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