Another dictator has been lost in South America. This regime change did not come from a latin spring but from disease. Cancer does not respect a person and rarely do we witness such a public fight by a world leader. In all definitions of the word, Chavez was a socialist dictator with the charisma to match.
What is relevant to Americans about his passing? It highlights our form of government. While it is not working the way it is intended by our framers, our system is stable. Safeguards built into our system restrict the demagoguery of personality to limited areas which is frustrating sometimes. It would be easier to allow a cult personality to solve the systematic inefficiencies of a republic with a benevolent dictator or empowered CEO. President Obama struggles with the inefficiency of a republic with attempts to thwart the system. I don’t blame him but Chavez’s death illuminates why our system refuses such attempts: predictability. If our President passed away or was unable to govern due to his humanity, our system has solved that problem before it even presents itself. Getting around the 535 people in Congress would eliminate you and me. Our inefficiency proves the point that disease, death and regime change are predictable so the purest form of government, a system of scenarios with predictable outcomes, is one that sacrifices the principle for the power.