I don’t want to say that the concept of a father speaking to his children should be banned from all political speech. In India, they refer to Mahatma Gandhi as Bapu, or father. And perhaps you’ve known some kind and caring fathers–maybe you are one yourself–who would make a fine political leader.
HOWEVER, the suited slug shown here is far more reminiscent of another leader who had the worst kind of paternalistic instincts for his country. Like Mubarak, Nicolae Ceausescu gave an eleventh hour crazy-speech that only infuriated his countrymen more and set the stage for the next step.
In case you’ve forgotten what happened in Romania, this rather brutal LiveLeak video sums it up. The title: “Nicolae Ceausescu Execution.” Choice quote: Elena Ceausescu (the dictator’s wife) “why are you doing this?” Soldier: “No one can help you now.” Then, a short while later: “Everyone stop firing.”
It’s unclear what help or hope there is for Mubarak once his “children” take stock. There’s a lot of joy in Cairo now, but there’s bound to be plenty of other emotions. I hope it doesn’t come to executions–Romania didn’t seem to be helped all that much by all the vengeance-taking. But as it’s said in the Gospel of Matthew, “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
Or, to extend Mubarak’s fatherhood metaphor with a quote from that modern apostle, Stephen Tyler:
Janie’s got a gun
Her whole world’s come undone
From looking straight at the sun
What did her daddy do?
What did he put you through?
Mabrouk, sons and daughters of Egypt. Be careful.