality, the party of removing barriers, the party of lending a helping hand to those who need it, the party of making those doing well lend more of a hand, and so on. Does all that justify also becoming the party of protests that turn into riots, selective enforcement, working around the law when you can’t work within it, and ethics that bend and twist like plasticine? Does it justify calling for respect for the process and then disregarding the process, talking of unity and trading on division, calling for protection and practicing bullying? If you think it does, then I submit the party of blue is headed towards becoming a very different shade of red than the GOP.

        • Anyone who thinks Jill Stein is raising money for anything other than herself is a fool. Sure she’ll toss a modicum in the direction of a recount effort but ain’t no one gonna ask about the remainder.

    • Wayne B

      It certainly isn’t pissing off a lot of the ones in Miami who are celebrating in the streets. Until Raul goes, the Cubans in Cuba probably won’t say much about their relief at Castro’s death.

    • Julian Hung

      Regarding diplomacy; it applies within countries too. After Taiwan had its first democratic transfer of power from one party to another, a number of the newcomers paid their respects to Madame Chiang after she died (including the new president), despite the fact that many of them were former activists who had risked life and limb to oppose her family’s autocratic regime. Obviously, they did so largely to make the transition not any more tumultuous than it already was.

      Of course, this defense primarily applies to Obama and other government officials. Everyone else… I’ve got nothin’.

    • If you can make the statement: “Trump’s base may cheer at his candor, but he’s already won their vote.” then you ought to be able to the the minimum work to inverse that and understand that this statement: “I fail to see a positive argument for pissing off a lot of people when you could easily avoid doing so.” then really becomes a non-issue.

      You see, if you are only looking at the politics of this and, as a leftist, I imagine that’s probably the primary way you are looking at this, then you’d at least acknowledge that if the only purpose of Trump saying that is to boost his esteem among people who already like him, THEN it can also be said: “Who cares about the people who already DON’T like him, because nothing he says is going to change their opinion about him”.

      But this is nonsense. Politically speaking, for the section of Cubans in the middle on this topic, and I imagine I can fit in a hat all the Cubans who are neutral on the topic of Castro, then why should someone care about the “politics of it”. You see, Leftists in America seem to have forgotten that there are evil dictatorial people in this world and that it IS good to call them out on it and damn the consequences if it infuriates their supporters– Cuban-Americans and Leftist-Americans alike.

      • charlesgreen

        I was specifically talking about Cubans, not Cuban-Americans–those who are today resident in the country of Cuba. I fail to see how insulting their deceased leader, regardless of the objective validity of their opinion about him, is going to positively incline them to cooperate more with us. I would think that, as with most people, insults tend to be a turn off rather than a turn on.

        Am I missing something?

        • It’s an ethics conflict, no doubt about it. I come down this way: when being diplomatic means seeming to excuse oppression, human rights abuses, suppression of dissent, brutal discrimination against blacks and gays, and political executions, it has to yield.

          • charlesgreen

            And this is why you’d never be hired as a diplomat. I’d argue that diplomacy is the ART of ignoring all kinds of nice-to-haves to get one’s must-haves at the bargaining table.
            Pretty it ain’t, maybe not even ethical, but I suspect Diplomacy 101 has a few sections on stuffing your desire to lecture others.

            • Nonsense. That diplomats sometimes need to tread lightly on some topics in no way excludes times for diplomats to be blunt.

              This is silliness.

              • I was especially fond of Joe Biden shrugging off, “diplomatically”, China’s single child law while in China:

                “But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.”

            • charlesgreen said, “I’d argue that diplomacy is the ART of ignoring all kinds of nice-to-haves to get one’s must-haves at the bargaining table.”

              That’s some serious Liberal Magical Thinking right there.

              Diplomacy is not ignoring, diplomacy is the ART of using things as leverage to negotiate desired results. You do not ignore.

            • charlesgreen,
              The way you talk about a diplomat and diplomacy it’s like you think they are supposed to suck it up, be PC to everyone, and not be forceful.

              • Your two responses are we’ll put.

                It’s as though charles thinks the best a diplomat can do is come to the table with the language of surrender monkey snivelry.

                • Though I strongly suspect that if Castro wasn’t a darling of the American left, that charles wouldn’t be so concerned about the “lack” of diplomacy in Trump’s statement.

