The death of a prominent politician and world leader always brings glowing remembrances of his/her most crowning moments and the deceased politician often takes on a "god like" (or Ala like if you prefer) image. Whether the leader was a good leader, bad leader, honorable or dishonorable person, the eulogies almost always ignore facts and highlight any and all positive events in their life. This is true regardless of the political leaders actual political position or party affliation while serving. (Hitler is the obvious exception.)
The recent death of Nelson Mandela, the man credited with ending apartheid in South Africa, is no exception. The NY Times did an article that provides (surprisingly since it is the NY Times) a balanced view of Mandela's political reign that is worth a read.
The insight this provides can be seen if, as you read the article, you remember last months articles about President Kennedy's untimely death at the hands of an assassin in Dallas in 1963. By most observers and accurate historians John F. Kennedy was a mediocre president, whose legacy, were it not for the way he died and the orchestrated efforts by his family in concert with the willing media, would have been but a footnote in history. His sexual escapades while married put him in the category of sleaze ball adulterer and make Bill Clinton's frolics look benign. Yet his untimely death ushered in the era of Camelot, with almost mythical remembrances of him and his family that virtually guaranteed the election of every Kennedy who ran for office over the next 50 years.
Makes you wonder what the eulogies of George H. W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama look like in the next 50 years! Do not be surprised!
I'm just sayin!
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