A couple of weeks ago, the Latino branch of the Democratic National Committee released this web ad, comparing Donald Trump to the late comandante eterno. Not long after, this piece was released:

 They… don’t pull any punches.  
 
Even if the Republican nominee has used Venezuela as an example of what would happen if Hillary Clinton wins on November 8th, our country has been low in the list of campaign issues. The closest we’ve come was Trump’s insane beef with Alicia Machado after Hillary brought her up in the first debate. (For the record, Machado recently introduced Hillary in a Florida rally). 
 
Guess who didn’t like the ad? Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez. And she ranted a lot about it on Twitter: Beside condemning what she called an “unexplainable and aberrant video”, she accused the Democrats of “irrational and racist arrogance from a party that doesn’t care for their voters”.  
 
She also attacked the U.S. electoral system, by linking articles of… wait for it… Russia Today.  Telesur got involved later with a list of five reasons of why Trump = Chavez is just nonsense. 
 
No official response from the Trump-Pence campaign, but Hillary Clinton’s running mate, 
Senator Tim Kaine was asked about the spot during an interview with CNN en Español. Even if he admits not seeing the ad (posted hours before the interview), he showed concern about the situation in Venezuela and said at the time that the U.S. along with the OAS must help to support democracy.  
 
As election day gets near in the U.S. of A., the issue has not fully gone away: CNN en Español made a report about how Venezuelans think of this comparison. Author and journalist Ioan Grillo offered his view in an opinion piece for the New York Times, which includes the overall effects of populism on both Latin America and North America.  
 
Reporting on Latin America and sitting in news conferences with Mr. Chávez, Mr. Trump and Mr. López Obrador over the years, I have been cautious about using the populist label flippantly. That said, given the particular flavor of the current political turmoil, there’s obviously an authentic phenomenon that we have to come to terms with, however tricky to define. Whoever wins the election, Mr. Trump has changed American politics.
One reason the populist strategy is effective is that it does touch on certain truths. Washington is corrupted by special interests. Latin American governments do suffer immense corruption. However, Venezuela shows that a populist strategy can lead to an even worse alternative. That is a worthwhile lesson when considering where Mr. Trump’s blaming the media, crying of fraud and assault on judges could take us.” 
 
 
The whole Trump = Chavez argument isn’t new and Caracas Chronicles has its share of articles about that, but as Quico recently wrote for Post Global Opinions, perhaps those comparing are really missing the mark: Donald Trump isn’t like Hugo Chavez. He’s more like Nicolás Maduro.

49 COMMENTS

  1. http://latinamericagoesglobal.org/2016/07/no-trump-no-chavez/
    This piece is from former CC editor, Juan Nagel, worth reading!.
    Hey CC people, why don’t you do a poll?, please include degree of education, state where they live, if they own a bussiness, if they pay medical insurance ( as opossed if employer pays for them), and if they consider at least one gringo as his/her closest friend. Would be interesting!.
    I think latinos that are employees ( no idea of how taxes work, or what medical insurance costs or what it takes to run a sucessful bussiness) and have a secure 60k job living in Miami hanging with other latinos have absolutely no clue of how things work in the US. My two cents.

    • Ah yes, the hanging out with other Latinos bias.

      Dude, like your man, your attempt at “reaching out” is shockingly self-defeating.

    • Great article from Nagel, this extract is crucial:

      “By portraying Chávez as a caricature populist who rambles, insults, and provokes without merit, foreign observers are doing Venezuela a disservice. Yes, that was part of Chávez’s political persona, but it was not the most important part.”

      The American public, who are particularly not known for being very curious about the rest of the world and possibly think that Caracas is just a city in Quintana Roo, will learn with this narrative that Chavez was just some sort of blabber and adamant GOP politician, and not a tyrant that ruined one of the most prosperous country in South America. This fairytale softens Chavez’ persona and make it palatable to the public, totally ignoring facts — what he actually did. It’s like saying that Hitler was like Trump, it’s a disservice for Jews. He was much, much, much worse than Trump. We all know that.

      This ‘everybody I dislike in the world is Trump’ thing is so childish, then they wonder why no one is buying their newspapers anymore.

  2. It apparently escapes many Latin Americans that Clinton is SOCIALIST. Aren’t those types of governments exactly what Latin Americans are complaining about, due to the gross mismanagement and corruption they have brought?

    The notion that Trump is like Maduro is so absurd it is like Maduro claiming Venezuela is a democracy with free elections and that U.S. mainstream media has no socialist political bias. I do not know how you manage to overlook that Trump is CAPITALIST, and stands for individual freedoms which have been eroded for decades by socialists. But then again, I’m not sure I understand how Maduro and his regime manage to overlook that their dictatorship is not a democracy.

