This week, whenever I have been giving my stump speech or speaking with Katie Couric and there is not much to think about, I have been playing a little mental game. I select a continent at random and then try to recall three heads of state there who exemplify Arendt’s concept of “the banality of evil.”

Today it was Africa. Omar Bongo of Gabon came to mind first, though he is probably too charismatic a figure to qualify. Perhaps Sudan’s Al-bashir is more appropriate. Meles Zenawi? Definitely a possibility.


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