By Beatrice E. Rangel
Jeb Bush's withdrawal from the U.S. Republican presidential race marks the end of an epoch: that of civility in the political practice.
Mr. Bush was indeed one of the best prepared individuals to become a White House tenant and one trained in the old school of politics where any one aspiring to be a leader had to inspire followers to become better citizens, better parents, better husbands and better human beings.
In this U.S. presidential race, however, the opposite has been true -- particularly in the Republican camp. Leading contestants seem to believe that in order to capture following they need to remind you of every ordinary aspect of ordinary people. They seem to have been successfully trained by the producers of "The Bad Girls Club", a high rated show where loud language, grotesque demeanor and violent gesticulations carry the screen.
The development would seem rib-tickling were it not for the fact that it touts vulgarity and violence as the winning ingredients of political success.
In a country where resentment with the elites, despair with economic developments, and fear of everything foreign are shaping political behavior by low income white America, one wonders where this demise of civility is going to lead the greatest world democracy.
Alarming signs of the consequences of civility erosion abound. In Florida a driver shot recently at a police officer who was trying to make him reduce speed.
In Los Angeles a bachelorette party ended with half the participants in jail for staging a bullying competition that terrorized the rest of the guests at a popular restaurant.
In Chicago a sweet sixteen party ended in sorrow, as young fellows used rubber bullets to fight for the right to dance with selected girls.
As the campaign progresses and the violence-cum-vulgarity parade continues to unfold, those that have a grievance against an employer or a teacher or any individual vested with authority will feel it is his or her right to get even.
And as this line of thinking gains ground, the U.S. as we have known it could start withering away like Athens did when overtaken by combatant Sparta.
And to make the lack of civility a hemispheric trend, Bolivia President Evo Morales went on an insult-filled rant against universities, the media, the business community, and everyone that thought he should not benefit from yet another term in power.
After unluckily trying to "intervene" the constitutional referendum results and threatening beneficiaries of public transfers with suspending such benefits, President Morales finally accepted defeat.
He indicated, however, that he had four years left in his current term and that Bolivia and the world would find out who he really was over the next months.
In a nutshell, President Morales decided to adopt the style and demeanor of his much hated American nemesis Donald Trump, who will bomb everything that fails to align with his thinking. This just proves how close totalitarianism is to authoritarianism and how dangerous both are for democracy.Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.
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