    Painting good people with a bad brush, and painting bad people with a good brush, is only going to bring disaster. Look at policies, and economics, and do not paint your world with third-hand presumptions about personalities.I still remember a piece of graffiti I saw decades ago, scrawled on the wall of a beautiful little Spanish style bus-stop kiosk in Caracas, complete with a red tile roof: “Tus manos son paletas, tus dedos son pinceles, pinta en el c**o de tu m*adr*, y no pintes en las paredes.”

    What this article has to do with the life-and-death scene in Venezuela is the persistent rejection of Americans current, a result of communist propaganda, and it has led to misery for many, many years – such as the wonderful maquina petrolera that led to a 23% drop in oil exports in October. It is the weirdest thing to watch some thing kill itself, attacking things that might help it live better.

    • Gringo: it escapes many Canadians that Clinton is a SOCIALIST, as well. Granted, I listen to the CBC, which is the state controlled media up here, I was bombarded with images of the Queen of England from a young age (England also possibly being SOCIALIST), and I drank a lot of water treated with flouride in my formative years (a policy intended to make us SOCIALIST, I’ve read). And of course, not having guns, we have no defenses against things like SOCIALISM.

      I could not help noticing, however, that many Latin Americans – or Latinos as they are also called-have apparently fled SOCIALISM to places governed by Democrats, or what we up here call liberals. Could it be that this is not an unfortunate accident on their part, and that they are able to make important distinctions that you don’t, or can’t?

    • Where the hell did you get Clinton is a Socialist. There is no socialist or leftist part in the U.S by traditionally standards. There is only center-right (democrats) or extreme-right (republicans). Third parties are irrelevant

      When you get to the extreme side of either spectrum and habe polarizarion; that’s what breeds leaders like Hugu Chavez and Maduro. This article centers around that

      • Name one single Latin American leader who is to the right of Trump?

        Socialized “health insurance” and single payer is pure socialism with no regard for means testing or any form of personal responsibility. That is the pillar of socialism. And the battle cry heard “it’s for the children” is routinely used by Maduro and Chavez as frequently as Clinton.

        Trump predicted that Clinton information would be leaked via Huma to Weiner. Guess who was spot on with that?

        Clinton and Maduro have both engaged in reckless “lawfare” to advance their personal and political capital. How has Trump done this or even hinted at this? He has already submitted a list of candidates for the US supreme court that are constitutional scolars and would protect the original charter of limited gubmint. And this is like Chavez in which way?

        Lastly, trump has been the only solid candidate this election to defend the 2A. And Chavez and Maduro are what exactly doing to protect a person’s right to defend themselves?

        I know it’s easy for socialist-lite advocates to bring up straw man arguements, but only one candidate violated federal laws this election and it wasn’t Donald Trump.

        • One of the characteristic traits of Trump and his core supporters is a tendency to consider themselves uniquely possessed of an understanding of the facts, and of an understanding of the law. If they do not see their views reflected in institutions like the courts or in the media, those institutions are necessarily corrupt, biased, socialist, un-American, and so on. What they say is the law. What they say is the Constitution, and its intent.

          Thus a judge who does not rule in Trump’s favour is unfit to interpret the law because of his Mexican heritage. Thus the Justice Department and the FBI are corrupt because they have not brought charges against his political opponent. Thus reporting of both an admission from the man himself of a pattern of predatory behaviour against women, and actual reports of that behaviour, reflect a media conspiracy. Thus an electoral loss necessarily will reflect a rigged vote. Thus reporting of a failed business record including six bankruptcies and the loss of a billion dollars of other peoples’ money, and a record of otherwise not paying debts, from a man casting himself as an infallible entrepreneurial genius, is also seen as editorial bias.

          In the eyes of his supporters, Trump is possessed not only of a unique ability to restore things to a mythical heroic time, but of a unique ability to understand the facts and predict events before they occur.

          It was both fascinating and distressing to listen to Hugo Chavez every Sunday afternoon when he was alive. To see him single out reporters, comment on women, rail against perceived enemies in a vindictive and threatening fashion, use his position to humiliate people, pretend to have special powers of insight over the economy, world affairs, history, politics, religion and the institutions of government when he was so profoundly ignorant of all of those things.

          Chavez was possessed of a singular and destructive narcissism which made him carry himself and express himself as the living embodiment of the people, rather than as their temporary and elected representative- as if the peoples’ will could be none other than his will. And behind that narcissism and vindictiveness was always an implicit threat of violence and the use of all the institutions in his power to crush his opponents. He is often pictured as a jolly sort of man, but he had a nasty way of talking, a real viciousness to him, a quite un-Venezuelan trait, which poured out quite naturally and mixed seamlessly with his lighter antics. He played well on television.

