A history lesson from Cuba

 History has its lessons. A Fourth of July letter to the editor of the Washington Times-Dispatch became something of an internet sensation, forwarded via email and read aloud in a YouTube video. The writer, Manuel Alvarez Jr. of Sandy Hook, describes himself as a refugee from Castro and recalls what it was like back then:

The election-year rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there. In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least receptive.

When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said "Praise the Lord." And when the young leader said, "I will be for change and I'll bring you change," everyone yelled, "Viva Fidel!"

Nobody is saying anything about Obama being like Fidel. Nobody even has to mention Obama. The point is that blindly placing your faith in an eloquent guy who offers promises of transformative change and sets hearts on fire is a bad bet in most cases.

Where are all the successful examples of leaders who quickly swept to power based on a cult of personality and vague promises of tranformative change?

Hat tip: Brett McRae
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