Gary Johnson's inability to answer the question "Who's your favorite leader" got me thinking about my choice, and the reality that there is such a limited collection of choices, in the world or the USA.
Libertarian third party candidate Gary Johnson may have severely damaged his position with a second lapse in knowledge. He recently had no clue what the Syrian city Aleppo was when Mike Barnicle asked him about it on Morning Joe. "What is a leppo?" Johnson replied. That was bad and required damage control.
Then he did it again, calling it an Aleppo moment. MSNBC's Chris Matthews asked Gary Johnson and his running mate Bill Weld a series of questions, including "who is your favorite foreign leader, someone you look up to and respect, any leader in the world. Johnson couldn't do it. He could only think of dead Shimon Peres, or "the former president of Mexico," no-one alive.
Two major brain lapses or blatant ignorance episodes could do Johnson in, not that he ever had a chance, but he was doing better than in the past.
But his question got me thinking. Who's my favorite foreign leader. Evo Morales quickly came to mind, then Jeremy Corbyn and Pope Francis. I posted a link to the story on Facebook and a few people suggested Justin Trudeau.
That got me thinking about how it's sad that there are so few international leaders to actually admire. I blame the USA, which sets the example. And the crooked, corruptible voting system we have allows rigged elections which produce establishment/corporate friendly candidates like Bush, Obama, Clinton and 97% of the reps in the House and Senate.
Who are your favorites and why are they your favorites?
Unfortunately, we live in a world where more and more, people are electing neoliberal, neocon and even fascist leaders. Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Finance minister wrote about this challenge at Project-Syndicate.org:
"One bloc represents the old troika of liberalization, globalization, and financialization. It may still be in power, but its stock is falling fast, as David Cameron, Europe's social democrats, Hillary Clinton, the European Commission, and even Greece's post-capitulation Syriza government can attest.
Trump, Le Pen, Britain's right-wing Brexiteers, Poland's and Hungary's illiberal governments, and Russian President Vladimir Putin are forming the second bloc. Theirs is a nationalist international -- a classic creature of a deflationary period -- united by contempt for liberal democracy and the ability to mobilize those who would crush it.
The clash between these two blocs is both real and misleading. Clinton vs. Trump constitutes a genuine battle, for example, as does the European Union vs. the Brexiteers; but the combatants are accomplices, not foes, in perpetuating an endless loop of mutual reinforcement, with each side defined by -- and mobilizing its supporters on the basis of -- what it opposes.