Czar’s and Tsar’s….America is not the place

The Governor’s office sent out a press release this morning, “Governor Bill Richardson Appoints Linda Roebuck as
Behavioral Health Czar”
that caught my attention. No, the Rio Grande Foundation hasn’t taken a particular interest in behavioral health and as far as we know, Ms. Roebuck is a fine person…the problem is the job title “Czar.” According to our friends at Wikipedia, Tsar (same meaning as Czar) means “is a contraction of the earlier tsesar, derived from the Roman title Caesar. Great, so now we have an “emperor” of behavioral health. Not only is the name derived from an imperial title, but if you’ve read any history you’d know that Russia’s Czar’s were not exactly a successful bunch and they eventually gave way to the Lenin and the Soviets…not exactly a great track record if you ask me.
My intention here is not to poke fun at Governor Richardson. After all, we have a federal “Drug Czar” and various groups are constantly lobbying for one czar or another. I just hope that before more czar’s are named that more people understand that we shouldn’t want a “czar” in the first place.

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