Holy cow, how did I miss this over the weekend. Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone - man whom nobody in the sport seems to have any affection for - said some really stupid shit in a newspaper interview:
In an interview with Britain's Times newspaper, Ecclestone was quoted as saying democracy 'hasn't done a lot of good for many countries.' And then added:That's not even the entirety of the stupid (ask him about women racers!), but that's the most concentrated. Really, Hitler was just a patsy along for the ride? Has Bernie never heard of Mein Kampf?
'Terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people able to get things done.'
Don't get me wrong - when it comes to sports, a benevolent dictatorship is often the way to go. NASCAR is where it is today largely because Bill France ruled it with an iron fist for years, whereas American open-wheel racing is largely in the state it's in because there was no one person calling the shots. Of course, so often the dictator is not so much benevolent as befuddled (see Blatter, Sepp).
I suppose you could even make the argument that a truly benevolent king or emperor - someone who ruled absolutely, but justly and fairly - would be a better way to go than the messy workings of democracy. Two problems with that theory. First, it's awfully hard to suss out who is going to be benevolent and who isn't until they start impaling their enemies on the front lawn. Second, if you're going to make that argument, you need to find some more, well, benevolent examples than Hitler and Saddam Hussein!
I'm generally not a fan of punishing someone for giving light to their dumb ideas. But since nobody likes Bernie, anyway, can he just go away now?