Barack Obama, Hugo Chavez and Occupy Wall Street.
The American people have been stunned by the true nature of President Obama’s “Change we can believe in.” It is starting more and more to resemble Hugo Chavez’s “Pretty Revolution,” something that makes Americans shudder.
It’s an all too familiar story. Occasionally in moments of internal stress, rapid demographic change or economic hardship the exasperated citizens of a nation go beyond the bounds of accepted political processes and choose an “outsider”.
This stranger usually has a silver tongue and a mouthful of mumbled promises that stress the soothing words of “social justice”; promising to “spread the wealth around (…) because it’s an issue of fairness”.
The populist change, assures the new leader, will be carried through on the backs of the most productive of citizens; and amazingly there is a further commitment – that it will be done with their consent.
Needless to say, the mythical utopia of the campaign soon meets the cold realities of governance. And this is where these elected officials stagnate.
Instead of the ululating cries of worship on the campaign trail, and the unending sea of swooning sympathisers, they soon realise that to lead they must talk to, and work with, those who think differently.
These nouveau populists who rode the waves of national discontent to the highest offices in the land realise that to accomplish even a small part of their agenda, they must now work with the most productive citizens.
“I won the election, and now you must do what I say,” is usually their first salvo at negotiation. When this falls on deaf ears, the seasoned or skilled politicians modify their approach. Think of Bill Clinton.
But what happens when they cannot; or worse, when they will not? In that case, these elected leaders have only one strategy to fall back on -- the battle-cry of class warfare.
Watch the video above (explicit language) to see what happened when Tea Partiers met with the 'Occupy DC' crowd.
Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is perhaps the world’s most vociferous living proponent of class warfare – constantly calling for the destruction of the wealthy within his own country; and the United States as the most successful bastion of capitalism.
Barack Obama has also chosen a variant of this approach, modified, of course, for American political realities.
He first attempted to convince those who worked hard to create their own wealth that they were in fact evil and should give their money away; preferably to those who voted for him.
In his frustration and shock at their refusal, he embarked upon an aggressive attack campaign and unleashed a war of words against a segment of America unprecedented in recent American history.
He and/or his supporters called these voters greedy fat cats, and (effectively) racist.
Appealing to his base – those without jobs and wealth of their own – he told them that their plight was in fact not their own fault but the fault of others. He told the 40 percent who pay no taxes and receive government handouts that their situation was the responsibility of the two percent who pay the lion’s share of the federal budget.
The dubious "ideals" of Hugo Chavez and Barack Obama have met in operation Occupy Wall Street.
President Chavez, elated at the protests, stated, “this movement of popular outrage is expanding to 10 cities”, and “the repression is horrible. I don’t know how many are in prison now”.
Outspoken Chavez supporter, Eva Golinger even rolled up her sleeves to help; a fascinating story which was broken right here on The Commentator.
For his part, President Obama has thrown his support behind the movement too, saying: “Occupy Wall Street expresses the frustrations the American people feel”.
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader and Obama’s go-to hit-woman went further: “I support the message to the establishment, whether political or Wall Street, that things have to change”.
There is also increasing evidence of important coordination between some in the Democratic Party and those guiding the Wall Street anarchists.
Presidents Chavez and Obama often use the same playbook; soak the rich when you can and resort to raw populism when the going gets tough.
Unfortunately for President Obama, the United States is not Venezuela.
While, as in any country, there is an anarchic few who prefer to defy the system, in the United States the majority of the population are reasonable people, not leftist revolutionaries.
The Occupy Wall Street rabble scares them.
They watch these folks defecating on police cars and sullying a once pristine New York park with various vices, and wonder what America would be like if Obama handed the country over to these kinds of people.
This is bad news for the Democrats and Obama in the run-up to an election year.
By making common cause with the most radical, disruptive elements of American society, they are alienating those on the left and right who desire to live in peace and, heaven forbid, keep their salaries.
For a politician who was so successful in the 2008 campaign, the American people have been stunned by the true nature of President Obama’s “Change we can believe in” rhetoric.
It is starting more and more to resemble Hugo Chavez’s “Pretty Revolution,” something that makes Americans shudder.
This tragic situation underlines a broader lesson. When resentful people rise to power, often on the backs of other resentful people, they are unable to break the cycle as they attempt to govern.
Their outdated policies reek of redistribution and retribution; and their words foment hatred -- hatred that, after a while, explodes into violence.
Today, America needs less resentment demanding retribution for perceived slights or sloth-brought poverty, and instead more visionary leadership comfortable with the positive story of American prosperity and excited about governing for all the people who make the nation great – both rich and poor.
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