          Listening to Hugo Chavez was fascinating, and left me feeling a little ill when it was done. What made it even more disturbing was that so many people- many of them people one would normally expect to have reasonably sound judgment, or at least, not be too crazy- so many people thought he was a great leader. And not just that- so many people actually thought he was a profoundly good person! Despite what seemed to me the obvious evidence to the contrary: what came out of his mouth, for starters.

          How could this be? There were a million explanations, but ultimately, it was inexplicable, unless you were one that agreed with him, in which case, his huge popularity was obvious. Chavez supporters, like Chavez himself, always self-reflexively referenced his popularity as evidence that he was what he said he was: a great leader who was making Venezuela great again, back to the time of Bolivar….

          So one could often talk to people about Hugo Chavez and think that one was talking about a completely different man and a completely different set of facts. I could point out an outrage I had seen, and people would blithely observe that I was hearing biased things, and that because of who I was, where I came from, what I read, my very sensory experience of seeing and hearing was unreliable. In a country like Venezuela in the past several years, the very act of living brought on a kind of vertigo. Talking politics made one dizzy. One would try different strategies, like avoiding talking about politics, but one still came into conflict over just plain….facts. Caracas Chronicles eased the vertigo a little.

          It has been a long year, for someone who lived with Hugo Chavez just a little while, to live with Donald Trump.

          • “In the eyes of his supporters, Trump is possessed not only of a unique ability to restore things to a mythical heroic time, but of a unique ability to understand the facts and predict events before they occur. ”

            Um… warning that certain actions can lead to difficult times is not a prediction. He did not whip out any crystal ball nor did he seek guidance of a fortune teller.

            Both Chavez and Maduro are brutal thugs who stole from MANY in the name of “socalist revolution” and only managed to line the pockets of their pet few while the rest of the population expereienced a significant decline in their standard of living.

            I believe Trump when he says we should be wary of this. Its not worshiping at the foot of a false idol, but taking heed of the problems that might occur if the US were to follow in the footsteps of other failures.

            Arguing as you have that Trumps attacks (verbal) on a judge who has known affiliations (and has donated!!!) to radical groups that seek to “Make America Mexico Again” is simply pointing out the facts. The judge is biased.

            Yet, if I point out the similarities between corrupt dictators in VZ and their American counterpart that manifests itself in the Clintonistas, certain contributors to this site insist that I am a chavista of a different stripe.

            Do recall, it was another presidential candidate who prognosticated that ignoring the troubles in the middle east was foolish… which was followed up quickly with a deragator quip “the 80s want there foreign policy back”… and so beheadings and a new front for terrorists was opened up.

            Glossing over the stupidity of a dictator or marxist with rhetoric is cute and all, but, the fundamentals of corruption still exist.

            I guess much of this is in the eye of the beholder. Canada has insulated themselves quite well from the challenges of having a narco-terrorist organization to their south. The day may well come when “Make Canada Mexico/Venezuela Again” will be upon your doorsteps as well.

          • “Arguing as you have that Trumps attacks (verbal) on a judge who has known affiliations (and has donated!!!) to radical groups that seek to “Make America Mexico Again” is simply pointing out the facts. The judge is biased.”

            These are not the facts. But let’s set aside the facts and look at your argument.

            If Trump had any substantive basis to support the assertion that his judge was biased, the appropriate place for him to make that assertion was in court, with a motion seeking the judge’s recusal (his removal). He did not bring such a motion or make such an argument in court, where it would be subject to proof and assessment according to the law. Rather, like the coward that he is, he makes these irresponsible and damaging personal attacks, which have the effect of whipping his core supporters up into a frenzy, and is not prepared to back them up.

            Chavez did stuff like this all the time. It was, like Trump, second nature to Chavez. Rather than seek the appeal of a decision of a judge like Afuini which he did not like, rather than appeal the decision, he attacked the judge, and he ultimately had her locked up and subject to …well, you read about it.

            The allegation that the judge hearing Trump’s case is biased is complete nonsense. It is a baseless attack on the judicial system and a respected judge (of Mexican heritage) working honourably within that system. If people of Hispanic origin cannot hear his case, I don’t see how women can either, given his expressed views about women….. his entire position is just insane. Should he be tried before a panel of middle aged uneducated white men? Is that where lack of bias lies in his case?

            These attacks flow from the same sort of racist animus that drove Trump’s birther gambit. His threats to ‘do something about this’ (this judge) after he is elected president continues the threat. It is one of many examples of how he is predisposed to abuse his power, and illustrates his complete lack of understanding of such fundamental concepts as judicial independence.

            Even if he loses, this guy, along with his army of whipped up delusional followers, is a threat to American democracy.

        • Easy. Augustus Pinochet and Marcos Perez Jimenez. Note: Besides the countless of human rights violations, those guys got things done. Think deeply about that for a moment. The extremist on the right tend to sacrifice social issues and progress the infrastructures of their country rapidly. The extreme leftist tend to focus on social issues. Being on either on side extreme of the spectrum isn’t optimal.

