Barack Obama shares many similarities with socialist revolutionary and Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez. In fact, given both politicians' proclivities for centralizing near complete control over their nations' state institutions into their own hands and pouring billions of dollars of free enterprise dollars into programs for those that can (but choose not to) help themselves, the likenesses are pretty startling. Chavez made as much be known by offering a second ringing endorsement of Obama in his first news conference since re-election today.
Both Obama and Chavez proclaim themselves as supreme espousers of "democratic" ideals, yet are socialistic to the core. Chavez at least owns up to the fact. Just two days ago, Chavez gained a third-term as Venezuela's President that could extend his rule over the oil-rich Latin American nation to 20 years. It will be a term that sees his self-spun "socialist revolution" spread around (i.e. suffocate) the globe, Chavez promises.
It is predicted by many that Chavez will launch nationalizations in some largely untouched corners of Venezuela's economy, including the banking and healthcare industries, now that he has gained re-election. Hmm, banking and healthcare, huh? Sounds a bit like the reforms Obama has already undertaken as America's Commander-in-Chief. Chavez formerly took advantage of his decisive election victory in 2006 to order takeovers in the telecoms, electricity and oil sectors. Energy changes, too? Did he ever foolishly invest $527 million of his people's tax dollars into a little bankrupted company called Solyndra, perchance?
Chavez, like Obama, has made it his foremost policy to put Venezuela's poor first with exceedingly generous social welfare programs, to the neglect of those whose money he uses to fund the programs. Chavez has handed out homes and pensions financed with state funds, often in ceremonies that self-glorify his administration, while warning that the opposition would rescind such benefits. But, to paraphrase Barack Obama, "you didn't build that", Hugo! Your tax-paying constituency did.
Both leaders also lean on a vacuous charisma and folsky oratory to persuade/brain wash voters. (Try playing a drinking game with your buddies where each of you takes a swig of Soviet vodka every time Obama says the word "folks" in a speech. You'll be drunker than a democrat still blaming all of America's problems on George W.). Of course, Chavez is also one of Latin America's principal anti-U.S. agitators, criticizing Washington while getting close to U.S. adversaries including Cuba and Iran. But he also supports Obama in the upcoming election. Go figure.
The problem of socialism and Obama/Chavez' "you make more, we'll take more" attitude is, eventually, you run out of other people's money to steal for your own deleteriously self-righteous sociology experiments. Especially if the people responsible for subsidizing many of the dependents' carelessness and insolvency flee the country at the rate they have in Venezuala over the course of Chavez' presidency. (One can picture it now: a brave, new, truly North American frontier in Canada). Venezuela is seeing all of this first hand as a result of Chavez' widespread use of oil profits to pay for his social programs, and failure to reinvest them in the state-owned energy industry. Not to mention his decision to strip long-time employers, Exxon and Conoco, of any participation in the country's energy production. This is the stuff of trillion dollar deficits and double-digit unemployment rates, "folks!"
It is even kind of alarming how much Chavez' dispatched opponent Henrique Capriles reminds of Mitt Romney. Both are youthful, legally trained, state governors of traditionally ostracized religious faiths (Jewish and Catholic in Capriles' case), born of successful businessman fathers, with visions diametrically opposed to those of incumbents, Obama and Chavez. The two even look sort of look alike, crazily enough. And both - if the supporters of Barack Hussein Obama and Hugo Chavez, himself, have their way - will have lost come November 6, 2012.
The upcoming American election will have telltale implications for the future of American capitalism and the future of the American people. You can either believe in a propangandist's placard with a hammer, sickle and "FORWARD" in big red (Marxist) letters or you can believe in the plan of a man who stands for what America traditionally has been about: hard work, self-accountability and a government that encourages such traits, as opposed to effectually subsidizing the opposite.
So one leaves it you, America: Where does democracy end and socialism begin?