Watching the Olympics

Olympics coverage is headlining Syrian refugees sponsored by Germany. You are entitled to feel good only if you buy in. I checked the news and Germany is now suffering refugee fatigue … US should be helping them. Political ad (Clinton’s) following the refugee story featured plan to punish US firms for operating overseas. Make America great (brave, confident, generous) again.

A relevant side note: Brazil is a troubled country specifically because it embraced a genuinely inspirational politician who promised equity and prosperity through government action. I think Lula probably was sincere about his intentions. But the reality of how this works out in human practice intervened: corruption in his and his successor administrations being revealed now.

Benazir Bhutto, before her assassination, gave an explanation that for me turned on the light in the dark room of the mind of political corruption. What she said was that accumulation of wealth is necessary (i.e., by any means necessary) for a social reformer to obtain the power required to accomplish any meaningful reform. I’m guessing people wiser than me have long known this very rational thought process is present in the pattern observed by Lord Acton. (His power-corrupts quote is wonderful but look at more here: http://www.acton.org/research/lord-acton-quote-archive.)

Right now to get power our competing leaders are using their money to appeal to Americans’ worst fears and lowest instincts, even as the refugee crisis offers a supremely telegenic no-brainer of how to return to our highest aspirations, actually get great again.

Don’t follow leaders (especially now), watch the parking meters (and I guess Olympic coverage).