Politics is a Good Thing: Chile’s Michelle Bachelet

November 16, 2007

The New York Times Magazine features a feel good piece by David Rieff on Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet, calling her position a true example of “poetic justice.”

The woman who was, as a 23-year-old medical student, briefly imprisoned along with her mother by the dictatorship of Gen.
Augusto Pinochet and whose father, Air Force Gen. Alberto Bachelet, was tortured and died in military custody in 1974, is now Chile’s chief of state — while the dictator died, his reputation in tatters, shortly after she took office.

When I say “feel good,” I don’t mean sappy. The article provides an interesting update on the current state of politics in Chile, giving a fair amount of space to Pres. Bachelet’s critics. I mean that after reading the piece, I was reminded of the message that the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato drilled into us (those oh so many years ago…) — “politics is a good thing.” For students and scholars of global politics, that is easy to forget.

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One Response to “Politics is a Good Thing: Chile’s Michelle Bachelet”


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