            • This was, of course, the objection to Reagan calling the USSR the “evil empire.” He was ethically and morally right to do so, and as it happened, it worked. Part of effective diplomacy is knowing when to be be diplomatic, and when not to.

        • They approve of their dictatorial leader and vicariously the system for which he stands?

          If yes, we want to ‘cooperate’ with them?

        • It isn’t an ‘insult’…

          And my commentary applies to Cubans as well as Cuban-Americans.

  2. Rick M.

    Trump’s approach was excellent. We were in Cuba last year and what amazed me was the undercurrent against Castro. I was surprised at the worship status of Che. By the way the Che memorial was spectacular.

    • THE Bill

      One of the smartest things Castro ever did was getting Che to go fight someplace else. It removed Che as a threat to his leadership and he knew eventually Che would get killed and he could use him as a martyr to inspire the “revolution”.

  3. Phlinn

    I’m leaning towards ethical. Honesty is better than false kindness, and I’ve always questioned the ethics of lying about the dead to make them seem better than they really are.

  4. I would say that his words were irresponsible, imprudent but not necessarily *unethical* in themselves, unless one extends ethical considerations to the effect such words may have on listeners and how this will impact his effectiveness in Latin America. He should have waited a few days out of respect for the dead.

    I was reading the NYTs comments section under the Castro articles and the dozens of American apologists for Castro’s Cuba. It (naturally) made me angry to be made aware, again, just how confused the Progressive Liberal ex-Revolutionary Left is and how ideology keeps one from being able to reason soundly.

    The rest of his comments seems factually correct and therefor accurate and ethical as such. I am sort of impressed by Trump’s boldness in speaking his mind and, I am pretty sure, that boldness will in the long run do effective *good*.

    But that slithering snake (just kidding) Obama’s comments indicates, to me, is how language can be abused. What did he say? Whatever you wish to pin on it.

    I will also wager that the American Power Structure (if one can speak of it like that) knew for some times that Castro’s days were numbered and Obama’s policy toward Cuba is a part of a general US Government policy which will also be expressed now through Trump’s policies. I think that there may be more cohesive planning than one assumes. But then who knows?

  5. Andrew Wakeling

    Don’t your favoured words (Atticus Finch in Mockingbird) have some relevance here?. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Was Castro a complete monster?. If there is an ‘ethical duty’ at the funeral it should surely be to try to understand ……. and even to learn.

    • Atticus got a lot of flack for that statement given the context of the book as opposed to the the movie. In the book, Atticus was explaining how Klan members could still be good people. They can’t. Similarly, a dictator who imprisons, enslaves and kills his own people can be judged inhuman entirely objectively. It doesn’t matter why he murdered political prisoners. There is no ethical justification.

      • Jack writes: “In the book, Atticus was explaining how Klan members could still be good people. They can’t. Similarly, a dictator who imprisons, enslaves and kills his own people can be judged inhuman entirely objectively. It doesn’t matter why he murdered political prisoners. There is no ethical justification.”

        We foreingers are often impressed by the American inability to assess, morally and ethically, their own ‘objective’ actions, but show such strength in recognizing and condemning the objective evils of others. I know that NC is a commie but I find that his tabulations are somewhat near to correct. He mentions here the ‘war crimes’ committed against Cuba (ie people) in order to harm Castro and his government. Is that ethical? What of the other instances? Do you dismiss all of it? Or should there be or have been an ethical reckoning? (My solution to this is to accept a certain amount, usually proportional to power, of evil).

        • Wayne B

          Oh no. Not Noam Chomsky! You seriously compare Eisenhower, Ford or even Jimmy Carter to Fidel Castro?

          • What I illustrated is not support for Noam Chomsky, who can be critiqued on many levels, but rather a blind spot for Americans generally. They can so clearly and easily see the sins of the other but they have almost an incapability of seeing their own sins. I pulled out this example only because it was easy (actually I was looking at some other YouTube presentations and this one popped up). *You* can inflict astounding suffering on others, perhaps *justified*, perhaps not, and never have to 1) turn to look at it and 2) deal with it at an ethical level.

            This came up because Jack proposed that a Klan memeber cannot, by definition, be a ‘good person’ because of what he does. Or is it only because of what he thinks and believes? I therefor called to mind many many instances of outrightly illegal aggression on the part of America in as it defended its interests or its values, and I suggested that the more powerful the entity, the more likely that it will commit injustices. And I also implied that it would remain blind to them. Now, I KNOW that this is the case when it pertains to giant State power. In 300,000 years of counter-debate you would not be able to convince me otherwise. And because this is so the larger question is How do we view that? How do we deal with it at an ethical level?

