Opinion DC Comment 28 Dec 2017 Tough guys rule the ...

Tough guys rule the world

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Dec 28, 2017, 1:02 am IST
Updated Dec 28, 2017, 1:02 am IST
It’s been that kind of year: the world felt the heft of strongmen more than ever before.
What little chance Alexei Navalny had in taking on Vladimir Putin in next year’s Russian presidential polls evaporated with that country’s election panel rejecting his bid.
 What little chance Alexei Navalny had in taking on Vladimir Putin in next year’s Russian presidential polls evaporated with that country’s election panel rejecting his bid.

What little chance Alexei Navalny had in taking on Vladimir Putin in next year’s Russian presidential polls evaporated with that country’s election panel rejecting his bid. Tainted by a conviction for embezzlement, that is commonplace among many who made a fortune courtesy the regime and then turned against it, the billionaire was unlikely to be allowed to challenge the Kremlin’s might. We never tire of telling the joke about thieves who broke into the Kremlin and stole next year’s poll results, which is bound to be overwhelmingly in Mr Putin’s favour. It couldn’t have been otherwise in a year of tough guys like Xi Jinping, Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, and not to forget Kim Jong-un. It’s been that kind of year: the world felt the heft of strongmen more than ever before.

The powerful consolidating their hold is the story of the year, though pundits may disagree on whether Mr Trump did enhance his power or actually destroy the White House’s reputation in his unseemly Twitter tussle with North Korea’s Kim. China’s Xi showed he had galloped ahead to claim being the world’s most powerful man, with his party congress deifying him.

 

As the strongmen were busy consolidating, the year was lesser for the loss of face for German’s Angela Merkel, possible challenger to the top male world leaders, who faced a setback in the elections and is still scrambling to remain at the helm. As the year wanes, the fear lingers about a few tough guys threatening to flex their trigger fingers on nuclear toys.

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