12 January 2009

A Downward Spiral

I can understand people who are frustrated with the leadership of George W. Bush. While I disagree, I can understand people that think he is a bad person. What I do not understand, and have little patience for, are the people who allege that he his administration has led to a meaningful erosion of our rights. Those people have little understanding of history and what it means to live in a place that is not truly free.

I give Venezuela as an example. For some on the far left Hugo Chavez is a hero. For others, including Mary Anastasia O'Grady, he is a demogogue and a dictator:

...the art of dictatorship has been greatly refined since Stalin killed millions of his own people. Modern tyrants understand that there are many ways to manipulate their subjects and most do not require the use of force.
One measure that Mr. Chávez relies on heavily is control of the narrative. In government schools children are indoctrinated in Bolivarian thought. Meanwhile the state has stripped the media of its independence and now dominates all free television in the country. This allows the government to marinate the poor in Mr. Chávez's antimarket dogma. His captive audiences are told repeatedly that hardship of every sort -- including headline inflation of 31% last year -- is the result of profit makers, middlemen and consumerism.
More and more Venezuelans are recognizing that Chavez is not who he professes to be. The first question is whether enough of them will do something about it when it matters, at the same time. The second is whether Chavez will allow it to matter.


Unknown said...

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Jeanette said...

Hi, This is Jeanette. I just want to say...I agree with Simon!