In a Democratic debate last week, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders argued that to deal with the migration crisis at the U.S. southern border, “we’ve got to ask ourselves, ‘Why are people walking 2,000 miles to a strange country where they don’t know the language?’ ”
It’s a sad day when a septuagenarian U.S. senator can’t grasp the reason for Central American poverty.
The migrants were born in countries that lack rule of law, respect for private property, and economic freedom. The nations of the Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras—instead have pursued Sanders-style social justice as a path to prosperity. It’s hardly a surprise their citizens enjoy neither.
Environmental mobs close down mining projects and chase away investors. Activists block roads to shake down the government; they invade farms and steal electricity with impunity. Well aware that upward economic mobility is nearly impossible, Central Americans vote with their feet.
The prospects for change aren’t promising. Ideas matter, and for generations the global left—mostly from Europe and the U.S.—has treated the region as its sandbox, where it goes to play with policies that don’t sell at home. Central America is macerated in the collectivist bunk of this elite, who promise utopia and deliver special-interest mercantilism and corrupt statism.
This is one reason Guatemalans were freaked out Friday when their Prensa Libre newspaper reported that Speaker Nancy Pelosi would lead a congressional delegation to Guatemala City this week “to meet with civil society, businessmen and other sectors.” Her office declined to comment for security reasons. But if she is going, it is worth asking why she would visit in the week before the Aug. 11 presidential runoff election.
The election is an important milestone in Guatemalan politics, and the deciding factor may be urban turnout. Despite a solid lead in a recent poll, center-right Vamos Party candidate Alejandro Giammattei isn’t a shoo-in. If voters in the big cities stay home, social democrat Sandra Torres of the National Unity of Hope Party could prevail.
Ms. Torres was first lady during the presidency of Alvaro Colom (2008-12) but divorced him in 2011 in an attempt to circumvent a constitutional prohibition on consecutively following a spouse into the executive office. The high court didn’t buy it, but she did make an unsuccessful run in 2015.
Ms. Torres is a left-wing populist. Her party, which is known as UNE, dominates rural and small-town Guatemala. Pocketbook issues are a priority in these parts and machine politics are the name of the game. By promising things like child and elder subsidies and tin roofs, UNE maintains a solid base.
Mr. Giammattei is by no means the first choice of Guatemalan conservatives. That designation goes to Zury Ríos, daughter of the late Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, who held the presidency for less than 17 months after a 1982 coup. Ms. Ríos is a popular politician and made her own run for the presidency in 2015. This time around, the constitutional court blocked her candidacy because of her father’s role as a military dictator.
Yet Mr. Giammattei ran the prison system and pledges a tough-on-crime agenda. He says he will bring investment to the country. With UNE controlling Congress and much of the judicial branch, voters may prefer an executive check on social-democrat power.
Both candidates oppose the immigration-cooperation framework agreement that President Jimmy Morales signed with President Trump in July. The accord is short on detail, but as protocols are added, the expectation is that it will oblige Salvadorans and Hondurans who try to move north to the U.S. to apply for asylum in Guatemala. Speculation was running wild last week that Mrs. Pelosi’s visit was partly aimed at derailing the agreement for domestic American political reasons.
Both candidates promise to fight corruption, but voter apathy implies a high degree of public skepticism. The United Nations International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala—a k a CICIG—was supposed to bring about the rule of law. But somewhere along the way the left realized it could use CICIG, accountable to no one, to grab power without the fuss of elections. A judicial reign of terror, designed to silence opposition, ended only in January, when President Morales kicked CICIG out of the country.
The media ran news stories for nearly a decade that read like CICIG press releases. But in March the Guatemalan attorney general petitioned the court to arrest CICIG’s closet Guatemalan collaborator, former Attorney General Thelma Aldana, on corruption charges. As the country’s top prosecutor, she ought to have protected civil liberties. Instead she permitted the commission’s abuses while it refused calls to investigate her. Guatemalans are still trying to recover confidence in their justice system.