          ” Socialized “health insurance” and single payer is pure socialism with no regard for means testing or any form of personal responsibility. That is the pillar of socialism. And the battle cry heard “it’s for the children” is routinely used by Maduro and Chavez as frequently as Clinton. ”

          This is a deeply personal issue and you’re entitled to your opinion. Healthcare is comparably more expensive in the U.S then any other country in the world. Were everyone forced in a single payer system, it would drastically reduce healthcare and force medical companies to negotiate with one entity.

          I am all for the free market, but there are lines that have to drawn on social/moral issues.

          Example: Is creating an auction market for organs something that should be acceptable? What about auctioning sex with minor that have parental consent?

          Many believe that not having socialized healthcare is crossing a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Similarly, how organs are given thru wait lists instead of being auctioned off to the highest bidder.

          “And this is like Chavez in which way?”

          Research Chavez from 1998 to 2002. That’s exactly what he said.

          “I know it’s easy for socialist-lite advocates to bring up straw man arguments, but only one candidate violated federal laws this election and it wasn’t Donald Trump.”

          What straw-man argument? I don’t think you understand what it means to be a socialist or a leftist. There’s a huge difference between being a progressive and a commie.

          Trump (going on what he has said) seems to be less fiscally conservative then the average republican. He has stated he wants to eliminate Obama care and create a “better” system. He has been indicating that this system will not reverse Obamacare, but make something that will be even more comprehensive. Ted Cruz actually called Trump out on this during one of the debates. (This is actually one of the few points I agree with Trump on)

          In Venezuela, the 4th republic created several social programs that were decent successes and Chavez expanded them heavily.

          It’s pretty clear you don’t understand Venezuela politics on a deep level and seems to be selectively listening to Trump for what you want to hear.

          That’s leaving aside all the racist, bigot, sexist and down-right undemocratic comments Trump has made. Not acknowledging the election results is something that doesn’t happen in the U.S and it’s very common in Latin American politics. Trump has been the only candidate to state this in modern U.S history.

          “I know it’s easy for socialist-lite advocates to bring up straw man arguments, but only one candidate violated federal laws this election and it wasn’t Donald Trump.”

          Clinton is one of the most centrist in a good while.

          Trump voters, on average, tend to be poorly educated and don’t have anything of worth. People who have nothing to lose. It’s evident judging on how Trump has 50 points on whites men with no college education while Clinton has +6 point on college educated white men.

          This demographic is similar to the supporter base that elected Chavez.

          Put your disgust for Clinton aside and you will see Trump for what he really is. Why is similar to Chavez/Maduro. Why the American people should be wary of him.

          The lesser of two evils is always preferable.

      • Jr – (I laughed, because it seems you shift the political spectrum to the left.) Without going on forever, just one example out of a Wikipedia article on her policies (not HER, mind, just her policies and proposals which could be made by anyone):

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_positions_of_Hillary_Clinton

        “Clinton called for “new, creative, disruptive ideas to save capitalism”
        [End quote from Wikipedia.]

        [My text here.] She wants to raise the capital gains tax. Greenspan repeated for many years as Chairman of the Federal Reserve that a capital gains tax is the worst and most economically injurious form of taxation. I would say that taxing capital, a primary input of production, is economically the same as taxing labor’s strength each day before the men go to work, thereby reducing their input of production. Just chop a hand off, and that will improve the economy. She also wants to raise the inheritance tax, which is already at 50%. There are horror stories of farmers who once owned and farmed their own land, but lost it to the inheritance tax. One woman had a horse farm she was forced to sell to pay taxes, and she is now an employee on that farm. (Sound “fair” to anyone?)

        I ran some numbers once to try to find the effective tax rate for the top income brackets in the U.S. and came up something around 78% – but I’ve forgotten how I arrived at that. Just taking the 38% wage tax — ignoring sales taxes and social security and medicare (and the employer’s contribution), and ignoring the 35% corporate tax (one of the highest in the world where the average is around 27%) and the impact that corporate tax has on prices — and slapping on the current 50% inheritance tax, your $72 dollars (of each $100 you [had] to plan and save for), is now $36 dollars to your children and family or life-long friends and associates you might choose to benefit. Making just that rudimentary computation gives 74% of what you “personally own” to … wait … wait … YES!! The Government!! None of that includes state income tax, nor the opportunity cost of capital not available to invest.

        She is close to Bernie Sanders, attracting the far left votes.
        [Start Wikipedia quote.]
        “We are not Denmark. I love Denmark, but we are the United States of America, and it’s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so it doesn’t run amok.”[52][53] and “what we have to do every so often in America … is save capitalism from itself.”[53]
        [End Wikipedia quote.]

