Will Trump Become the Republican Candidate for President in 2024?

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Based on the results from the midterm elections, the answer is no.
As of this writing Republicans will end with only a slim advantage in the House and they’ve lost the Senate.
Their relative poor showing was a referendum on Trump
Raphael Warnock (D) will beat Herschel Walker (R) in the remaining undecided Senate seat in Georgia, giving Democrats the full advantage of 51 to 49.
Trump has managed to divide his party.
Yesterday he declared himself a candidate for the presidency but he will lose in the primaries.
His supporters were mesmerized by his charm but missed the substance. And the substance is that Trump is not a believer in the democratic process.
The assault on the capitol on Jan 6th 2021 wouldn’t have happened without his incitement.
The fact that, in spite of it, he managed to keep so many followers, tell us that there’s a sizeable section in this country for which democracy is just a word.
The good news is that there are many Republicans who are not fooled and were never fooled.
They showed up at the polls in the midterms and rejected Trump’s followers.
They showed up at the polls and rejected the notion that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
The best hope for the Republican party in 2024 is that Trump doesn’t win the primary.
So far, DeSantis from Florida is attracting attention as a rival.
But there is ample time for other contenders to rise.
When the lineup of Republican party candidates shows up for the primary debates, there will be plenty ammunition for them to take Trump down. And his followers will see how much better another candidate will represent them.
The division in the Republican party works in Democrats’ favor.
But Democrats will do well to select a candidate whose appeal extends to disaffected Republicans.
The time is now for Democratic candidates to start grooming their teams.
And so the matter of whether Biden will run again becomes critical.
I am a strong supporter of him but now believe that he should not run for reelection.
In just 4 days, on November 20th, Biden will be 80 years old. In 2024 he will be 82.
Age matters on a job as hectic as the president’s.
Two more years in the White House will help Biden consolidate some of his policies and we may also see Ukraine win the war against Russia.
Biden should be very proud of what he’s done.
He has said he will decide early next year if he’ll stand for reelection.
I think he will choose not to. And so open the door for Democratic candidates to flesh out their campaigns.
Kamala Harris will definitely be among the contenders but so will be Gavin Newsom from California.
They need ample time to prepare.
My projection is that Newsom will become the Democratic candidate for president in 2024.
And so help write Donald Trump’s political epitaph.
We earn our freedom every day.

Voted

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Voted earlier this morning. There was a light drizzle out that faded after a while.
Well organized event. Amazing technology and it keeps improving. The volunteers were courteous and helpful. I enjoy voting in person.
The smooth end result takes a lot of work from a lot of people. People committed to the democratic process. I am deeply grateful to the staff and made a point of congratulating them.
Attention turns now to what the results will be.
My hope is that the democratic side wins and retains control of both houses.
Do I think Republicans can do a better job than Democrats? Not at all.
I can’t think of one thing where Republicans – in their present state – can do better than Democrats.
I say in their present state because the Republican party has been deeply impaired by Mr Trump and his followers.
Mr Trump incited a riot on January 6th 2021, because he wanted to manipulate the electoral vote to favor him.
He was prevented from doing so but, to this day, aside from the courageous Liz Cheney and a few others, there has not been a sizeable protest from other Republicans stating ‘Mr Trump attempted to subvert democracy by force. He is not qualified to hold office.’ Something of the kind stating the facts.
The majority of Republicans have been silent.
Just because of that they don’t deserve a turn at governing this nation. Not until they clean up their act and apologize to America.
But there are few signs of that happening.
In the state of Georgia, a former football player is running neck and neck against a seasoned and committed defender of the rights of citizens. Unbelievable.
The football player has no history of political involvement. He is in the race because Trump thought his name would attract voters. And, of course, the gentleman would do exactly as Trump wants him to do. Every time.
Recently, Paul Pelosi, the husband of Nancy Pelosi, Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, was nearly killed by a man who broke into their home looking for his wife with the intent of knocking out her kneecaps. She was not in.
Has there been a wave of outrage at such an action by Republicans? No.
Did Mr Trump publicly speak out condemning it? Not either. He thought it was fake.
And yet he is still a prominent leader of the party and is expected to announce his candidacy to again become president in 2024.
Unbelievable. There is a wave of gullibility going through the Republican party and they can’t stop it. The enlightened wing of their party has chosen to not put up a fight.
That’s not cool at all.
There is nothing or no one in the present Republican party that offers any worthwhile ideas for governing our country. Their submission to Trump is pathetic.
God Bless America.

