Barack Obama, Caudillo

The Spanish term "caudillo" (pronounced cow-THEE-yo) refers to a strongman or autocratic leader.  Latin America has had a number of caudillos.  Some have been right-wing (i.e., anticommunist, pro-American, such as Somoza in Nicaragua), others left-wing (socialistic and anti-American, like Perón and Chávez), but since Jimmy Carter used his one-term presidency to achieve the extinction of the pro-American species, today's caudillos are all leftists. Caudillos typically bulldoze political opposition, become the dominant force in the economic life of the country, and establish a personality cult around themselves.  They love power as much as they love themselves, and they aren't bashful about using their power in defiance of precedents, constitutions, and democratic principles.  Until a couple of years ago, I never dreamed that a caudillo could arise in our Anglo-American legal system, upwardly mobile culture, and enlightened constitutional order, but today it seems...(Read Full Article)