        Capitalism did not need saving in the 1800’s when the great enterprises of the U.S. were built by individuals who became millionaires doing so, building bridges and railroads, telephone grids, refrigerators, drawing oil out of the ground and refining it to run the famous Ford automobiles, making Hershey chocolates for children and adults, department stores like Macy’s where people could go and buy from the richest cornucopia of goods ever seen anywhere on Earth in all of its history, all in an environment in which Giannini founded Bank of America. Capitalism did very well on its own, when it was free. There were abuses, and those were corrected.

        Someone may ask about the Great Depression. The consensus there is that the Federal authorities at the time made exactly the wrong moves, because they did not understand, themselves, how an economy works.

        She opposes a reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall act which banks lobbied to repeal (gradually … from 2000 to about 2005) so that they could do what brought on the “financial crisis”, by leveraging derivatives. (All told the notional value of all derivatives today is about 10 times the total of all world gross production, but much of that is probably hedging currencies.) Had it not been for the actions taken by the Fed, who understood much more about the economy in 2007 than they did in the 1930’s, there might have been another Great Depression, but the blame for that lay with the repeal of Glass-Steagall. I read a fat and tersely worded book with a lot of footnotes, about the origins of the Great Depression, and those guys wrote that it began in, or was triggered by, a German bank branch which had gotten on the wrong side of the commodities market (cotton, I believe), and needed a loan from upstream, which got the big bank in trouble when the market continued against them, so they went to U.S. banks, to borrow money … etc.. The same thing: speculation. Thus Glass-Steagall.

        Chavez made promises, promises, promises … Clinton and the Democrats also make promises, and promise “moderation”, yet their platform is openly against “the rich” who made their money honestly. Unfortunately, it is a well-known saying that all politicians lie, and can never be counted on to do as they said they would after the elections. Clinton has the same agenda heard all over the world, to take from the rich and give to the poor.

  3. This whole Trump/Chavez thing is a dangerous bet. Because if Trump wins and makes a good, normal and responsible government, TOTALLY OPPOSED TO WHAT CHAVEZ DID IN VENEZUELA, what is actually expected by rational people, given his right-wing entrepreneur credentials, you all will be in a tough position. There will be some loss of credibility, right? Because the internet never forgets…, right?

    What reminds me of the NYT announcing a 96% decline in profits just one day ago. They, of course, have 1 million reasons to explain why that happened, not one of them revolving around a very biased left-wing editorial line and the consequential loss of credibility that that has caused.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/02/new-york-times-affected-by-almost-96-decline-in-quarterly-profits/

    So, come on guys, don’t burn yourselves like that for Hillary, she doesn’t deserve your media activism.

  4. “One reason the populist strategy is effective is that it does touch on certain truths. Washington is corrupted by special interests. Latin American governments do suffer immense corruption.”

    The true energy in both cases has not come from corruption or special interest influence. It is, rather, from a feeling that the nation is controlled by a social and cultural elite who are indifferent to the needs and interests of the general public.

    It was not the grafting, but the resentment that grows from being ignored, treated as nothing. In Venezuela, this was rooted in traditional class distinctions; in the U.S., that the political/academic/media/business elite do whatever they think is appropriate, regardless of what the majority of the people want.

  5. Traits to be found in certain political leaders:
    1. At the source of all problems is the following explanation : ordinary people’s lives are cruelly victimized by a class of evil plutocrats (and their hirelings) who monopolize govt and big business and use their influence and power to serve their own selfish interests and ruin the country they dominate .
    2. they come as saviours and redeemers to rescue people from these wicked plutocrats and restore the country to its past greatness and prosperity .
    3, they are omnipotent and all knowing , they always right and incapable of error , they are strong, mighty resolute and ruthless and absolutely noble and goody goody in their pursuit of the countrys greatness and happiness. they love the common people and are loved by the common people unconditionally..
    4. they come with a set of dramatic , simple to understand ideas that will work miracles to make things great again, which they will not brook anyone opposing or condemning , remember they can do no wrong !!
    5. Because they are so resolute and high minded they will take the most violent and drastic action to destroy anyone who stands in their way because anyone standing in their way is automatically a crook and an evil person .!!
    These leaders are megalomaniacally narcicistic histrionic and virulently beligerent ………and self confident !!

    When looking at these traits there are a few of them which Chavez and Trump might share !!

    • Bill, I don’t think this sounds like a domineering centralized government.

      https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/trump-delivers-speech-on-jobs-at-new-york-economic-club

      [One snip] — “My plan will embrace the truth that people flourish under a minimum government burden, and it will tap into the incredible unrealized potential of our workers and their dreams.”

      [Second snip] — “One of our greatest job creation measures is going to be our 15% business tax rate – down from the current 35% rate, a reduction of more than 40 percent. An explosion of new business and new jobs will be created. It will be amazing to watch.

      “We will also allow U.S.-based manufacturers to fully expense the cost of new plants and equipment.

