Nice Guys and Dissent

There was another brutal crack-down on dissidence in Cuba the past weekend, just in time for an American President to jet in and open a new era of business-friendly relations with that island’s totalitarian government, and it was about what we’d expected. The president’s open hand toward Iran’s theocratic totalitarians and indulgence of their nuclear ambitions has resulted in missile tests and ramped-up “Death to America” rhetoric, a promise of “re-set” and even more flexibility with Russia after re-election has brought that country’s takes into Ukraine and much of the Middle East, a pivot to the East has newly-made Chinese islands popping up across the eastern Pacific, our hostility toward traditional allies has had similarly desultory results, and as always nice guys seem to finish last.
Here at home, the situation is at least slightly better. Left-wing goon squads once again attempted over the weekend to shut down the campaign rallies of the Republican party’s front-runner, who has openly pined for the good old days when even more peaceful sorts of protestors were carried out on a stretcher, and so far the Democratic front-runner doesn’t seem to mind, so there aren’t any nice guys involved. An authentically kooky self-described secular socialist and an unabashed Christian conservative with red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalist ideas are still in the running, though, so as messy as it is it’s still messily democratic.
The Democratic Party is quite willing to make deals with the most authoritarian regimes, though, and the front-runner of the Republican Party is as well, and neither seem at all indulgent of even the sort of peaceable and downright mild-mannered dissent we practice here. We’d like to think we have the courage as those Cubans who agitate for their right to seek a more open and democratic and humane society, and who seem to have been left out of the latest deal, but perhaps we’ll have to find out.

— Bud Norman

2 responses

  1. “business-friendly relations with [the Cuban] totalitarian government”

    I agree this is the most likely primary motivation behind this decision, just like almost all our modern foreign policy. But even buckshot fires in the correct direction, and this looks like a good thing to me, especially because 57 years of hostility haven’t worked. Significantly, Cuba was originally one of those less-impressive artifacts of the Monroe Doctrine; in the history books, it now looks like a slower version of Iraq.

    From the linked article: “Such short-term detentions have increased in recent months…”

    That suggests that Raul Castro is panicked about democracy corrupting his beautiful communism. Dictators generally prefer not to antagonize the population more than is necessary to maintain power (and an opulent lifestyle), so he seems to think he needs to take a firmer grip.

    As troubling as this election is, it might result in one of those bloodless revolutions we’ve had trouble accomplishing lately, but much more massive for the time spent waiting. The two-party system must die, or at least reincarnate itself – hopefully with one party to represent the “establishment” of both current parties.

  2. A focus group of one here. We had Sunday dinner with our son and daughter and their families, as we so often do here in Virginia. After the toddlers went to the other room to play, the subject of the election came up. I’m rather pleased that my brand of muscular conservatism resides in both of my kids, although my daughter confessed that she listens to NPR in the morning (I held my tongue). These mid-thirties voters are both strong Trump supporters, having voted for him in the recent primary.

    Cruz, not so much. My son can’t stand his voice, a criticism that I don’t understand. Both kids agree that he would lose to Hillary in the general election. I would vote for Cruz in November if he’s the nominee and would celebrate the result if he were elected. Unfortunately I’m persuaded that he does not have the charisma to overcome Hillary’s advantages int he Electoral College. So the Donald it is. Now let’s blow up the status-quo in DC.

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