This is a hot topic lately. Seems like a bunch of folks are upset about one or the other iron-fisted ruler. The problem is: most are not very good. Oh, they get oppression right, but don't quite fool all the people all the time.
I want to be a dictator. But, I won't settle for some pissant (Lyndon Johnson's word, not mine) country. I set my sights higher...as any self-respecting dictator should. Alexander the Great did. Julius Caesar did. Genghis Kahn did. Hitler...oops.
Anyway, if I ruled THE WORLD, things would be different. First of all, I would knock a few religious heads together. That would solve more than half the squabbles currently raging on this planet. It's not that different religious fight one another; there are disagreements between believers of every brand of weird conviction. Anyone can have whatever religion they want: they will not be allowed to try to cram it done the throat of others, exploit the weak and stupid, or collect money by promising some form of foolishness. Next, I would take all the toys away from the military. Only virtual combat would be permitted. (There has to be some outlet for all that male aggression!). I am not a pacifist: I'm too realistic. But, there should be some way to cut down on the killing. Maybe, I'll simply shut down weapons manufacturers...
I would not plunder the economy to support a lavish lifestyle. That seems to upset the poor people. I'm not greedy and realize that such personal sacrifice is unique in the annals of dictatorship, but I think that "my" people will appreciate the gesture. Having reached the upper level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, I am content with less. Of course, I will need a PA to answer the phone. Few will have my number, but even those calls will disturb my tranquility. I won't collect houses, like John McCain, because I am happy to stay in hotels. It's not asking much, because I currently stay in nice hotels.
Image is important, but a dictator can change the rules. Not being photogenic, I would not plaster my face on billboards or erect statues. I like the Wizard of Oz Method: hid behind a screen and spout wisdom. I would take one step back and communicate to "my" people through the written word (like I'm doing now).
In a moment of deep introspection, I have come to the conclusion that I have the ideal personality traits to be the perfect dictator: empathy (believe it or not), compassion (ditto), generosity (just ask my spoiled kids), common sense, cynicism (important to fend off sycophants, which tend to gather like pilot fish around a whale), and a bunch of other positive traits (a dictator expects people to accept his word). As dictator, I can command that my negative traits and habits are ignored. rationalized, or blamed on others.
On the first day, I would go after hypocrites, smokers, selective radio and television blowhards, some politicians...
On second thought, ruling the world may be more than I'm willing to take on at the moment. C'est domage for the world!
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.