      “On top of that, we will bring back trillions in business wealth parked overseas and tax it at a 10% rate. Some people say there are $2 trillion dollars overseas, I think it’s $5 trillion. By taxing it at 10% instead of 35%, all of this money will come back into our country.”

      Chavez’ plan would seem to have been the polar opposite: total government control. And it created havoc.

      • Like Chavez and his core supporters, Trump and his core supporters are chronically incapable of reading both sides of a balance sheet. Its all good news. The spending commitments insanely outpace the revenue. The revenue will magically appear and if its doesn’t, well, like Trump Casino, who cares because it is not my money!

  6. Gringo these are snipets from one speech , there are plenty others where the message sort of resembles in temper and intent (mutatis mutandi) some of Chavez messages ……but this speech falls straight into the #4 trait , just hand a lot of money in the form of tax breaks to businesses and they will work miracles by investing it all in the US to create good paying jobs meantime ravage any public service investments in health and education and infrastructure …by starving it of any funds , according to non partisan congressional agency on fiscal responsability the end result is budgetary disaster ……!!

    This according to the best economic experts is not a very credible formula for trying to face the huge problems which the US economy is going to be facing in the near future, Recommend you read ‘ The Only Game in Town by El Erian……to get a taste of how complex the situation is…!!

    I do like the idea of creating tax incentives to bring the offshore income of US companies back to the US , not sure how exactly that can be done best and I do think that the gist of many of Mr Trumps complaints are worthy of consideration but am skeptical of the oversimplistic melodramatic big macho solutions he proposes to deal with them . He is a tad too histrionic and narcicistic to be believable …..just as Chavez was …..!!

    His got to much ego invested in being heroically right and thats not a formula for dealing with the very complex social economic and political problems the western world is going to have to deal with in the next few years !! More balance is needed and far less ego driven macho posturing….!!

  7. Gringo, save your breath here. CC has already ruled that Trump is the devil. Anyone thinking otherwise will be blasted. Ironically we get upset whenever Maduro or his cohorts do that.

  8. One difference between Trump and Chavez is age and background.

    Trump is 70, and has been a private businessman all his life.

    Chavez was 45(?) when he came to power, and was in a centralized Government job prior to that (army), where all your needs, salary clothing (uniform) medical care are provided by that same Government. While that does work in an Army setting, it does not transfer to the world as a whole. If it did, then you all would have plenty to eat, medicine, and TP. Also, here in South Florida I would not be tripping over all the great entrepreneurial, accomplished, educated Venezuelans who have made my home theirs.

    I see Trump as a narcissistic ego maniac, but I think his desire is to become a great president in history. I am hoping his ego mania drives him to do right by doing good.

    He already has great wealth, he has already married a few supermodels, he is near the end of his life. There is corruption in the US government and always will be, the transfer of power between opposing groups is the only thing that can temper/hold back corruption. Republican voters chose him over the flip side (Bush etc.) of the same corrupt coin.

    In the Army when you say go, someone goes… In the private sector, you cannot order people around. You must persuade, you must pay, (at a price agreeable to both) you see others do what you did not want them to do and accept it.

    A democratic system starts by assuming that people suck. We give no one absolute power because we know that even Mother Teresa will get out of line, much less some lawyer, real estate developer, Dr., or reality TV star.

    Donald Trump and Chavez are both populists, but they are different in background in both Birth and work history.

    • If I were a Condo King in Florida and was interested in protecting the value of my assets, I would give it a little more thought than that: i.e. the Fed is rigged, tear up NAFTA, trade war with China, cut the revenue side massively and do nothing with social security and medicare, etc. etc..

      Maybe before you vote talk to your friend across the pond: Brexit Condo King. …

      • Just a reminder that Social Security and Medicare are socialist programs (for American standards). At least stay consistent with your rant, eh?

        • None of these positions- which are Trump’s positions- not mine (my position would be, to preserve entitlements, you can’t put in place massive tax cuts)- is consistent with anything I have heard the Republican establishment say in my adult lifetime.

          My point being, if it is not clear, Trump is not even a good capitalist. His cut taxes and spend approach is the worst of all worlds. If he is elected, watch the American dollar drop. Maybe he’s right- maybe the way to bring jobs back from Mexico is to turn the USA into a third-world country like Vietnam, but I don’t think that is what people really want.

          So you have Trump supporters here saying Trump will free the market up and rid people of impediments to job creation, but one of his central themes is protectionism.

  9. LOL. Hey man. Next time try another tag line, “Trump’s lineage to Hitler”. That will get you more clicks.

    In this election, I will take my chances with the lying clown than with the crook. At least at I’ll get a few laughs with the clown.

    • To be clear, notwithstanding the years and millions of dollars worth of investigations into Hillary Clinton by her rabid political enemies, she has never been prosecuted for or convicted of a crime. She has never been found by any court to have engaged in corruption. These are facts.

