Who did you vote for at the last election? And why?
George W Bush and Tony Blair are, at least statistically, examples of successful politicians. Both have persuaded their electorate they are worthy of additional terms in office. Despite the Iraq war, problems at home, and symptoms of a serious reduction in street-cred, Tony managed three, and George achieved his maximum, two terms in office.
Why do electorates re-elect leaders even when their abilities deride individual personae?
Are we, in fact, seeking a new Messiah?
The Bible is rife with tales of false Messiahs, yet the Jews of old were certain that one would arise to solve all their problems, drive out the oppressors, and return them to the good times.
Not that they ever had any good times. Again, the Bible describes the evolution of Jewry as fraught with misery, slavery, and abjection. But, as the saying goes: one can live in hope, even if one dies in despair.
When Jesus of Nazareth shuffled off this mortal coil – his manner of doing so is debated – about AD 32, the Jews hope for a Messiah took a turn for the worse, but the arrival of Christianity around the turn of the first century raised hopes of a new beginning, a fresh world order. Two thousand years later we’re all still waiting, with little hope that the tide will turn for the better in anything approaching the near future. Even though Christians insist on going through the motions every Sunday, and fundamentalist preachers keep raising hopes with tales of Armageddon just around the corner, it has to be obvious to all but the insanely optimistic that this two thousand year old Messiah isn’t showing much enthusiasm for getting off his divine backside and sorting us out once and for all.
In a nutshell: don’t hold your breath.
Are we then, searching for substitutes?
Like sheep milling around the hillside while the wolves grow ever bolder, we are desperate for a leader. As the 21st century barely gets itself into second gear, our lives seems to be falling apart. The world order is, once again, crumbling before our eyes. Global warming threatens those of us the mad Islamists don’t get first. The planet is degenerating into conflict wherever we turn – Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Chechnya, the Balkans, are all hotbeds of unrest. China and India are threatening to overwhelm us economically, if not militarily. How long can our safe, secure, western standard of living continue to resist the bombardment from these external sources?
Like the Jews of old, we are desperate for a new Messiah. One who will lead us out of the chaos and disorder, to a new and fertile promised land.
Who do we choose for this task?
George W Bush and Tony Blair.
What an utterly sad lot we are.
Filed under: Poor judges