COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | ROGER BROWN

Rock star presidents and political correctness

Now that the United Kingdom, indeed the world, has lost a woman who apologized for nothing, we are left to contemplate a leader who apologizes for everything.

We get hints when the travel of the pendulum approaches an extreme. A recent clue was the president's apology to California Attorney General Kamala Harris after he complimented her appearance. From this we know that culture and language are upside down. Actually, he owes an apology to all the other attorneys general who, by inference, one must conclude Obama thinks are ugly.

We must not let reporting such trivialities on a slow news day overshadow the more important sign it portends.

The problem with one who wants to be the Politically Correct President is that he is only correct when politics are involved. Thankfully, politics constitute a minority of life. That fact imposes on a true leader the necessity of knowing what is more generally correct.

A statesman is one who knows the right thing to do and does it, politics be damned. We haven't seen that since Reagan fired all the air-traffic controllers and Thatcher closed the mines.

The rise of rock stars matches a decline in statesmanship. So assigning celebrity where it is due, Obama becomes the Lindsay Lohan President. To be fair, the guy he replaced was the Inspector Clouseau President.

Rock star presidents please their public by flogging the notion of fairness. Clouseau awarded fairness to Haliburton; Lohan gives cellphones to people on welfare. The forest missing in those trees is that both forms of largesse can be reliably counted on to bankrupt a nation.

If Lucrezia Borgia gets herself elected as the next president, as she so desperately wishes, there is no telling in four years to whom she will apologize and for what.

A low point equivalent to where we are now is the end of medieval times. Thinking then was dominated by myths and shibboleths of theocracy. Up was down, the sun revolved around the Earth and so forth. All because God said so, or at least that is what we were told by the rock star clergy of the time.

The Enlightenment — scientific secularism that lead us out of the darkness — was as welcome then as rational thinking will be when we return to it at the end of the present era. Just as Galileo and Copernicus were the heretics in their day, Ron and Rand Paul are now. History vindicates those with vision, clear thinking and the ability to see what is correct in the broadest sense for the longest time.

Political correctness goes hand-in-hand with the politics of need. Both can dominate only in times of extreme irrationality. Universal correctness dictates that needs are met only by free competitive production. The fairness demagogues can survive only until competition is destroyed and all production stops.

Then, suddenly, we go from meeting everyone's needs to meeting the needs of none. Only when "earn" replaces "need" as the basis for reward will the pendulum reverse its present direction.

It is great leaders to whom we owe an apology. We should have done better.

Until we return to leaders like Maggie and Ronnie, the Earth is flat.

Brown is an investor and freelance writer residing in Alpine.

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