We earn our freedom every day.

Rishi Sunak. Britain’s New PM.

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Good choice by his party, though it took them some time to figure it out.
Six weeks of Liz Truss, his predecessor, and a handful of horrible economic choices which
Sunak predicted would not make sense.
It is astonishing that the conservative party went for her plan even though the evidence against it was overwhelming. Cutting taxes and increasing governmental spending during a period of rising inflation? No, said Sunak, and he was firm about it.
Because of it he is now prime minister. The first prime minister of color in the UK.
Another good point for a country divided by Brexit, largely on matters of immigration.
It is also refreshing to see Britain’s parliamentary system work effectively.
Leader not performing well, out with them. Quickly.
Thank you to Boris Johnson who decided to step aside and not further delay a decision.
He had his day, and his good points, but in the end the flaws piled up.
I thank Johnson for his solid support of Ukraine. That proved to be his high point.
Kyiv will remember him well, as Zelensky has said.
My sense is that Sunak will do a terrific job.
He’s conscious of the many difficulties that lie ahead and is eager to square with them.
He gives me the impression that he has the strength of character to deal with adversity.
On the matter of his being a person of color.
It is a great step forward for Britain.
The royal family has had its troubles accepting Meghan Markle, a person of color also and Prince Harry’s wife, as one of their own. We hope that King Charles will be wiser on that count.
Sunak is clearly aware of how much is expected of him. As was the case here in America when Obama was elected in 2008.
In a Europe roiled by immigration issues, Sunak’s performance will be watched closely. How much can Europe transform its immigrants, how quickly can they make them one of their own?
There will be a lot of Sunak watching.
The man is ready for the job, exultant that he’s been trusted with the responsibility and confident that he will deliver.
In the tradition of his nation, Sunak will be a friend to America, and to the western alliance that needs to stay unified and so face down the rising Chinese threat.
Here’s to Britain, long a strong defender of democracy, proving that the system works.
And here’s to the British people, and their regenerative capacities.
Thank you

Zelensky Looks to the Future

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He is in his bunker in Kyiv, standing before a large map, going over details of troop movements in the Kherson area, northwest of Crimea.
What can Ukraine become? How much can it influence the present power arrangements in Eurasia?
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, all will be affected by what happens in Ukraine. The question is how much?
He is aware of the enormous responsibility that has come to rest on Ukrainians and him, in particular.
Seven months into Russia’s invasion and there they are pushing Russia back. No one had imagined this outcome was possible. And now the expectations of him and his people are rising.
Putin is on the defensive and discontent in Russia is growing. If only it would lead to public protests. And he imagines Belarussian resistance coming out of the shadows and surging, agitating against their leader Lukashenko, a close Putin ally.
But none of that is likely to happen when he needs it the most.
So it’s up to Ukrainians, with the backing of the West, to keep up the fight. Day and night.
Like his soldiers on the front lines, he’s in it all the way. Victory or death.
No room for escaping to the West should war’s fortunes change.
That is his choice. He will send his wife and family out of the country but he will not leave his land. He will not surrender. Victory or death.
The struggle he chose has transformed him as a man. Pulled out of him all the courage he has. Even courage that he didn’t think he had. Just like with his valiant soldiers.
Still standing before the map on the wall, he leans on it touching it with his hands and forehead.
And he says to himself softly, ‘my dear land… I am yours. I never imagined I’d die for anyone but I’ll die for you.’

He steps back and returns to his seat at his desk. It’s early in the morning and he still hasn’t had breakfast. These days his nights are short. Too much on his mind.

Speaking to himself, ‘I know that we will win… and then rebuilding will start… and that will take as much from me as the war… to make sure we do it well… that there is no corruption… no waste… for the eyes of the world will be upon us. And I’m conscious of my responsibility to help build a model nation… become an inspiration to others… and then a time will come when I will have to step back, let others govern, because we will be a democracy… but that won’t stop my struggle, for all of us have to remain vigilant that the forces of darkness won’t rise again.
The blood we’ve spilt has made us an example for the world… and we will not step back from the responsibility but embrace it with all we have. Oh, dearest land of mine, dearest people of Ukraine… how our struggle ennobles us all.’

The phone rings. It is his secretary. His cabinet has arrived for their daily meeting. It is 5 am.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com

Gorbachev and China’s Central Committee

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China’s Central Committee is meeting for the first time since Mikhail Gorbachev’s death.
Chairman Xi presiding.
Committee members will be identified by numbers for confidentiality.

