Where have all the good men gone?

THIS is the standard by which we should be judging our presidential candidates—indeed, all of our government officials.

The great José ‘Pepe’ Mujica, of Uruguay. He has been described as “the world’s ‘humblest’ president” due to his austere lifestyle and his donation of around 90 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs. He has also been called “The World’s Poorest President”.

This is what a president should be…a servant of his people, not a celebrity. A man with his feet on the ground, his head clear and unswayed by power or money, and his heart filled not only with his people and his own country, but also with his planet and every other human being on it.

INCORRUPTIBLE. Not because it was his platform or because he was being ‘watched’ but because wealth and power simply did not interest him.

A selfless, simple man who refused to live in the presidential palace, or drive a presidential car (he drove his 25 year old Volkswagen to work every day when he was president) In 2010, the value of the car was $1,800 and represented the entirety of the mandatory annual personal wealth declaration filed by Mujica for that year. In November 2014, the Uruguayan newspaper Búsqueda reported that he had been offered 1 million dollars for the car, which was manufactured in 1987; he said that if he did get 1 million dollars for the car it would be donated to house the homeless through a programme that he supports.

A president who chose to spend taxpayers’ money on a rescue and medical helicopter for remote areas, instead of on a presidential jet. A man who never thought of his own comfort or pockets when he was in government. Who did not allow himself any luxuries that the most ordinary citizen of his country could not have.

After his 5 year term he refused to run again…and he went back to his old profession of flower farming with his wife.

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13 thoughts on “Where have all the good men gone?

  1. Nat, I really loved the whole “HUMAN” site! Read all three parts, and it really made me realize how horrible the modern lives we are chained to, just consumerism and lack of compassion for all our brothers and sisters in the world. The eyes, the faces of so many of the people interviewed are so deep with quiet sorrow and suffering…and then, when you see at the end, New York at night, you are horrified by that kind of life so many humans are trapped into! Like Jose Mojica, you want to just give everything to the poor around you, and just grow flowers! Thanks so much! I’m sharing the 3–part site with many friends as I can. Sure, it makes them feel uncomfortable (like me) but invariably, they will thank me for it someday. I hope they show it to their kids…

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    1. Men like Mujica give me a tiny hope… Nice to hear from you, Hanna! I’ve been stalking your blog, all this time, though not feeling creative enough in my life, to join in the conversations! Looking forward to going home, now, and getting into one of your postcard swaps again!

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    1. Duterte? Is the opposite of Mujica. Is all ego, all chauvinist, all war, all killer. He may have cleaned up Davao, but how many innocent died in his assasination-without-trial method? If just one innocent person dies mistakenly, then the system stinks. Because that one innocent man could have been you. He is a thug with the usual platform of war on drugs, war on crime, war on everything, like the US wants him to. And it never worked for the US, and it won’t work for Duterte, because if you don’t go to the roots of a problem, i.e. education, and giving your people a reason to aspire to become more, then every criminal you gun down will be replaced by the next hungry man on the list. It never ends…there is no end to the poor that will turn to crime and drugs, if there’s a vacancy for them.

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    1. What if you throw a party, though, and nobody came? We need to send a stronger message to politicians…change, do the job you were elected to do, or never see the inside of a government office. These people don’t just walk in, sit down, and become president…people elect them. In many ways that they no longer appreciate, power is still with the people. We squander that privelege when we put up with the absolutely miserable selection of politicians offered us, and simply vote “the lesser evil” in.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Not since Jimmy Carter. Although, Barack isn’t too bad…if only he wasn’t obstructed on all the good things he tried to do…

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