Ms. Aldana, who had presidential aspirations, says she is being politically persecuted. But she has fled the country rather than face trial. If voters are uninspired by their political class, and afraid of help from Democrats, who could blame them?
Broadly, the Republican Party is concerned about governance. That is why, for example, repealing and replacing Obamacare is taking so long. The Republican leadership in Washington seems genuinely concerned about passing something that works.
.. The Democratic Party is often called the “party of government.” But aside from representing public sector unions, Democrats do not care about governing — at least, not anymore. To them, power is the means to achieve a kind of secular salvation: a placid world where all are equal, all needs are met, and all are validated — something like John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
Many Democrats accept that the methods they use to achieve their utopia may be harsh, even violent. The ends justify the means.
.. The two parties are not clashing: they are talking past each other, and only seem to be arguing.
.. In extremis, that means taking up arms. For most Democrats, “resistance” means denying Trump’s legitimacy and denouncing the heresy of his supporters.
.. Democrats think Republicans are the religious nuts, because of the party’s stance on social issues. But even the Bible prescribes family values for reasons that are, at least in part, practical. “Honor your father and your mother,” the Bible says (Exodus 20:12), “in order that your days be lengthened on the land that the Lord, your God, is giving you” (emphasis added, obviously).
.. Republicans believe that faith and traditional values help individuals live more fulfilling lives in an orderly society. Democrats substitute the government for God
.. They have their own internal divisions, between
- leftists who want the state to do everything and
- those who simply want to tear it down along with every other institution.
But both reject America’s founding idea of God-given individual liberty.
The increasingly illiberal European country offers shelter to a growing number of international nationalists.
.. Orbán’s “refugees” have been moving to Hungary, and Budapest in particular, for years. A small clique of Identitarians, or aggrieved nationalists from Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and elsewhere, all motivated by their disdain for their home countries’ commitment to liberal values, have found an ideological match in his Hungary, where two extreme far-right parties, the governing Fidesz and Jobbik, the largest opposition party, make up most of the National Assembly.
Jobbik is the first European political party to champion a border wall. Its members frequently express open anti-Semitic and anti-Roma sentiments, and prioritize the preservation of “Hungary for the Hungarians.”
.. they have created a structured propaganda circuit, in the hopes of spreading their ideas far and wide.
.. At the center of the scene is a publishing house called Arktos Media. It is routinely referred to as the preeminent publisher of the alt-right
.. Dugin’s “ethnonationalism,” a belief in the creation of ethnically homogenous nation states, has been championed by white nationalists, who argue that Europe and America are innately white nations.
.. Arktos titles largely promote a viewpoint it characterizes as “alternatives to modernity” that are critical of liberalism, human rights, and modern democracy... he argues that multiculturalism and liberal human rights—what he calls “cultural Marxism”—have been the dominant culture since the fall of Nazism, and outlines how transforming this culture space is necessary for political and social change... In 2014, Jobbik’s popularity surged, thanks to a platform that pledged to preserve Hungarian ethnic purity... These are people with an almost medieval view on the world and they find a safe haven in Hungary,” Kréko told me... multiculturalism is the supreme enemy.. Both believe in draconian immigration laws based on ethnic and racial preservation... 20th-century intellectual fascist Julius Evola’s A Handbook For Right-Wing Youth.. Evola, who White House chief strategist Steve Bannon quoted in a 2014 speech at the Vatican, is considered by academics as “possibly the most important intellectual figure for the Radical Right in contemporary Europe.”.. Marton Gyöngyösi, another key politician in Jobbik credited with calling for all Jews in Hungary to be registered on a list... Jobbik’s resistance to immigration, he said, is limited to people from “Africa or the Middle East,” because they do not share the same “cultural values” as Hungarians, as opposed to the “Austrians or Polish or American people who come to our country and who share the same civilization, the same religion, or the same values or way of life.”.. Friberg has sought to obscure his violent transgressions under a cover of intellectual legitimacy... He has spent his far-right career repackaging eugenicist ideology by rebranding the same or similar material with words such as “identitarian,” “traditionalist,” or “archeofuturist.”.. Michael Polignano, co-founder of Counter-Currents, moved to Budapest in 2016, and joined the nationalist scene. After moving to Hungary in January 2017, men’s rights activist Matt Forney wrote:“Imagine there’s no leftists. It’s easy if you try. No protests in the streets, and in front of us, only cute white girls. That world exists, and it’s called Hungary.”.. YouTube and Twitter personality RamZPaul, who has lived in the Hungarian capital off and on since 2013, tweeted in February to nearly 35,000 followers: “Budapest is like Paris of the 1920s. #Hungary.”.. British Nationalist Party leader Nick Griffin .. has been deeply involved with a radical Christian organization called “The Knights Templar International,”.. a resettlement campaign called “Operation Ark” for “refugee” South African Boers to relocate to rural Hungary.. Breitbart is now rumored to be opening a Hungarian office in the near future.. these nationalist internationals are creating a sanctuary from which to broadcast anti-globalism across the globe.
