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She said he liked to "stir the pot" and that we could certainly expect that, if nothing else.

I still don't know who was damaged more, the ones who despised him, or the ones who adored him.

Self-serving in the extreme, every action seemed to be only intended for his own profit. This was not the outcome, though, as the law of unintended consequences took hold.

Many blamed him for the ensuing chaos and they were probably not wrong but it may also be true that the world was already headed down a garden path and that, if he had not risen to power, another catalyst would have simply appeared in his place.

The whole dichotomy of predestination vs free will always gives me a headache and I have come to the conclusion that it largely depends on whether one is looking back or ahead or simply "living in the moment".

Either way it seems obvious, in hindsight, that his opportunism was one of his defining characteristics. Manipulative in the extreme, he had the ability to steer the masses as if they were a great oceangoing vessel, finding a current that would carry the ship forward, or backward, according to his capricious whim. It is always easier to accept one's fate believing that one is simply a victim of unavoidable circumstances and really had no choice in the matter.

I heard it said once that, although we may find it a harsh judgment to say that a puppy gets wasted for not knowing better than to run out in front of a truck, that is the fact of the matter and the puppy is still just as dead, whether we approve or not. I guess it all comes down to whether you believe he was a god or just a human who was given more responsibility than he should have been entrusted with.

I can't help feeling that, if we had a time machine and could go back, with benefit of hindsight, things would turn out differently. Did we really not know any better? Apparently not enough of us.

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