Of Politicians, Legacies and Sainthood

President Mandela is dead! Long live Saint Mandela! It is a wonder that Pope Francis hasn't come forth to announce the canonization of Nelson Mandela. There is no doubt that Mandela was an extraordinary man and is to be noted as a leader who served his cause well. Lest we forget, he was also a politician ( a very astute one). Politicians only take on the aura of a saint upon their death. Mandela joins the likes of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy whose questionable political exploits have been relegated to footnotes while those that were masterful have been exploited to the point where they are deemed to be worthy of sainthood.

Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter traveled to South Africa to honor Mandela. I'm sure their own chances of achieving sainthood may have crossed their minds. I doubt that Bush really gives a rat's ass. Even one as astute as 'W' would realize that his legacy of the Iraq War makes sainthood out of the question. Jimmy Carter's chances are also less than nil.The poor guy has had an uphill battle trying to make people forget his presidential miscues and he hasn't gotten the release of a political prisoner lately. Obama has three more years for a shot at sainthood. I doubt that he will make it. Hell, he really hasn't fostered any legislative accomplishments even coming close to those of FDR or even Lyndon Johnson ( no matter what Joe Biden says). In all fairness, great legislation can only come if one has a a legislative body dedicated to legislating rather than destroying a sitting President.

And then there is Bill Clinton. Mr. Clinton already considers himself a saint- in-waiting. That's really half the battle. Now if he can get Hillary elected President in 2016, he will have it made.

I remember when FDR died. I was sure he would go down in history as the savior of his country. Not so. For some reason, his legacy is not worthy of sainthood. The more I think about it, deeds do not a saint make. The media makes a saint.

No comments: