November 6, 2008

Barack Obama, Willie Stark, and Populism

I decided to watch All the King's Men (1949) again, which chronicles the rise and fall of Willie Stark. If you haven't had a chance to read the book or watch the film (not this one), then I highly recommend. Aside from the obvious parallels between Stark and Obama (both ran on a slightly populist platforms, both started off as "innocent" lawyers outside of politics, both believe in wealth redistribution to some degree), the only thing I want to point out is that people should be wary of politicians, especially those who are insanely popular. I don't think Obama will end up like Willie Stark, but if a politician becomes too popular, we may "neglect" to criticize him. History or not, he is the leader of our nation, and he should be held accountable for all that he does (good or bad). He is a human being like the rest of us, so always keep a degree of skepticism about him. It's the only reasonable way to judge a person.

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