He was a great leader in an age of great leaders. Today's youth, having grown up in an age of mediocre-to-miserable leadership, cannot imagine what is what like to have lived at a time when the destiny of the planet was largely decided by the likes of Reagan, Thatcher, John Paul II, Dung Xiaoping, Walesa, et. al.
Havel was one of them, and he was the most artistic of them, coming as he did from the world of Theater, and loving jazz music, which he credited with inspiring Czech dissidents. Why? Because it was so free, it featured creative improvisation, and it was a vital part of the pursuit of happiness. It took a great man with plenty of creative juices to understand that.
He was a forceful and captivating man who beat lung cancer and, against the odds, remained a beloved figure to the end. He was a staunch anti-communist who remained a democratic revolutionary, a pure example of what the phony reactionary leftists call "neoconservatism."
Have a drink in his honor and toast the jazzman-cum-revolutionary-leader. We're not likely to see another one quite like that.
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