|Comedy is a cost-effective tactic to undermine tyranny around the world|
Eventually, the police dragged the barrel away, and the image of Milosevic’s “arrest” spread like wildfire.
Comedians in the West also have an important role to play in this struggle. Their wit and satire can be a devastating tool when aimed at the right victims.
Dictatorial regimes pretend to be serious, but in fact they are as absurd as they are dangerous. What South Park did to Kim Jong-il in the movie Team America, should be re-done to the theocratic tyranny in Iran and mass-murdering dictatorship in Syria.
Comedy is a cost-effective tactic to unmask this insecurity and undermine tyranny around the world. Only governments that can laugh at themselves will attain lasting stability.
At 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner, by contrast, President Bush brought out a Bush impersonator on stage who stood next to him and ruthlessly made fun of the president. President Obama too has partaken in this long tradition of presidential self-deprecation and hilarious speeches at the Alfred Smith Dinner and White House Correspondents Dinner.
In honor of Dictator Appreciation Month, go out and make fun of a tyrant today. Goodness knows they deserve it—and fear it.
David Keyes is the executive director of Advancing Human Rights and co-founder of CyberDissidents.org. He is a contributor to Newsweek/The Daily Beast and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy and many other publications. He can be reached at email@example.com.