Suppose you have just turned 10 years old, and the President has decided to come to your birthday party.
You’d be excited, right? And if he decided to say a few words, you’d no doubt be honored, in a 10-year-old way.

But suppose he chose your birthday party to give a speech–you might begin to think he cared more about the propaganda opportunity than about you. And if he went on for two hours with his speech, well, you’d probably conclude that he had nothing but contempt for you and your birthday, and was trying to humiliate you.

No, it wasn’t George W. Bush, it was Fidel Castro:

“This revolution does not depend on one individual, or two, or three,” Castro declared in a speech of more than two hours at a birthday celebration in the courtyard of Elian’s school in the child’s hometown of Cardenas, about 85 miles east of Havana. [Havana Journal]

If this tells you what such a man is like, consider what it means for him to hold total, absolute, and arbitrary political power.

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