Monday, December 3, 2007

A Historic Day in Totalitarianism

Wow. Big news in the dictatorships of the world over the last couple of days. First of all, Russian President Vladimir Putin won a sweeping victory in his election, amid charges of rigged votes, coercion and intimidation. You know, like you're SUPPOSED to vote in a totalitarian state.

Now, we move on to Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez, whom even Nancy Pelosi has publicly referred to as a thug, lost.

Yep. He LOST. He had proposed a never-look-back socialist paradise, with him at the helm for all eternity, and his people said NO THANKS. Well, about 51% of them said no. And he accepted the decision of the people. For now, anyway.

When Putin first came on the global stage, I will admit that I was suckered. I genuinely believed that he understood that free markets were the best thing for his people, and that KGB-era stifling of creativity was a big part of the demise of the U.S.S.R. Sadly, he seems to want to have his cake and eat it too - economic entrepreneurship right up to the point of profit, at which point the government snatches your business and crushes your dreams. Let the people vote, but only if you can know, and control, the outcome.

He's probably laughing at Chavez right now. After all, in Russia, losing by 2% is just a paperwork problem. But you know what? As hard as it is for me to admit this, this week, Chavez was the better man.