Is it possible to discuss the resignation of a dictator, like Fidel Castro, and not mention that he was, indeed, a dictator?
Apparently . . . as Tom Palmer of the Cato Institute noted on February 19, the day of the announcement. The newspaper stories that I read were carefully worded to exclude such a blunt term.
But we shouldnâ€™t forget that Castro maintained power by rejecting democratic elections. And that practice gains for him the Longest Stay In Office Award.
Thutmose III may have ruled Egypt for four years longer, but hey: at least 20 years of that time he shared the throne with his false-beard wearing mother, Hatshepsut.
Why bring up Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaohs? Because Castro behaved more like a Pharaoh than a modern â€œEl Presidente.â€ He did not merely preside over a democratically elected body â€” thatâ€™s where the term â€œpresidentâ€ comes from, â€œpresiderâ€ â€” he also ruled the whole country without much sense of any limits.
The only term limit Fidel Castro honored was that of human frailty, I guess. To him, modern, limited-government rules like term limits made no sense. If you want to get something done, why let little things like legality and the liberties of citizens get in the way?
There are a lot of people with the same attitude. You hear it in the strangest places. Oddly, you read it in the newspapers, in their unwillingness to use a term like â€œdictator.â€
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.