Monica Showalter wrote today’s Investor’s Business Daily op-ed: Venezuela’s Dictatorship Built On A 47% Dependency Formula
Chavez is entering his fourth term — tired, cancer-stricken, in power 14 years, and vowing to accelerate his socialism even more.
And Venezuelans may never be able to get rid of him, short of death, or maybe a Pinochet-like military takeover followed by free-market reform, if they are lucky.
They can’t win against, in Chavez’s case, raising government spending 23% — on everything from hiring bureaucrats to promises of new homes, TVs and even washer-dryers.
With a system like this, with the vast majority of the population dependent on government for all their needs — and not called on to make anything of themselves — the culture of dependency and the culture of a dictator form an unbreakable bond.
That’s a lesson for America — the Chavez lesson.
Brett Stephens in the Wall Street Journal agrees: Hugo Chávez and the 47%
Venezuela’s election was a statement of national character—as America’s will be.
Now the conventional wisdom is that the country’s future depends mainly on Mr. Chávez’s health and the price of oil. Yet Venezuelans will remain what they’ve become regardless of what happens on either count. Democracy means the right not to be pitied for the consequences of your political choices. And whatever else might be coming to them in the next phase of their Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuela has made its choice.
So it goes with the rest of the democratic world, too. Egypt has chosen to put religious rectitude ahead of individual liberty. The French seem to want economic “justice” more than they do economic growth. Russia remains infatuated with its strongman, albeit with greater reservations than before. The Greeks are for anyone who will keep them living on credit.
And Americans? Next month’s election is being presented as a choice of where we want to go. But the real question is what kind of people we want to be. No, Mr. Obama is not Mr. Chávez, we aren’t yet a nation of moochers—and we have a 22nd Amendment to term-limit our presidents. But the salient point is that what happened Sunday in Venezuela was a statement of national character. What happens on Nov. 6 will be one as well.
Today’s WSJ editorial: The Misery of Venezuela
Hugo Chávez and the ruin in a nation.
he continues to serve as a lesson that democracy can be hijacked more easily than many Americans choose to admit.
How did Mr. Chávez pull it off? For starters he controls the voter rolls, which have never been independently audited. Even the National Electoral Council admits that the list of eligible voters is a mess. A page on its website listing “voters between 111 and 129 years of age” contains at least 10,000 names.
Of course, Jimmy Carter, who considers Venezuela’s electoral system “the best in the world“, would probably thank the imported Cuban “doctors” for the Venezuelans’ outstanding longevity. Jimmy is living proof that the path from former president to charlatan is an easy one.
But I digress.
Mary has more on Democracy, Chávez-Style
Venezuelan bloggers John Manuel Silva and Daniel Duquenal are disheartened, while Miguel Octavio’s Looking At The Numbers From Yesterday’s Presidential Election.
The WaPo’s Juan Forero writes that Venezuelan opposition candidate Capriles may still pose future threat to Chavez
Dallas News editorial: Venezuela’s sad electoral statement
Tonight I’ll be in Silvio Canto’s podcast at 6PM Eastern.
Mitt Romney’s FOREIGN POLICY ADDRESS TO THE VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE
There is a longing for American leadership in the Middle East—and it is not unique to that region. It is broadly felt by America’s friends and allies in other parts of the world as well— in Europe, where Putin’s Russia casts a long shadow over young democracies, and where our oldest allies have been told we are “pivoting” away from them … in Asia and across the Pacific, where China’s recent assertiveness is sending chills through the region … and here in our own hemisphere, where our neighbors in Latin America want to resist the failed ideology of Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers and deepen ties with the United States on trade, energy, and security. But in all of these places, just as in the Middle East, the question is asked: “Where does America stand?”