… who worry me, but the good guys.
People who are obviously evil don’t last long. Dictators like Hitler or Stalin may have a short run, but in the end they are removed from power.
What I fear more are the self-righteous, those sure their cause is just, and apparently unable to understand why anyone wouldn’t see things the same way.
The preceding words are from an unfinished post I started more than a year ago. I kept meaning to go back and finish the thought, to expand on the dangers of leaders who become so fixated on their agenda that they fail to consider other options. In the end I have decided to just leave it more or less the way it came out.
As the world confronts the evil that Vladimir Putin has unleashed on Ukraine and wonders how to stop it, the truth of my words is questionable. Putin, after all, has been ruling Russia for 23 years so far (not always as president), and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. His ruthlessness means there is no effective opposition within his own country, and it is only now that the world is becoming concerned with his actions. Putin’s is not a short run.
Yet, when you listen to his words, you hear the voice of a man with tunnel vision. Only his interpretation of events is true. Though he wouldn’t use the phrase, everything else is “fake news.”
I think I’m coming to the realization that it isn’t a matter of “bad” or “good” guys in many situations. It ia so much more than that.
There’s good and evil to be sure, but there is also worldview and self-righteous tunnel vision. People who commit evil acts as their default may also at times do good things. People who are basically good can commit evil – sometimes unwittingly.
Maybe that’s the difference. Assuming Vladimir Putin is rational, he knows that some of his actions are wrong, yet he persists in them. His desired end justifies any means.
All too often well-meaning leaders cut corners and fail to live up to their owns standards because they too have an end that in their mind justifies the means.
As citizens we need to be vigilant, and hold our leaders accountable. We also need to work harder to find leaders who will adhere to the highest standards, both their own and their people’s.
If we can do that, maybe someday soon all we will have to worry about is the bad guys.