            I am pretty convinced — and I have examined the evidence to the degree that I am able to — that in pursuit of its anti-Castro and ant-Communist policies that the US engaged in overtly illegal activity against Cuba’s people, not against Castro (though this may have been done too). That is, if one takes international law seriously. If this is so it indicates a sticky and problematic area when one — someone, a person — is considering larger political events.

            I assume that you, Wayne B, have little knowledge nor any interested at all in the affairs of your country in the politics of the hemisphere and I would imagine that you are, in this sense, not so much an apologist for anything that had been done as one who simply does not know what had been done! But you see my position is unique in this sense: I KNOW what was done, I know it was often *criminal* (vis-a-vis international laws) and I SUPPORT it because it effectively destroyed communism and the evils of its greater spread within the hemisphere.

            You see? In order to arrive at that point I have to have performed an ethical operation and manouevre as it were. If 250,000 people had to be killed, tortured, dropped half dead out of helicopters, imprisoned in moldy basements in military prisons and then buried in hidden graves by the paramilitarists of the Souther Cone alone, I am forced to see this as the *good* and *defensible* use of violence and terror to avoid a greater evil.

            And I am also aware that right now some lines are being drawn, or some old lines are being redrawn, which have to do with civil conflicts in America itself and, as always, it is POWER that is there functioning. And of course I have no other option but to consider and understand issues of power in real terms. Not how it plays out abstractly but how it plays out on the ground, in real terms.

            • Wayne B

              I stand by what I said Alizia. You obviously are completely unaware of my background which includes a B.A. in History from San Diego State University. I have in my library books on most of 20th century U.S. presidents including obscure ones such as Calvin Coolidge as well as 21st century presidents and I am well read on incidents such as the Bay of Pigs, which JFK carried out reluctantly after Castro imprisoned 100,000 anti-Castro Cubans and subjected them to execution, torture, and confiscation of all their property. You have a rather dark view of U.S. foreign policy which seems to overlook the evil that tyrants like Castro and Ho Chi Minh perpetrated on their people. I wonder why that is.

              • The answer to your question is not so much that I have a particularly dark view of the US itself but rather that I think it is a more honest position, and thus potentially more ethical, to be able to see things in a truthful and accurate light. My impression is that many Americans, especially those who have a patriotic outlook, have something like an internal structure that channels their views in such a way that they see the politics of their nation in an ever-golden light. And I think this is a special feature of Americanism which is a unique and distinct -ism.

                I fully agree that Castro’s polcies were wicked and I did not say that I felt that the invasion was unwarranted, nor am I certain it would have been unethical, though I am reasoably certain that it would have been illegal according to international law. And this is some part of my point: It is obvious then that ‘to obey the law’ is not the object. The object is to defeat an enemy. Especially when it is a communist enemy like Castro. So, as I have mulled over the issues in my review of Latin American history generally, I am fairly sure that I am right in understanding that the US carried on in quasi-legal and overtly illegal ways to undermine, subvert and challenge all sorts of popular Marxian-inspired movements all throughout the hemisphere. And many people were targeted for assassination and many were killed. And support and aid was given to those capable of opposing communistic dictatorship of a sort similar to Cuba in the hemisphere. In the long run, through I do say this with a caveat or two, this was for the best. But to define that *best* is of course some part of the problem.

                Therefor, I am alluding to and speaking about more realistic concerns and issues than you appear to be, and I am also linking it to what is now developing within the American polity, and what is developing is a civil strife which has racialist tones, and it takes on a similar form, an acho if you will, of established power that works to overturn popular power and populist sentiment which also happens to get *infected* (as it seems to happen) with Marxist political notions. There you have your Black Lives Matter movement. And there you have many manifestations of popular radicalism which have been rioting. It is not that they must be tolerated, they must in fact be destroyed.

                So you see I just seem to regard POWER in a different way than you. I do not say and I am not saying that this does not produce conflicts both in myself and in my views. In fact I rather admit it. But I do think that I am a couple of steps ahead of many insofar as I am not ‘mystified’ by artificial and false constructs of ‘political righteousness’ and, as I have often mentioned, the obeisances offered to the American civil religious forms.

