The fate of Zeleya and Honduras has dropped off the radar screen for the moment, but on Saturday Fausta filled us in on the most recent developments. The summary version: the UN, which is now mostly a vehicle to promote tyranny, wants Zeleya back, whereas patriots in Honduras are working feverishly to prevent their country from becoming another Venezuela. Obama, of course, is on the side of the UN.
Why do I keep pursuing this topic? What do we care about little Honduras?
Well, call me a nefarious neocon if you must (wait a moment; I just had to answer my phone to take a message about my next cabal meeting)—but I happen to be in favor of not only democracy, but constitutional checks on the possible tyranny of the majority in a democracy. And I would like to preserve such things even for little countries like Honduras, whose government is trying mightily and heroically to maintain its sovereignty, and to stop those who would usurp its ability to protect itself from that tyranny.
Unfortunately, our very own President Obama is among those people.
Honduras is facing something that has happened before, in many times and many places. But to recognize what’s been occurring there and what it signifies, one must know something about history, most particularly about how such power grabs occur. Then the patterns become clear.
I’ve written about those patterns before, here and here. If you go back and read both of those pieces—the first is about Chavez and Venezuela, the second is more general—you’ll see how very relevant they are to what Zeleya has been trying to do in Honduras (and see this for the very best summary I’ve seen so far of that situation).
The way is clear: tyrants very often use “democracy” as an excuse to get the people to override a constitution and grant them what turns out to be dictatorial, or near-dictatorial, powers, as well as the ability to extend or abolish term limits and stay in power longer than the constitution says (and in many cases indefinitely). Once the rules are changed about term limits, and power is consolidated and the voting apparatus compromised, staying in power is a relatively easy matter, really a trifle.
Most dictators of recent history have gone this route; the path is well worn and the methods tried and true. Zeleya was attempting to follow in the footsteps of compadre Chavez, and the government and people of Honduras knew it.
Obama knows it too, or should know it. So we come down once again to the choice of whether Obama is a fool or a knave. I vote the latter, but the former doesn’t comfort me either.
[NOTE: I’ve linked to this before, but I’m doing it again because I feel it’s so important and so misunderstood. It’s about the methods Hitler used to gain control of Germany. No, Zeleya isn’t Hitler; but this is relevant because it’s about how to gain control of a democratic country and do away with its constitution. I mention Germany because so many people seem to be under the impression that a majority of Germans voted for Hitler; they did not. But it’s a cautionary tale of the patient and step-by-step strategies by which a tyrant can gain power even in a democracy, even when he does not have the backing of the majority of the population.]