As the Sanders candidacy – the 25% of the left that is the analog of the Trump audience in the GOP – continues to slurp up the attentions of our lazy media, it’s always instructive to be aware of the inevitable failure of democratically-elected socialism in our hemisphere. Kevin Williamson runs down the dismal record and present of the Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has continued and extended the misery and repression of the Chavez years.
That’s all bad enough.
Maduro, like Chavez and all socialists before him, has been moving aggressively to control public opinion, banning opposition media and driving all dissent underground.
And while the dog is in Venezuela, the tail is here in America:
There is more to democratic legitimacy than open ballots truly counted. As the Founders of our own republic keenly appreciated, genuine democratic engagement requires an informed populace and open debate, thus the First Amendment’s protections, which extend not only to newspapers and political parties but also to ordinary citizens, despite the best efforts of Harry Reid and congressional Democrats to trample those rights. (They call this “campaign-finance reform,” on the theory that political communications more sophisticated than standing on a soapbox outside the Mall of America requires some sort of financial outlay.) But Venezuela has been for years cracking down on newspapers, radio stations, and television stations, even as the Maduro regime’s inspirations in Havana have been locking up outlaw . . . librarians.
Is it an accident that suddenly, the First Amendment is out of style on the left, with a whole generation of college students being raised to see speech as a controlled professional entitlement, the Obama Federal Communications and Elections Commissions constantly moving to control alternative media, using Homeland Security to demonize and the IRS to stifle dissent, and our nation’s chattering elite finding the First Amendment just too complicated for commoners?