Recently, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for President of the US, was having trouble selecting the name of a current world leader he respects. I’ve noticed The Weekly Sift has decided to cut Gary Johnson some slack, and so have I.
“I was ready to ridicule him over this, when I noticed that I can’t list a lot of world leaders either. What’s the name of the British woman who came into office after Brexit? Who’s leading France? Spain? Italy? India? China? Iran? Iraq? Anywhere in Africa? Who’s heads the junta that took over Egypt a few years ago? I’d have to look all that up.”
Or for that matter, even if you were looking at the list of heads of government, how many would you say you wanted to emulate?
Here’s the ones I recognized well enough to form an opinion.
Australia: Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull. Arthur@AmeriNZ seemed lukewarm about him, so I’m going by that
Bolivia: President – Evo Morales. His leftist government is becoming more authoritarian
Chile: President – Michelle Bachelet. Corruption scandal in the current term.
China: General Secretary of the Communist Party – Xi Jinping. It’s China; Johnson can’t name him.
Cuba: First Secretary of the Communist Party – Raúl Castro. Despite the recent opening of the island, would YOU want to say him?
Egypt: President – Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The experiment in democracy is about over.
France -François Hollande. I have no feel about what I think of him yet.
Israel: Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu. I’ve had differing opinions. Subsequent to the Johnson incident, a new Israeli settlement plan, for instance.
New Zealand: Prime Minister – John Key. Arthur dislikes him, which is good enough for me.
Nicaragua: President – Daniel Ortega. He’s back, and problematic.
North Korea: Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea – Kim Jong-un. Nuff said.
Pakistan: Prime Minister – Nawaz Sharif. Our sometimes ally.
Russia: President – Vladimir Putin. If Trump admires him, Johnson could hardly echo that.
South Africa: President – Jacob Zuma. Increasingly more opulent spending.
Syria: President – Bashar al-Assad. Hundreds of thousands killed in a civil war.
Turkey: President – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Another “ally,” who survived a coup.
United Kingdom: Prime Minister – Theresa May. Too new to tell
Zimbabwe: President – Robert Mugabe. “The world’s oldest and one of the longest-serving Head of State. His 36-year rule has been characterized by gross human rights violations; resulting in him joining the world list of dictators.”
So who to pick?
Myanmar: State Counsellor – Aung San Suu Kyi. Not exactly the head of state, but one is hopeful about her influence in making the country a bit more democratic.
Canada: Justin Trudeau. An easy choice, I thought, but he’s pretty new too.
Vatican City: Sovereign – Pope Francis. This would have been an inspired pick.
Liberia: President – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (pictured). She’s another Nobel Prize winner, trying to stabilize her oft-war-torn country.
Germany: Chancellor – Angela Merkel. The obvious choice, picked by Clinton when she was asked. Last year’s TIME Person of the Year.
Jordan: King – Abdullah II – saw him on 60 Minutes. We should be spending him oodles more money to help with the thousands of refugees he’s taken in. He understands the geopolitical situation better than anyone in the Middle East, in my view.
But that’s a mere half dozen out of a couple hundred unless you wanted to throw in a few figureheads such as Queen Elizabeth II. Who’d be YOUR pick?
I should note that, for the record, I have no intention of voting for Gary Johnson.