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Slade Gorton
Political leader

Slade Gorton

A former U.S. Senator and Washington State Attorney General, Slade Gorton served on the 9/11 Commission.

Democracy will be met

Question: Put yourself in the shoes of an autocratic Middle Eastern leader: Let peaceful protests continue and you could easily wind up out of power, like Egypt's Mubarak. Or get tough with the protests and you'll certainly lose popular and international support. What's the best strategy for holding onto power without harming the country?

What kind of Middle East leader? An ayatollah or a Gaddafi will hold onto power because he is ruthless enough to shoot his own people in the streets in the name of a real ideology, perverted as it may be. The corrupt, non-ideolgical "leaders" like Mubarak who lack the ruthlessness to kill their own people, or whose armies will refuse to do so, will fall. And then there is the middle ground of quasi-legitimate leaders, like those in Jordan and Morocco for whom there is genuine support from a majority of their cititzens. They will not fall because that majority believes, probably correctly, that a change will not be beneficial. But none can hold on to power by force alone without harming the country they rule, and everywhere the hunger for genuine democracy is real and will eventually be met.

By Slade Gorton

 |  February 22, 2011; 10:03 AM ET
Category:  Crisis leadership , Political leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: The tumor in this nation's belly | Next: Tough it out


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i would wipe out the indigenous population and place the remnants of them on reservations... then i would enslave whatever "races" required to build monuments to the great racists of my race... then i would free the slaves except abide by policies that keep them - except for a token few - in obviously subservient positions (of course the tokens would serve my agenda - which i and my media would never refer to as "racist"...)...

I would create the illusion of "equal protection" under law - except that “When the custody of children [or anything else I decide...] is the question … the best interest of the children [or some other interest of my choosing...] {shall be} the paramount fact. [Constitutional and inalienable] rights of father and mother [or whatever class of citizens i declare...] sink into insignificance before that.” Kartman v. Kartman, 163 Md. 19, 22,161 A. 269 (1932) - the names of the cases would be subject to the victims that come before my court...

in short, i would run my nation so that it appears to provide "freedom", balance of political powers, and "justice" except that only the wealthy of my race would enjoy freedom - so long as they 'served both to discriminate against ethnic minorities and to maintain advantages and benefits for the members of my race.'

I would do what "white" Americans do!

I would ensure that "black" women and girls feel better about themselves whenever they abandon loving the natural texture of thier own hair and instead straighten it to appear more "white" American - like the First Lady and her children: Sasha and Malia (all in the best interest of the children of course)


Posted by: stephendavid2002 | February 27, 2011 1:07 PM
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those "who lack the ruthlessness to kill their own people, or whose armies will refuse to do so, will fall." We don't have to worry about the US falling - because as sure as a Black President will discourage his black children from experiencing the free and natural love and affection the children would have for the natural texture of their own hair, any President - Black, Asian, or White - would not "lack the ruthlessness to kill their own people"... nor would the army refuse to do so.

we have that great policy of racism to ensure white supremacist style democracy works - at least for the wealthy "whites".


"What is racism?

Racism is racial prejudice that has been incorporated into the activities and procedures of major institutions, corporations, social systems (such as those related to housing, education, and health), and other arenas of major social activity (such as politics, the media, finance, and banking). Racism serves both to discriminate against ethnic minorities and to maintain advantages and benefits for White Americans."

"...Psychologists have found that we put energy into various mechanisms that help us maintain our view of the world. For example, we can seek out and pay attention to information that supports our views. Evidence suggests that the More strongly we hold a stereotype, the more we tend to remember confirming information about the group. There is a kind of circular process here: For example, the more we believe stereotypes about gay men being effeminate, the more likely we will remember incidents which seem to support these views. We also discount or rationalize information that is contradictory to our beliefs. The Black person who is intelligent and articulate, the gay man who is not effeminate, or the Jewish person who is not pushy become exceptions to the rule, but the rule remains. And we may look more closely for grammatical mistakes in the Black person=s speech than in a White person=s; or that the Jewish person is especially clever in working his or her exploitive influence behind our back..."

"...the new racism describes a more elusive, political, almost abstract language of race which avoids blatantly negative racist statements in favor of political codewords and symbols. This new racism is partly based on a view of racial discrimination as being outdated and puts the onus of achievement and equality on African Americans and other ethnic minority people. If African Americans would, for example, stop clamoring for special treatment and simply work harder, they could achieve the American Dream. The idea is that it is African Americans= own deficiencies B whether they be greed, laziness, violence, and so on B that are the cause of their problems, not the history of slavery, segregation, discrimination, prejudice, and racism which is assumed to have come to an end...."
Excerpts from what was Written by ..., PhD
At the request of the American Psychological Association

Posted by: stephendavid2002 | February 27, 2011 1:05 PM
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Dear Mr. Gorton, a concise piece that sums up my viewpoint as well. It seems that every autocratic leader will continue to reach decision points at which his/her own personal aims (control most likely) come in conflict with acting for the best interest of the nation. Each minute violation may cause a summation and culminating point for the leader. You seem to suggest that these culmination points will force the autocratic leader into one of two categories, with the middle-ground being unsustainable. I believe this is probably the case, with relatively large deviation ranges.

To answer the question posed then, without a doubt catering to the people is the method of holding on to power while promoting the best interest of the country. This would involve addressing the concerns of the population (forums, etc), and incorporating them into policy/action. A more temporary measure would be to incorporate figureheads (that represent the discontent group) into government positions (as also suggested by panelist Mr. Goodwin).

Posted by: M_Lindsay_10 | February 25, 2011 6:03 AM
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