Tuesday, February 17, 2009

President for Life?

News sources in Caracas reported on President’s Day that Hugo Chávez won a referendum allowing the socialist leader to continue running for president of Venezuela indefinitely. He immediately announced plans to run for another six year term in 2013.

”The gates to the future have been opened wide,” said an emotional Mr Chávez from the balcony of the presidential palace, as a throng of ecstatic followers chanted in unison, ”Hey, ho, Chávez won’t go”.

Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit that the prospect of Chávez–or anyone–as ruler for life is a scarey proposition.

What perfect reason to celebrate George Washington’s birthday this coming Sunday. After defeating the mightiest empire on earth, when he might have seized the reins of power permanently, General Washington retired to private life as a Virginia planter.

And after being elected to two four-year terms as President, the national hero voluntarily stepped down to transfer the office to his duly elected successor, establishing a precedent for presidential term limits that would remain in place till the time of Franklin Roosevelt and eventually be codified in 1947 in the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

What a touchingly patriotic spectacle to see George Bush last month, climbing aboard a Marine helicopter to head back to Texas as Barack Obama moved gracefully to occupy the White House. Americans have been transferring power peacefully and democratically for over two centuries, a tradition that dates back to the father of our country.

It’s a lasting lesson for Hugo Chávez and the rest of the world, and a reason to celebrate George Washington on the 277th anniversary of his birth.


Robin Edgar said...

"Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit that the prospect of Chávez–or anyone–as ruler for life is a scarey proposition."

Interestingly enough an anonymous commenter recently posted an unsubstantiated rumor to the effect that UUA Moderator Gini Courter is seeking to modify UUA bylaws in order to become "permanent moderator without term limits". I personally find this rumor hard to believe, albeit not entirely impossible to believe. . . so maybe some concerned U*Us should enter into a free and responsible search for just how much, or how little, truth this rumor is founded upon.

BTW How long has Kathleen Montgomery been the Executive Vice-President of the UUA, and to what extent, if any, is she a Cheney-esque "power behind the throne" at 25 Beacon Street?

Robin Edgar said...

One more thing. . .

Regardless of what the answers to my previous comments and questions may be, it would appear that the greater U*U World is not completely free from "Unitarian Church" leaders who manage to obtain the title "Life President". . . Sometimes* I *really* do wonder about what passes for "democracy" in the U*U World.

* Make that most of the time. . .

Robin Edgar said...

Thanks for posting those comments Rev. Kowalski. You might want to adjust your blog settings so that the text color of links is not the same as the brown background. Did you know that the spirit of Thomas Paine has joined *My* RevolU*Ution? ;-)


Robin Edgar