Chairman Xi – The last president of the Soviet Union has died at the age of 91. His rise and performance in office must be studied by this committee to learn from his mistakes.
He was an eager man, full of hope and dreams but not grounded in reality. I urge all of you to study his decisions in detail so we can be stronger. I have said this before but it needs repeating.
Any comments?
Member #3 – I fully agree with the chairman. Mr Gorbachev rose to power in 1985 at a time when Russia was going through serious financial difficulties. Rather than study in detail the reasons for the economic slowdown he chose to emulate the West and came up with the notions of Perestroika (restructuring) and Glasnost (opening). It was a horrible decision that opened the door for the end of the Soviet Union. And so he presided over the rupture of a great empire.
Member # 5 – Nothing of what he said was right. He wanted to be like Ronald Reagan. He is a symbol of decadence and gullibility. He may have been an agent of the CIA. Agree that we should study his horrible decisions.

The room is quiet.

Chairman Xi – Any other thoughts?

Member # 7 – I disagree with my comrades.

Grumbling in the room.

Member # 7 – Mikhail Gorbachev was a great man.
(louder grumbling in the room)
He had the courage to say ‘the system is not working because it’s too centralized’. And he was saying that in the mid 80s… precisely at the same time when we were opening up to the West… when we were inviting the West to come in and start businesses here… inviting them to get rich by using our people to work for them and then to sell in our large market… but we were also saying to the West… as you get richer we will get rich too… and so it happened.
In the mid 80s, we were starting to do here what Gorbachev was asking Russians to do there…
but the reaction against his ideas was too strong and their centralized system was replaced by a narrow market system dominated by just a few people – who become known as Russian oligarchs – people with ties to Boris Yeltsin and then to Vladimir Putin, to the exclusion of the majority of Russians.

At the same time, here in China, under the wise leadership of Deng Xiao Ping, the economic opening was less restrictive, so more people benefitted… and our economy leaped to now be the second largest in the world, while Russia’s is number 11, according to figures of the IMF (International Money Fund).
Gorbachev had to deal with internal dissent, just like Deng Xiao Ping had to deal with the student protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989.
But times have changed.
China is now a mighty nation. We made it happen in an incredibly short period of time. No nation on earth has accomplished so much in so little time. But we did not do it by ourselves. We have done what we have because we had the West to copy, steal and draw from.
That in no way diminishes our great achievement… but it reminds us to not lose perspective.
Member # 8 (interrupting) – We should put a time limit on the speaker, we get what he’s saying.
Chairman Xi – Let him continue.
Member # 7 – Thank you, Chairman.
We are now at a different stage in our political and economic development. Covid has taught us some important lessons. Though our quarantine system helped us keep the number of deaths to a minimum, continuing to rely on this system has slowed down our economic growth. We need to adapt and emphasize vaccinations more, and we should import Moderna and Pfizer vaccines which have proven superior to the ones we make.

Grumbling in the room.

Chairman Xi – Silence, please. Continue Member # 7.
Member # 7 – Thank you.
With the astonishing development of some of our industries, we have seen a lot of businesspeople grow very rich… and now are seeing this as threatening the party.
Therefore, we have begun to meddle with those companies.
I don’t think that is a good strategy.
What the tremendous growth of some businesses is telling us is that we have to change.
The Communist Party has to change. Our system has to change.

Loud grumbling in the room.

Chairman Xi – Silence, please. Continue Member # 7.
Member # 7 – Dear Chairman… I think China can change the world.
Chairman Xi – We have already done so.
Member # 7 – I mean, politically.

Dead silence.

Chairman Xi – Continue.
Member # 7 – Rather than suppress it, we should adopt Perestroika and Glasnost.

Wild cries of dissent from other members.

Chairman Xi – Silence!

The room quiets down.

Member # 7 – Chairman… I ask that that the Chinese Communist Party hold free elections in our land.

Uproar runs through the room.