When Oregon was granted statehood in 1859, it was the only state in the Union admitted with a constitution that forbade black people from living, working, or owning property there. It was illegal for black people even to move to the state until 1926. Oregon’s founding is part of the forgotten history of racism in the American west.Waddles Coffee Shop in Portland, Oregon was a popular restaurant in the 1950s for both locals and travelers alike. The drive-in catered to America’s postwar obsession with car culture, allowing people to get coffee and a slice of pie without even leaving their vehicle. But if you happened to be black, the owners of Waddles implored you to keep on driving. The restaurant had a sign outside with a very clear message: “White Trade Only — Please.”.. According to Oregon’s founding constitution, black people were not permitted to live in the state. And that held true until 1926... Today, while 13 percent of Americans are black, just 2 percent of Oregon’s population is black... the summer of 1844, for example, the Legislative Committee passed a provision that said any free black people who were in the state would be subject to flogging if they didn’t leave within two years. The floggings were supposed to continue every six months until they left the territory.That provision was revised in December of 1845 to remove the flogging part. Instead, free black people who remained would be offered up “publicly for hire” to any white person who would remove them from the territory... Roughly 75 percent of voters opted to reject the adoption of slavery. The second measure was whether or not to exclude black people from the state. About 89 percent of voters cast their vote in favor of excluding black and mixed race people from the state... The voters who overwhelmingly embraced this exclusion rationalized it not as blind hate, but as a progressive move that was simply keeping their new land “pure.” Utopia often means starting from scratch, and just as often it means excluding undesirables.
.. It was largely an expression against any mingling of the white with any of the other races, and upon a theory that as we had yet no considerable representation of other races in our midst, we should do nothing to encourage their introduction. We were building a new state on virgin ground; it’s people believed it should encourage only the best elements to come to us, and discourage others.
This language about virgin ground and “the best elements,” burned into law in the new state, was used as a recruitment tool for other white Americans in the latter half of the 19th century — many of whom were white “refugees” from the south who were fleeing the dissolution of slavery.
.. “If you look at some of the recruiting materials, in essence they’re saying come and build the kind of white homeland, the kind of white utopia that you dream of,” Imarisha said. “Other communities of color were also controlled, not with exclusion laws, but the populations were kept purposefully small because the idea behind it was about creating explicitly a white homeland.”
.. Though Asian people were not specifically called out in Oregon’s constitutional exclusion laws, the white people of many towns large and small did their best to drive out non-white people any time they got the chance.
As just one example, the white people of La Grande burned that city’s Chinatown to the ground in 1893... In 1922 the Klan in Oregon boasted membership of over 14,000 men, with 9,000 of them living in Portland... In 1923, Oregon governor, Walter M. Pierce, and Portland mayor George L. Baker, attended and spoke at a dinner in honor of Grand Dragon Frederick L. Gifford’s birthday... The Telegram was one of the few newspapers in Oregon to openly oppose the Klan at the height of its power in the state... People of color were naturally a target for the Klan during this period, but with so few people to irrationally hate for the color of their skin, they turned to campaigns against other groups like Catholics.