Hugo Chávez stole not just money from his people, but also their democratic institutions and prosperity. He rewrote his nation’s constitution to suit himself, rigged elections, neutered opponents in politics and the judiciary, and silenced critical media. Thus, it’s no surprise that his land is presently moving closer to anarchy. This is what happens when a nation’s mechanism of government — which ideally should be a perpetual-motion machine of stability — is destroyed and replaced with a cult-of-personality demagogue. For when that man becomes the government and then dies, you’re left with nothing but a scramble for power.
At a former workplace many years ago, I learned that a certain fellow was cheating the business out of rental fees. So I confronted him, but he showed no contrition. Instead he replied, “I deserve it [the extra proceeds].” In case you haven’t guessed, he was a devout leftist.
This story is brought to mind by the revelation that the late Hugo Chávez had amassed $2 billion during his tenure as president of Venezuela. Yes, that’s one of those nine-zeros figures. Now, unfortunately for Mr. Heat and Sulfur, the Big Theft technique doesn’t quite work like the Big Lie technique: If you steal a sum big enough, people don’t start to believe you earned it. But why would this man — a champion of the poor, critic of capitalism, and beneficent bestower of charity — steal so much for himself?
Of course, given that ol’ Hugo should rightfully have ended up at the looped end of a rope, perhaps we can’t blame him for having wanted to create an exile-facilitating safety net. As to his justification, however, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts it was akin to that of my former colleague. His “feeling” likely was, “I do so much for the poor, I’ve fed so many people, and I’ve given away so much oil that I deserve it.”
You see, this is standard among the Left. In theological circles, it’s called the “sin of presumption.” The idea is that I’m such a good person, it’s okay if I have my fun and cut a few corners. Hey, where else is the world gonna’ find another God’s gift to humanity like me?
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