Member # 13 (standing, irately) – I ask that Member # 7 be immediately removed and taken to a reeducation camp. Out of this chamber now!
Member # 20 (standing too) – This is unacceptable. Leave this room now!
Chairman Xi – Silence! Everybody sit down! Continue Member # 7.
Member # 7 – I understand that we would be giving up some of our privileges… but please consider the enormous benefits we would be getting.
Member # 18 – Traitor!
Member # 7 – And you, Chairman Xi could run for president, and I’m sure you would become the first democratically elected president in our long history.
Member # 13 – Traitor, leave this room now!
Member # 7 (unfazed) – Chairman Xi… it’s in your hands to change the world as we now know it. What an honor that would be. And the mighty energies of a great China would be released and the entire world would be the better for it.
Imagine, Chairman Xi, if we began to work with the West rather than against it. And if we did that, Taiwan would consider joining the mainland of their own accord, say by becoming one of our independently run states.
Without a shot being fired. Without a life being lost. Without a person sent to jail.
Imagine, Chairman Xi, what that would do for the war in Ukraine. What it would do for Russia.
Mr Putin would be forced to realize the errors he’s committed… and countless lives and property may be spared. The world would start a new era of cooperation and petty tyrants everywhere would not be tolerated. Human suffering would decrease sharply.
The spirit of Mikhail Gorbachev tells us that the fate of the world should not rest in the hands of the few, but in the hands of the many.
You can make it happen, Chairman Xi. Thank you, sir, and thank you this distinguished chamber for allowing me to express my opinions.

Silence.

Chairman Xi – Security officers… please escort Member # 7 to my office and remain there with him until I arrive.
This meeting is concluded.

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Trump, Putin and Xi Jinping

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They have something in common, don’t they? Yes.
And it’s their clear intent to trap people. And keep them trapped.
But they have something else in common. And that is what they promise their followers.
‘If you follow me,’ they say, ‘you will have a better and stronger country.’ Thus, it is implied, you will be better and stronger.
For Trump the promise is MAGA, Make America Great Again.
For Putin it’s a larger Russia, a Russia that restores the might of the former Soviet Union.
For Xi Jinping it’s world dominance.
For Trump to reach his objective he was willing to make a deal with Putin but not Xi Jinping.
For Putin to reach his goal requires the annexation of Ukraine, regardless of the cost in human lives.
For Xi Jinping it’s further asserting China’s economic power while seeking alliances with whomever suits him best – for now Putin.
The followers of these men don’t even know they are being sold a richly decorated fiction.
They are thrilled that their lives have now a sense of direction and that they can spare themselves the trouble of doing their own homework.
Followers may have a vague idea they are surrendering their freedom, but the charisma of the leader calling to them proves stronger.
The follower may never have known freedom. They may never have troubled themselves to nurture their minds.
I say this because once you’ve known freedom you never want to give it up.
But to keep it you have to exercise it. You have to see it at work. You have to quarrel with it, smell it and taste it. You have to see how it bears you fruit. And grief. And failure.
How odd then that men like Trump, Putin and Xi Jinping can rise to such positions of power when their message is so clear, ‘leave the thinking to me.’ But they can do it, because they attract enough people who prefer not to think, and who then proceed to intimidate those who do think.
And that’s their story – Might Makes Right.
To have a mind – the capacity to reason while integrating our emotions – and to have health are our most precious possessions. And yet we don’t nurture them as we should.
We don’t set aside enough time to reason and assess the complexities of what we feel. We pay little attention to our diets in a massive exercise of denial. ‘Oh, it will be okay.’
Our voices need not be loud when we stand up for what we believe every day of our lives. But they must be heard. What may seem like a small voice added to another small voice makes a difference.
So let yours count too.
We cannot let a few people take over the world.
If a leader of a nation keeps getting reelected they are noxious to their people and the rest of us too.
Freedom gives you a voice, if you work on it. Tyranny takes it from you. And your life, too.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com, apple podcasts

