Thailand’s Andrew Jackson Moment

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the author of this piece on a few occasions and he does an admirable job of commenting on the political situation in Thailand today, and I suggest you find his other articles in Thailand over the past decade, a lot of them are still incredibly relevant to today’s situation. Now…I need to go and understand who this Andrew Jackson fellow is.

While millions see Thaksin’s meteoric rise as an inspiring story of self-made wealth, to Bangkok’s ruling elite–many of them close to the ailing, 86-year-old King Bhumibol and the royal family–Thaksin is every bit the Jackson-like northern barbarian invading Bangkok. He is an unworthy usurper, a rich rustic who clawed his way to the top, bought his fellow yokels’ votes with handouts, and used his political power to amass still greater wealth while squeezing the rest of the country.

As the political analyst and longtime Thailand resident Jeffrey Race explains, “In keeping with the [Buddhist teachings of the] Middle Way, political figures have been moderately corrupt but with sensitivity to the transience of life. No one until recently attempted to dominate either the state or the economy.” Thaksin, Race notes, has amassed billions by consistently choosing “My Way” over the modest “Middle Way.”

Source: The Huffington Post

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