                You make a mistake in thinking that I somehow do not *support* the US in its various designs and goals. I live in a country where I see first hand how aspects of popular power have had to be destroyed through pure and radical violence in order to eliminate a greater threat, and this was overseen in many senses by the US and its internal partners (I live now in Colombia). It just so happens that I recognize that the housing of that greater threat is, in a very real sense, within popular power.

                This may be a contradiction for you with your fantasies of ‘democracy’ and such (the US is not really or not quite a democracy but rather a plutocracy which observes some democratic traditions, is how it is described generally) but I see straight power-principles in operation that establish parameters often through intense and even unreal levels of violence. Then, within the space provided, all sorts of civic forms flourish. But the outside circle is, of course, sheer and absolute violence. If one does not understand this, one makes a mistake. (In my view of course).

                • Wayne B

                  Well in the USA we do have the Bill of Rights which in the past have protected freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, the right to trial by jury (unlike Castro’s Cuba where dissidents were summarily executed), freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly. Would you prefer to live in China where your peaceful protests result in a Tiananmen Square episode, or Mexico where the same thing happened in 1968. In the military our troops have to follow rules of engagement to determine “hostile intent” which has resulted in many of them being killed as it is difficult to determine who is a terrorist vs. a harmless civilian. We have never been a colonial power unlike Britain, France, Germany, Italy and so on.

  6. Isaac

    If Trump makes a statement this…blunt…recognizing the Armenian genocide, I might buy a Make America Great hat…okay…maybe a bumper sticker…okay probably not even that. But it would make my day. Do it, Trump.

  7. Other Bill

    “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him” is cowardly an evasive. A-fucking-men. And it’s evasive at best. I read it more likely as disgustingly fawning.

    As I said to a Cuban refugee buddy in Miami regarding Fidel’s death; “It’s a start.” A near sociopath, bi-polar nutjob whose murderous and adored henchman Che Guevara was a complete sociopath.

  8. It sounds like Trump and many others have taken the 2 A. Sicilian Ethics, or “He had it coming” approach.

    This is not war, no one is forcing anyone to shed a tear for Castro the man, but the man didn’t deserve it; furthermore, even a tyrant has family that loves’em. What Castro actually “deserved” was to be put on trial for alleged offences/crimes against his people.

    Zoltar has “spoken”.

  9. What was FDR’s statement in Hitler’s death?

  10. This almost brought tears to my eyes, especially when I consider the two years of torture my father in law suffered in Cuba before escaping to this country, and without taking a single hand out, started a successful business.

    From Justin Trudeau:

    “It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President. “Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.
    “While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognised his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.
    “I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.
    “On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”

    At least President Obama’s nonsensical equivocation gives us nothing. Trudeau gives us the Big Lie. The whole thing makes me quite despondent.

  11. Rick M.

    I believe the quote for Bill in Kill Bill II summarizes Castro: “I’m calling you a killer. A natural born killer. You always have been, and you always will be.”

  12. Julian Hung

    I can understand the relative affection a lot of Latin Americans hold for Castro, as given the region’s woeful history of leadership, one could make a defensible case for him being the least worst of a bad, bad bunch (it’s also why the persistent pro-Stalin nostalgia in Russia becomes a lot less surprising when you consider the overall quality of *that* nation’s historical leadership).

    Speaking as a Westerner, though, we *should* have higher standards than that for admirable leadership, though both sides of the political aisle seem to routinely flunk that particular test (though a lot of the rank-and-file right at least seem to be better able to admit that their favored despots *are* bad, just less so). For a group that complains all the time about the West not living up to their standards, the left needs to take a look at their own, as if that wasn’t already clear. (Of course, it doesn’t help that the anti-communist left doesn’t really have an easily identifiable common enemy to rally against anymore.)

  13. Take mental note of everyone who is speaking positively of Castro or even speaking in guarded praise of him…they are the subtle quiet threats to our free republic. They are the ones who will contently allow that kind of monster at the helm of our nation someday.

    Anyone NOT condemning him for what he was troubles me.

  14. luckyesteeyoreman

    I am not very good at praising with faint damns, but here goes, anyway: I just wish Fidel had stuck with playing baseball, and later, with coaching and managing in baseball. His taking of that course surely would have resulted in a better world for us all.

    I also thank God that Billy Martin never went into politics.

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