City of Roses
|That's all right that you say that, Balladeer. I don't consider myself offended so much as I believe there is a divide of miscommunication between us.
I do believe you perhaps took that statement more seriously than how far I was intending for it to be perceived as. I meant it specifically by how, like your Venezuelan friends you keep contact with in Florida, who are in the political minority currently in their nation, politically I, myself, am in the minority here in America.
I have great respect and empathy for their concerns. Though I do hope they recognize that Chavez's presidency is legitimate, I too also hope Chavez is finding it somewhere in his soul to listen to voices like your friends and embracing the interests of the hard working man or woman who has to balance two jobs a week with minimal pay. I too am gravely concerned of individuals like that there and in next door neighbor Colombia, where economic conditions are troubling right now.
America is far better off economically, and I mean FAR better off, than most of Latin America is, and if you thought I was saying I am basically economically living like them down there in my statement, I've clarified here that wasn't my intention to that statement.
But the fact is, despite some wide ideological differences between our president and their president, these two men somehow are not all that unlike one another.
Bush is a democratically elected president. Chavez is a democratically elected president. Bush is a very militaristic individual. Chavez is a very militaristic individual. Under both these presidencies, their nations are polarized. As you previously may have imposed, those Venezuelans with low or no income tended to vote for an opposition candidate. Here, in 2004, 63% of voters with an income of $15,000 or lower voted for the opposition, with the reversal percentage at $200,000 or above for Bush.
There are notable similarities here between these presidents and the nations they govern. Both these men are obviously polarizing influences.
And I believe my disapproval towards this administration is justified. I believe he just isn't embracing the important issues, the basic qualities of life. The environment, so the children of tomorrow's families can breathe the clean air and drink the clean water and appreciate the fresh ecosystem like we did. The living wage or minimum wage increase, so the average American family can prosper and afford the basic qualities of health care, education and insurance to improve the quality of life, for the American family is what keeps the gears of the economy turning. Things like that.
I really don't know what's going on right now in Venezuela, few of us do. I feel for those like your friends who believe Chavez could be doing much more for people like them. There's not much else I could say though. Over half of Venezuelans continue to vote for Chavez. That must mean to most Chavez must at least be doing something right.
My advice to your friends is this. Traditionally oppositional and third parties always influence and generate the new ideas that help parties evolve in future generations. At first those new ideas sound radical and unheard of to many, but as time goes on, they make much more sense.
Encourage your friends, first and foremost, they're never alone. Encourage them to continue to follow their hearts and believe they can make a difference. Perhaps your friends have some social or political ideals for progress. Encourage them to keep interested and be active. The more interested you are, the more convincing and persuasive you are to others. Then, who knows, I believe that those like Chavez will hear the message and he listens, then good, everyone wins, or if he refuses it might lead to his own democratically-influenced hubris, who knows? But the people DO have the power to influence and change the world. Despite all that I feel is troubling and wrong now under this administration, I still believe it is a great time to be a progressive so you can have something to do! LOL! And I believe we have made so much great progress too! Portland, Oregon is expected next month to pass legislation to make the city the FIRST city in America to have citizen-owned elections. My God, I can already imagine how proud I'd feel when the movement spreads to so many other regions and I grow up and say, "Wow, I live in Portland, Oregon, the founding city of citizen-owned elections!"
Despite that troubling fact both these nations are polarized, I will condemn anyone who wants or intends to assassinate Chavez, just as I would condemn anyone who desires to assassinate Bush, like with that previous conspiracy headline on his visit to Colombia.
Wow, covered a lot of ground here. That's enough for now.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"