Saturday, April 01, 2023

"Political Immaturity"

Oregon Nick Kristof has grudgingly come around to the idea that prosecuting Trump is desirable, though this is almost entirely independent of the charges themselves, but instead his opinions about whether prosecuting former governments heads is an appropriate step for sensible countries.
The democracy that is most expert at arresting former leaders is South Korea, which has gone after five former presidents and which I have covered on and off since I was the Times bureau chief in Hong Kong in the 1980s.


There were times when I thought this parade of prosecutions was a sign of political immaturity.
This is about aesthetics, about Nick's beliefs about what proper men in proper democracies do. Great White Father Nick used to look down on the "political immaturity" of lesser countries, a concept applied primarily to countries coded as non-white. It's nebulous content-free sneering at the ridiculous and juvenile provinces. The specific complaint, the foundation of their "immaturity," is that they were prosecuting the politicians for doing crimes not that the politicians were doing crimes.

Puts all the regular comments about "Banana Republics" into context. The problem wasn't corrupt dictators doing the bidding of United Fruit, or whatever, it was that sometimes the people held them accountable for it.