When Venezuela voted for Hugo Chavez the first time, they chose (along with Jimmy Carter, fan boy of thugs everywhere) sweet lies. They actually thought that Chavez was different than other wannabe dictators. They thought he meant his populist clap-trap about giving them the money that the rich had pilfered.
They wanted to believe a lie because it absolved them of responsibility for themselves. That's how Germany got Hitler. In both cases, the leaders expressed the will of the people--at least the first time.
Actually living with a Socialist draped in Populist clothing tends to be a lot less fun and liberating than the soaring oratories would have one believe. So now, Venezuela reaps what it sowed: they tacitly approved of extortion and thuggery against some, and now the voters will be on the receiving end of extortion and thuggery. They thought it was OK to steal from those who had more, now they will be stolen from. They might not have much in the way of material possessions, and didn't under the regime before, but now they'll have even less and no freedom to publicly cry about it either. They will now truly have nothing--no liberty, no life. And, if Chavez continues to emulate other socialists, he will end up rich and resplendent and regal and royal. Instead of a rich class of people exploiting them, the Venezuelans will have only one man to blame. And since socialism is all about externalizing blame, for a while, this might feel good.
On the up side, Venezuelans will be spared the difficulty of choice--the state will chose for them. They will be spared thinking critical thoughts or being exposed to innovative ideas--critical thinkers and the leadership will be killed, flee, or be sidelined. Venezuela will shed their intelligentsia, poets, artists, academics--anyone who might think for him or herself--so the "common people" will no longer have to feel bad for themselves. No one will be smarter than them, and that's always a relief.
The insidious lies that Venezuela bought need to be ferociously guarded against in Democracies. I truly believe that a country like ours gets the leader that represents the majority. The Washington Post editorial page says:
But the main threat posed by Mr. Chávez is to Venezuela's 26 million people. If he follows through on his threats, they can look forward to steadily diminishing freedom and -- if the history of socialism is any guide -- national impoverishment.First of all, esteemed editors, whoever you may be, Chavez has followed through on every threat so far. Keep this in mind when you dismiss Iran. Second of all, Mr. Chavez represents Venezuela now. Their country is "fair". Instead of rich and poor, now everyone will have the same nothing.
I know I should feel sorry for them, but when I see the natural outcomes of progressiveness illustrated, and when I see guys like Jimmy Carter (who called the first election "free and fair") extol Chavez and Venezuela, I just see consequences. Venezuela is a live learning opportunity for those who wish to believe the same sweet little lies made by Democrat progressives here in the U.S. Those lies taste like honey but leave bitterness behind.