One and the other

Dear editor,

The following excerpts are from the article “Hugo Chavez, R.I.P.: He empowered the poor and gutted Venezuela.” written by Moises Naim and published March 5 in Bloomberg Business week. The title could read “Obama empowered the poor and gutted America”.

Using that premise simply replace Mr. Naim’s references to Chavez with Obama.

1. Chavez is more than controversial. He is the subject of deep admiration that easily morphs into passionate worship, and antagonism that often mutates into equally intense hatred.

2. Inevitably, his legacy will be as hard to assess objectively as that of all other deeply polarizing leaders-from Mao to Peron.

3. Moreover, his ability to make the poor feel that one of them was in charge has no precedent.

4. In fact, President Chavez was a pioneer and one of the most adroit practitioners of a political strategy that became common after the Cold War. These are regimes where leaders gain power through democratic elections and then change the constitution and other laws to weaken checks and balances on the executive, thus ensuring the regime’s continuity and its almost total autonomy while still retaining a patina of democratic legitimacy.

(In my view this unquestionably describes the subversive liberal agenda of the Democratic Party starting with Roosevelt and culminating with Obama.)

5another paradox of a leader whose rise to power rested on the promise to stamp out corruption and crush the oligarchy [and created]the new oligarchy formed by close allies of the regime’s leaders, their families, and friends-[who] have amassed enormous wealth through corrupt deals with the government.

6. President Chavez leaves a fiercely polarized society. While social divisions always existed, Chavez’s brand of politics depended too much on stoking resentment, rage, and revenge to levels previously unknown. It will take a long time and immense effort to heal the wounds left by the massive doses of social conflict that the president promoted and on which he thrived.

I think Mr. Naim unintentionally but accurately wrote President Obama’s legacy and America’s fate as well.

Dennis Atwater

Warren