      That she is a “crook”, is a slur thrown at her by the “lying clown”. He is the source of that assertion.

      Do you see a problem with your line of reasoning about going with the “lying clown” over the “crook”?

    • “At least at I’ll get a few laughs with the clown.”

      So said many of Chavez’s voters in 1998. You’ve beaytifully illustrated the author’s point.

  10. ” I ran some numbers once to try to find the effective tax rate for the top income brackets in the U.S. and came up something around 78% – but I’ve forgotten how I arrived at that. Just taking the 38% wage tax — ignoring sales taxes and social security and medicare (and the employer’s contribution), and ignoring the 35% corporate tax (one of the highest in the world where the average is around 27%) and the impact that corporate tax has on prices — and slapping on the current 50% inheritance tax, your $72 dollars (of each $100 you [had] to plan and save for), is now $36 dollars to your children and family or life-long friends and associates you might choose to benefit. Making just that rudimentary computation gives 74% of what you “personally own” to … wait … wait … YES!! The Government!! None of that includes state income tax, nor the opportunity cost of capital not available to invest.”

    Your argument is laughable. Using an anecdotal example: I run the profits from my businesses thru LLC/S-Corps that have a very low effective tax rate (low 20%) after my accountant was thru with it. The average employee doesn’t have access to this type of structuring because they work purely on W2. I am all for paying more taxes when I am legally required to do so.

    Think about who’s suffering the most. What line of thinking supports this.

    Lastly, it’s dandy to be fiscal conservative. That’s your way of think and it’s a valid. You haven’t acknowledged one social issue and Trump’s platform is severely tanking on precisely that. I might have considered Trump if it wasn’t for his social platform.

    I supported John Kasich who had implemented a successful fiscal policy in Ohio. Trump and Kasich are a million times better then Ted Cruz or Ben Carson. The problem with Trump isn’t economical. It’s a social one.

    Racism, bigotry, sexism are all things that should disqualify you from being president.

    • I am looking forward to hearing from my accountant this year as to how I can borrow a billion dollars through the LLC, use it for a few years on star-studded but botched business ventures, throw off some nice dividends and buy a yacht and an airline, seek bankruptcy protection, carry my banker’s losses forward as a deduction on all my income for evermore, and travel the country telling people like Gringo that lowering inheritance and capital gains taxes on people like me will make the country great again. Yeah. I’d love that. “I am your voice!”

  11. “Racism, bigotry, sexism are all things that should disqualify you from being president”

    Finally a post from someone talking sense, and yes, Kasich should have been the GOP candidate, 1 x 10^10 better than the buffoon they chose.

  12. Trump’s current success as a pol is a sign of how even the most democratic of systems can go seriously wrong in the selection of its leaders , both because there are more competent men than him who have been left aside by popular opinion and because they have not been able to prevent the dysfunctions that the current political system is afflicted with ………, the handling of the economy needs a shake up which the existing system seems incapable of conceiving with any clarity or much less implementing , the break down of political life into a stagnant fanatically tribalized form of identity politics that cant get anything of importance done , or which is beholden on special interests both from the business side or from the cultural sectarian side represents proof that there are limits to democracy , that sometimes its part of the problems because its such a fragile system that it can only work its full benefits when you have a topnotch echelon of leaders and a civically mature and balanced general electorate…….!! Fukuyama has been proven right in his view that there are moments of political decay in the life of any country and that the USt is facing one such moment ……….!!

    Recognizing the problem is the first step , starting to think of practical ways to improve the system is the second step……..!! are we there yet…??

  13. While I clearly see the parallels in character traits between Trump and Chavez. I do not think that America could or would go down the same road as Venezuela did, because the institutions of democracy are strong enough to prevent it from happening. I would liken a Trump presidency as closer to the administration of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy. A Trump Administration would be marked by constant scandals, incompetence, naivete, and capriciousness. It would probably end in an impeachment.

    Of course, a Hillary Clinton administration could well end in an impeachment also. So, pick your poison.

    • Roy, how is a Republican House and Senate, full of Republicans who to date, are with some notable and rare exceptions, too scared to stand up to Trump, and a Court with the tie breaking vote chosen by Trump, going to be an effective check and balance on Trump? Where is the impeachment you speak of going to come from in that scenario? If he is elected, he will have a free hand.

      Don’t pick your poison. That’s what Venezuelans who just threw up their hands and said “politicians are all corrupt” did when they voted for Chavez.

      No, figure out what is the poison, using some facts and some reasoning, and pick the other thing- you may not like it, it may not be your beverage of choice, but it is not a self-evidently a threat to your well being.

      • First off, most of the Republicans in the House and Senate detest Trump. What they are scared of is rupturing the Republican Party.

