I am saddened that Morgan Tsvangirai is bowing out of the fight.I don’t really know enough about him to know whether he is the kind of guy I’d want running my country. But I know enough to know that I’d pick him over Robert Mugabe in a heartbeat. In fact, I’d take almost any non-dictator politician over almost any person that’s ruled my country for 28 years.

In fact, Mugabe (having ascended to the leadership of Zimbabwe as the hero of a democratic movement and the icon of a country’s aspiration to freedom) is a perfect illustration of history’s most commonly recurring lesson: a long tenure in power is by its nature an oppressive tenure in power.