Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Do Businessmen Make Good Presidents? Public Radio sidesteps Bush/Cheney answer

When I heard the host of Public Radio International's The World ask whether businessmen make good presidents and continue with,

But does business experience give a head of state a leg up? And why does a nation turn to a CEO for leadership?
I assumed they were going to go for the obvious recent example in American history: George W. Bush and his Halliburton CEO VP, Dick Cheney.

Instead, the story went on to talk about Vicente Fox, a president of Thailand, Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, and even non-president, Donald Trump.

As odd as the absence of Bush and Cheney was the absence of a very obvious question: do businessmen in office use their skills for the public good, or do they simply use the office to help their business and cronies who will reciprocate later? I'm sure their are lots of the first kind, but far more often, businessmen see public office as a way to pursue business by other means, just as their campaign donations are far from altruistic, and a pretty strong relationship exists between an industry's donations and getting a favorable outcome on legislation that effects them.

Another odd twist on this story was how they described Romney's business experience, as doing ''business turnaround as a management consultant.''

Isn't that a bit like calling a cannibal as doing health turnaround as a weight loss consultant?

NPR and Public Radio International do the public a disservice when they practice historical revision like this, and making conservative epic catastrophe that which shall not be mentioned.

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