(von) Kloberg Dies

The New York Times today noted the passing of Edward von Kloberg III. The headline is “Edward von Kloberg III, Lobbyist for Many Dictators, Dies at 63.” (The “von” was his tasteless add-on.)
Kloberg worked in Washington for some of the most evil persons to walk the face of the planet, including “Saddam Hussein, Nicolae Ceaucescu of Romania, Samuel K. Doe of Liberia and Mobuto Sese Seko of the former Zaire.” He tried to recruit North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, another beauty of a man. While my back immediately went up, upon reading Kloberg’s obit, I also realized that it’s too easy to make the distinction between a man like Kloberg and someone like, say, the current President. While Kloberg willingly sought out to represent the most heinous individuals, those who had the discipline and power to decimate and maim populations, some of our own elected officials hold hands with despots and tell us to value freedom and democracy.
To take this line of reasoning further: Kloberg is, in many, many, ways, the more honest of the two. His shingle clearly says: “Hire me if you are a tyrant and I will represent you.” Our President’s shingle says otherwise: “Visit me if you are a tyrant and I will represent you to my people.” Granted, the President lives in a more complex political environment; he needs to pay for many people’s dinners, not just his own.
I wonder if the guilt was too much: Kloberg had “leapt from the parapet of a castle” to his final death.

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