Beware the tyrants

Dear Editor,

Twenty-first century tyrants all over the world are more powerful than those notables of antiquity and because those modern tyrants have the use of advanced technologies with which to communicate with and deceive a greater percentage of their people.

Deceived people however are not always gullible or ignorant; they are often generous of spirit and charitable toward their leader; for even if he is constantly being accused of wrongdoing, they sincerly support him for what they perceive to be his positive accomplishment.

To undecided voters, those whose moral conscience is being pulled in two directions, I submit the following list of traits and behaviors common to tyrants from all periods, and in the hope such voters come to a reasoned conclusion that allows them to cast their ballot with confidence.

The following points are common to all tyrants:

¯ Tyrants are men of extraordinary ability who are unable to realize their potential for good because they are misled by their own superegos.

¯ A tyrant is generally fond of other tyrants; he loves the exchange of flattery they provde each other, for they are not rivals. He even invites other tyrants to his table for he has more to gain from this kind of friendship than from allies who require accountability.

¯ A tyrant denigrates those who possess virtues he lacks, for such people are a challenge to his power. He is well aware of the concepts of fair play, of honesty, of moral integrity, of justice, of the gold rule, of having firm convictions — he just doesn’t find these virtues useful.

He finds it more expedient to appear to be virtuous than to actually be virtuous. Virtue after all takes time and effort to acquire, periodic missteps, occasional sacrifices and delayed satisfaction.

¯ When people think their leader is religious, no matter the faults they see in him, they are less afraid of suffering injustice at his hands; they believe him to have God fighting on his side and, therefore, little or no harm can come to them, the people.

Tyrants know this and go out of their way to demonstrate their religious conviction, particularly when they have none. Behind a tyrant’s wide plastic smile are the shut teeth he lies through.

¯ A tyrant impoverishes his people, accumulating wealth through them, seeking ever more wealth to maintain his luxury and his standing, for wealth and power, in his mind, denote self worth.

¯ A tyrant brings his relatives into his inner circle because he can count on their loyalty. Others in his staffs who prove to be disloyal are soon replaced, one after another.

History shows that failing democracies — such as ours — often support tyrants in their rise to pwoer. Living in a democracy provides no more protection against an elected tyrant than one who comes to power through a coup.

A failing tyrant, frightened and on the verge of losing his power, seldom missed the opportunity to start a war inorder that his people may have something to consume their attention — and in order that they are always in want of his leadership, for they, like mistreated animals, tend to lick the hand that slaps them.

A hopeful sign: The overwhelming number of tyrants are men, a fact that increases the value of woman who are able to gain and hold political office, for women, historically, seem more likely to listen to their better angels.

Decide on uyour vote.


Live with the consequences.

Joe Priddy,



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