Gorbachev

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A visionary man has died.
The man who, after assuming the leadership of the Soviet Union in 1985, had the imagination and daring to bet that the people he was entrusted to rule had it in them to embrace freedom.
So he came up with the notions of perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (opening) and for a brief period the people of that vast land breathed the sweet scent of freedom.
It wouldn’t last.
Some of his comrades began to plot against him and in the summer of 1991, staged a coup that nearly overthrew him. The conspirators were people who didn’t want to lose their privileges. Small minded people willing to do anything, such as insisting on the notion of a soviet empire to distract the people with dreams of grandeur, so they could continue to be first in line at the trough.
The Soviet Union was going through a very difficult time economically when Gorbachev rose to power. The need for change was pressing.
He bravely answered the challenge but the transition from a centrally directed economy to a market economy was slow and scarcity and poverty followed. His popularity plummeted and he resigned on Christmas day, 1991.
But in a few short years he had changed the face of the world. The Soviet Union was no more and the cold war was over. Germany was unified.
And the world saw, in astonishment, that even in a land which had been ruled for centuries by all manner of despots, czars and communists, freedom could blossom..
That precious moment had not been imported from the West. It had been a Russian thinker, a Russian patriot, a Russian visionary, a son of Russian and Ukrainian peasants who worked the land for a living, who had the courage to step forward and, putting his career on the line, say to his fellow countrymen, this is the path to follow, no matter what pains we must endure.
But the people he so loved and whose future was so dear to his heart, didn’t see the promise that shone in his eyes. And they rejected him. They would not endure the suffering he asked them to endure.
He resigned on December 25th, 1991. Some say that having the power to mobilize the army, he should have suppressed protests and kept himself as president. But that would have meant going against his core principles, going against perestroika and glasnost. That would have meant inflicting added pain on his people. He would not do it.
I am sure that in China, today, Gorbachev’s life will be studied for what not to do. For it is in the interest of that government to keep the Chinese people oppressed.
And Putin will celebrate quietly his conviction that Russians have no need for freedom. What they need is to listen to his wisdom, his insights into the human condition, the certainty that massacring the people of Ukraine is in the best interest of all Russians.
Putin will not win. The spirit of Mikhail Gorbachev will. It may take some time but just as Gorbachev changed the face of the world for the better, Putin’s actions are changing the face of the world for the worse. But the flicker of freedom that lives in the soul of Russia will soon burn brightly, and shine a light on their road to democracy.
Thank you, Mikhail Gorbachev, and your wife Raisa. We won’t forget you.
Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com, apple podcasts

China Will Fail. The Mirror of Russia

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It is up to the West, from where China has got most of its stimulus for its economic growth, to decide on the rate of decline that China will suffer.
But decline they will.
Russia is holding up a mirror for them as their invasion of Ukraine exposes their flaws.
Repressive systems that blunt the development of human beings achieve only short lived victories. And so it will be with China.
There’s a lot of talent in that country, and my take is that the political docility they have shown toward the Communist party won’t last forever.
Eventually, they will start to buck the system. They will say something like, ‘our political development is as important as our technological and industrial growth, so let’s start to let up on the restraints you have on us. How about letting us run for office?’
Of course, those who dare say that will be sent to a reeducation camp, to rewire their brains and relearn how to bow to Xi Jinping, kiss his feet and venerate his image.
But the more people object, the more likely the dissident movement will grow.
Hong Kong may end up playing a leading role in that process.
When that starts to happen, the likelihood of an invasion of Taiwan will grow, so as to keep people distracted with outside matters.
China will have to be very careful with that move because I suspect America and the West won’t let Taiwan be trampled on and be stripped of its remarkable achievements in manufacturing.
Again, the mirror of Russia will do wonders for China’s political evolution.
It is very hard to persuade smart people that life is better without freedom.
Russia has nowhere to go but down with their invasion of Ukraine.
And the Chinese will pay close attention. They will ask themselves, ‘do we want that to happen to us?’
The mirror of Russia stands to be very important for China’s future. Whether Russia declines and retrenches into greater cultural isolation or whether it shakes itself up and dares to unseat Putin.
So Xi Jinping and his select group of power holders are watching very carefully.
They are tempted to help Putin massacre more Ukrainians, but they know their image will suffer even more than it has already.
They don’t want to anger Putin either, since the man has more nuclear weapons than they do, so they’re probably assisting him in some covert manner.
China does not represent an alternative political system, just like Russia’s doesn’t either.
There’s only one political system that is viable, and that is the one that respects human beings’ right to speak their minds and exercise their freedom while respecting that of others.
Democracy, with all its flaws, is the only system that sees that as its core belief.
Any other system to govern people is a pretext to preserve the benefits of an elite at the expense of the rest.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com, anchor.fm, apple and google podcasts.

Russia, Turn West!