        However, having said all of that, Hillary is the safer choice for the country. Personally, I voted for Gary Johnson. I could not vote in conscious for either Hillary or Trump.

  14. I may be blind to something quite obvious (hey, I did smoke cigarettes at one time, which are not good for you) but where does “health insurance” equate to “health care”? This is certainly a wicked tangent for this topic. I don’t recall ever going into a health insurance office and getting a flu shot or an X-ray in my lifetime.

    Health Insurance != Health Care

    Having the gubmint (left or right) become the arbitor of your medical procedures runs completely counter to the whole idea of freedom to choose. So if the arguement that gubmint knows best is what the left is going to shout from up high, your sadly mistaken. Insurance != assurance. There are a multitude of other options available besides going with an HMO. And doctors/hospitals know this.

    Back to the topic of this post, there absolutely no single quote the Trump has uttered during this election cycle where he would repeal/cancel/void/…etc. any particular freedom we Americans enjoy.

    I suppose if you consider “repealing inneficcient gubmint union rules” a loss of freedom, I consider it the exact opposite as a tax payer, I am no longer going to be forced to pay into an organization that has a conflict of interest (efficient use of taxes at the cost of hiring more gubmint employees, which only serves to add to their own special interests).

    Ultimately, we have the 3 boxes with which to change our gubmint. The soap box (which is getting more adventageous and is no longer under the strict control of leftists), the ballot box (which is always the most important), and the ammo box (which has seen precious little activities in the last 150 years to change our leaders). The mere fact that the socialists and leftists wish to do away with 2 of those 3 is very telling.

    This is what has been enforced in Latin America to keep tighter controls on the ballot box.

    • Actually Mitchell, you don’t have the ammo box with which to change your government.

      I wish for the sake of your country, which I am a great fan of, that were clearer to you, Trump (of the “2nd amendment remedies”), and some of your fellow Trump supporters.

  15. Venezuelans in the US wanting to double down the bet on Hillary, Shannon and all the rest of the gang responsible for giving Maduro such a peaceful ride in the last years is specially sad because it shows that US foreign policy toward Venezuela is not important for them anymore.

    What Shannon and Hillary will do — or better yet, their inaction regarding Venezuela — if they have yet a third chance, seems to be meaningless for Venezuelans now. They have given up. They are more concerned with the immediate policies that Hillary will implement that might benefit them and their families directly in their new country.

    I understand the hate many here have against Trump, but Venezuelans have a lot more reasons to hate Hillary, the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, than Trump. Imagine the amount of power that that women had in her hands in that period of time, imagine for a second on how she could have pressured the Venezuelan government to do, if not all, some of the things that MUD wanted. Yet she did nothing!

    Roy is right. Pick your poison, but know beforehand that one of the poisons you have already been taking for eight years, and is definitely not going well for your native country. You can’t deny that.

  16. The US faces a schatological challenge to its way of life , technological and economic advances and developments which cannot be reversed have begun to destroy its traditional middle classes (look at increased rates of mortality , drug addiction , suicide , prosmicuous relationships , unstable homes etc) favouring an ever smaller portion of the population vs the rest with consequences which are devastating to the liberal democratic model , the tribalization of its culture has polarized political opinion in ways that prevent the ordinary methods of democracy to function the way they have done in the past …..Trump represents a nostalgia for times which will not be coming back no matter how much he blusters his macho ‘I can do anything’ pretentions , not sure Hillary is that closer to understanding what is happening to the country but she is better trained in the challenges of practical governance to at some point in time rise to the demands of a future which is anything but under control.

    I would have to fill pages to try and explain what I think is happening so instead I ll just recommend fellow bloggers to read El Erians book The Only Game in Town and Internet articles where historian Francis Fukuyama warns of the political decay which is currently affecting US life and its perils , There is an article from jan 2012 and a recent interview by Ezra klein that give the reader a taste of the dangers ahead ….they are NOT negligible …!

    This goes way beyond Venezuelas horrible situation but it is also related to it ……..The trump hillary controversy is like two people fighting about whose to drive a car which is about to be crushed by a landslide , I think that Hillar not being weighted down with the burden of Trumps primitive narcicism is more likely to rise to the challenge altough Im not sure in the end she will be capable of it…..!!

    The small time corruption or sexism or racism of the candidates is to be condemned but its not really as decisive as the practical governing experience they have accummulated to face the tasks ahead , LBJ did not meet these standards of moral excellence and jet he was a competent statesmen that could do big things that needed doing ( even if he failed at doing all of them) . Wish we had someone like him at the helm…!!

  17. Así mas o menos el populismo, y como Chavez y Trump derramaron sangre antes de ser candidatos, esta grabado, y dejaron peor lo que recibieron!

  18. Y un shoutout a todos los trabajadores, que no podían ir a juicio contra trump, por los costos de juicio! sad, Viva las Vegas!

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