Ordinary Man: Large Responsibilities

February 27, 2008
By Peter Chen, Mason, OH

Every person makes mistakes whether he or she is young, old, beautiful, ugly, famous, or ordinary. The problem is when society trounces upon these trite mistakes and amplifies them to a larger degree. Throughout history, large players have met their end due to the whims of society: Napoleon Bonaparte was forced to abdicate his thrown after many years of leadership and Vladmir Lenin was exiled from his country after leading the Bolshevik revolution. While these tragedies may have been forgotten, the essence of the fallen leader has rolled over to today, where similar situations are still occurring in a more subtle manner.

While he may not have been violently overthrown or abdicated from his thrown, the former Prime Minister of Britain has not gaining the beloved support from the denizens of his country. After becoming an advocate for Bush’s Iraq war, Tony Blair has lost the faith of the British people and now he is resigning from his position. Tony Blair was an ordinary man whose accomplishments for Britain have been overshadowed by a simple mistake that has lead to his political ruin.

When Tony Blair became Prime Minister of Britain in 1997, he quickly gained momentum and support in his political career. As a member of the Labour Party, people loved his policies. He not only reorganized the Labour Party, but he also gave it a vision for the future. During his four terms in office, he was able to allow the British economy to flourish and prosper, something that is very difficult to accomplish. Blair “forced people to wake up, become more flexible and work harder (for lower wages, too).” His immense influence upon the British society gave him a name that all people recognized as a hero.

Then, however, as Bush began pushing for troops to be stationed in Iraq, Blair espoused the same belief for his country and as a result, public resentment rose. This decision was “a move that ultimately made him lose the trust of the British people” and “he fell on his own sword.” In an instant, he swirled from a political icon to an unpopular mentor. One dispute in beliefs and ten years of hard work dissipated in front of his eyes. The media attention that he received was unbearable, criticizing his outrageous actions. In the end, he was forced to step down, not by his own will, but by society.

Society, derived of people of eclectic beliefs, religions, and personalities, has only to carefully scrutinize anyone to expose a mistake that is deemed wrong. Tony Blair, a man like any other, unified his country and put it into an auspicious position in the global economy, yet nothing got past the eyes of his country. His foreign policy was highly detested and just like George Bush, it has brought down his political career; and while Blair may be ostracized now, his monumental achievements “will take a long time before [the British people] recognize how significant Blair’s other achievements were.” Others make mistakes, but when a political leader makes a mistake, often the consequences are much greater; and in Blair’s case, a mistake can lead to calamity.

Lindsey, Daryl. "Tony Blair, Tragic Hero or Political Train Wreck." The World From Berlin 11 May 2007 10 Sep 2007 .

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