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This is the time. The time to break the chains that Putin has wrapped around your neck.
You are not the nation you could be.
You have the capabilities to stand as one of the first nations in the world, but you are not because to do so you need freedom, and freedom is not something Putin is willing to give you.
Your leader is determined to enlarge his personal power, not the power of the rest of Russians.
To do so he has chosen to invade Ukraine because they did not kneel before him.
That is what you are doing, Russia, kneeling before Putin because you do not dare to raise your voice.
You have gone so long without hearing your voice that you’ve forgotten what it sounds like.
That happens in dictatorships.
It is happening in your neighbor China, where Xi Jinping and his gang keep constant surveillance and restrictions on their citizens. They say that it’s in the interest of a greater future, when China will dominate the world. But freedoms restricted lead to impaired development in human beings.
Russia, you need to get back your voice.
The world needs you.
You went for centuries under the foot of Czars, then under Stalin and those who followed.
Only for a brief period, under Gorbachev, did you smell freedom, only to have it disappear under Putin.
Think of the enormous role you could play in world history if you chose to turn West.
You could choose whatever system of government you wanted. A system like the British have, or we here in America, or the French or the Germans or the Finns or the Swedes.
But you would be free.
Personally, I would be partial to a federal system of government that would make you the United States of Russia.
And you would enrich the world with all your talent and resources.
You would break out of the cultural isolation that Putin likes to keep you in because it suits his purposes.
And by turning West, then China would have to moderate its plans for world domination because they would become impossible to achieve.
This is the time to turn West.
For your development, for your economic growth and the realization of your potential as a nation.
Think for a moment of the cruelty that Putin has inflicted on Ukrainians and Russians. Sending them to their death because he has a dream of a larger Russia. But you are already large enough territorially. What you need is to unleash your talents, break out of you isolation and join the rest of the world fighting for democracy and the affirmation of human beings.
Russia, the world needs you.
This is the time to rise and retire Putin. Send him to his dacha for a permanent vacation.
Russia deserves to be all it can be and the world will be better off for it. Just do it!

Oscarvaldes.medium.com, anchor.fm, apple and google podcasts.

The Lesson from Britain

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The combative Boris Johnson, under much pressure from his party and fellow countrymen, decided to surrender his post while remaining as a caretaker until a new prime minister is chosen, which I read could take months.
I was sad to hear the news.
His flaws had persuaded electors to move on, yet to many, myself included, he had endeared himself by his full and unrelenting support for the Ukrainian cause.
Mr Zelensky immediately expressed his regret at losing such staunch supporter.
But there is the larger lesson here for the rest of the world and for Russia and China in particular.
In Britain, bastion of democracy, proud heir to the great tradition started by Athenians, when you cease to approve of a leader you can make it clear and the person steps down.
Not so in Russia or in China. Or in Myanmar and many other countries that merely pose as democracies.
Even here in the US, on January 6th this year, a president obsessed with retaining power, posed a threat to the peaceful transition of power.
Not so in Britain.
England shines in this moment as it affirms the primacy of the will of the people.
In a prison cell somewhere in Russia, Alexei Navalny, the most vocal critic of Putin’s regime, will probably remain incarcerated on false charges, as long as Putin is alive. He must be thinking of how long the road ahead for the country he so loves to one day mature politically and ascend to democracy. He may not live to see it.
Lies in Russia have long become the rule. And because of it, Putin does as he wishes.
Alexei Navalny criticizes his regime, then he goes to prison.
To be out of prison in Russia means you have renounced your right to your own opinions.
To walk the streets of any Russian city means you have willingly surrendered your right to publicly express how your country should be run. Instead, you have agreed to have Vladimir Putin decide for you.
Does the great Vladimir want to order the destruction of a neighboring country, with which there are long standing ties, because they are now daring to choose freedom? Then let him do it. The great Vladimir knows what’s best for me.
And the man or the woman choosing to entertain such thoughts will be allowed to continue on their walk.
But it will be the walk of a diminished person.
Lying and distortion of reality is Putin’s favorite tool. And he will keep working it. Until one day, something will spark in the hearts and minds of Russians who will ask themselves, why can’t we have at least moments like the English do? Why can’t we breathe politically?
Political lying is a mighty tool, and it takes many people willing to join in the farce to make it happen. Even from distant countries.
The other day, while reading the WSJ on the net, an ad emerged that kept flashing across the screen. It was a statement from a former vice premier of Thailand. In it, the regally dressed man told of how great a leader China’s Xi Jinping is. I don’t remember the details, but at the end it said something like, ‘And what is most impressive (about Xi) is the purity of his spirit.’
?????
A day or two before, in the NYT or WSJ or both, the heads of the top intelligence services in England and America made the public statement that the rate of cyberattacks by China on the West, to steal technological information, was steadily increasing (and going on for years).
Did the vice premier in the advertisement know that?
Of course he did.
But in Russia and China the citizen doesn’t get a chance to object to a leader’s lies.
And so people keep walking along, their heads a little lower every day.
In England, you get thrown out of office. And the English, in spite of all their chaos and mistakes, can say to the world, ‘our voices must be heard, and flawed as they may sometimes be, they are priceless.’
Thank you, Britain.

Oscar Valdes, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts