Issues & Insights
Burkhard Mücke

What Happens After All The Statues Come Down? The Chavez-ification Of America

I&I Editorial

The recent spate of statue toppling is not just vandalism of the rabble gone wild. It’s more than that, much more.

So far in this current cycle, the statues of Confederates, Christopher Columbus, George Washington, a Spanish missionary, U.S. Grant, a Texas Ranger, and an Oregon pioneer, to name a few, have either been torn down by mobs or removed by officials who have surrendered to the swarming Woke activists. It’s not easy to decide who is more contemptible, the thugs pulling down the memorials or the authorities who are allowing the crimes to occur.

Either way, the rampaging is more than a matter of aesthetics and a breach of polite behavior, with supposedly civilized Americans conducting themselves like savages. The dangers are ultimately existential. As Ed Driscoll blogged Tuesday on Instapundit, “as with all previous revolutions, eliminating statues of dead people is merely the precursor to eliminating living people deemed by the left to be, as Hillary would say, ‘deplorable.’”

Last week, Hoover Institution scholar, professor, farmer, and columnist Victor Davis Hanson told Fox News the vandals are “very arrogant. They’re sure of their moral superiority because they’re ignorant and they have no self-doubt.” It’s “true of most revolutionaries,” he continued, “they have no self-doubt and they become cannibalistic in their zeal for perfection, perfection, perfection.”

Monday, Hanson was on Fox again, telling host Tucker Carlson that the destruction is “not about the icon on the statue, it’s about humiliation and power.” Hanson, who is also a classicist and military historian, has been warning us for years about the hazards of sitting idle while history is erased.

“Cleansing the past is a dangerous business,” he wrote in 2017. The progressive left “search for more enemies of the past may soon take progressives down hypocritical pathways they would prefer not to walk.”

Elizabeth Rogliani, a Venezuelan actress living in this country, tells us exactly what that path looks like.

I have already lived through this thing when I was living in Venezuela. Statues came down, (Hugo) Chavez didn’t want the history displayed. Then he changed the street names, then came the curriculum, then some movies couldn’t be shown on certain TV channels.

You guys think it can’t happen to you. I’ve heard this so many times. But always be on guard, never believe that something can’t happen to you. You need to guard your country and your society or it will be destroyed. … And there’s clearly a lot of people wanting to destroy the U.S.

For those with short memories, Chavez is the Castro-ite revolutionary who was elected Venezuelan president in 1998. He eventually became a dictator, surviving a 2002 coup. While in power, he drove what at one time was the richest country in South America into an economic abyss. The oil-rich nation now has the 75th largest economy in the world and ranks only seventh in Latin America, and falling fast.

The crash has been continued by Nicolas Maduro, another revolutionary who succeeded Chavez upon his 2013 death. Venezuela is wracked by shortages, stratospheric inflation, and soaring crime. It has, reports the British Independent, “collapse(d) into authoritarianism.”

“Power grabs, most recently to replace the constitution, have led to protests and crackdowns that have killed dozens just this month,” it reported in May 2017, because (our words) poor Venezuelans’ lives matter.

And all of it was done in the name of freeing an oppressed people through the “widespread nationalization of private industry, currency and price controls,” as well as “the fiscally irresponsible expansion of welfare programs.” It was these Chavez policies, says Venezuela expatriate Daniel Di Martino, “that produced the current crisis.”

Much of the country is sickened by what it’s seeing in our streets. But that, says Peter Hitchens, writing in his Daily Mail blog, isn’t the worst of it.

“Do not worry too much about the statues which are now coming down. They mean surprisingly little. Worry more about the ones they are soon going to be putting up, and what they will represent. Perhaps our grandchildren will find the courage to pull them down.”

The hope is it never gets that far, that a core of Americans will show some spine and say enough, no more riots, no more looting, no more mimicking Third World barbarism. We won’t go down that ugly road.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Over here in Britain, and especially in Ireland, we are more than familiar with the “statue topplers”
    There is not a small town or city without a ruined Church, Convent, or Monastery.
    This was due to the orgy of destruction of culture and art instigated by Henry 8 and completed by Oliver Cromwell and other religious fanatics back in the 15 and 16 hundreds
    The destruction they carried out has only been equalled by the Muslim fundamentalists.
    I pray that your great country comes to its senses but I am not too optimistic as the education system has been hijacked by the satanic marxists and will take at least 3 generations to put right.
    This present coup against President Trump is well planned. I dread to think what will happen when he gets re-elected. We look on anxiously. I really believe he is the last hope for Christianity and sanity.

    • I think its entirely possible that some red states could secede from the Union, and form their own “checker board” country within a country.

  • You saw Seattle! That’s what happens! And then the killing starts, and those that will die will not be the “protesters”, it will be you and me!

    • The statue of Lenin in Seattle is not in any danger. Unless some patriotic folks decide to topple it.

  • It’s become obvious that most elected officials are too weak to oppose the Vandals, while the democrats actually applaud them. The President is stymied at every turn while trying to protect us, the People of the US and our Constitution. We have only ourselves to, arming ourselves and going out to meet this enemy in our streets.

  • In South Africa, there’s a joke about “UsedToBeCalledWhatsisname Street”, with renaming of just about everything. One upsetting incidence was a street in Durban named after one of SA’s genuine heroes and Victoria Cross winners – but he was white. At the insistence of the ANC local government, it was renamed after ‘hero’ Che Guevara – who oddly, wasn’t very fond of ‘blacks’ at all!

  • It is coming to a state near you all these guys BLM and antifi are communist fronts that is what they are .

  • Actually, the most telling comment by Venezuelan Elizabeth Rogliani was not quoted. She said that Cuban refugees told the Venezuelans of the danger of Hugo Chavez, and Venezuelans, who at that time were among the richest Latin Americans, laughed them off, saying it couldn’t happen in Venezuela. That’s just what many are saying here.

  • what’s the point of an “editorial board” that just cobbles together bits of articles from other publications?

  • The fundamental transformation that a Trojan horse warned about.
    Elections have consequences and we are not all in this together.

    “Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision, we also have to be rooted in reality. The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.”

    — Barack Obama

  • I wonder how many of the members of the editorial board have actually traveled to Venezuela since Maduro became dictator. Or spent time in Peru during the height of the Shining Path’s campaign of mass murder, terrorist bombings and other acts in its attempt to topple the government. Or to Cuba, and risked arrest by asking people about the failures of the government, only to be met with silence, an immediate changing of the subject, or a whispered request to speak somewhere much more private. Or to any one of a number of African nations where I found it necessary to be fully armed a.k.a “cocked” and loaded at all times. I think it’s fair to say we are nowhere near some teetering on the brink moment, so to speak.
    The country is also almost three hundred and fifty years old. With every year added, we’ve gotten in a little more right. Time has only further tempered the steel like strength of our Republic. We’ve faced far more serious crises than the current situation. Are we witnessing a distinct overreaction? Sure. But the pendulum sometimes swings too far in one direction. I cannot recall any time in our history where gravity did not pull it back down to the bottom of the arc (the middle ground) eventually. If it had not, would we be discussing this right here, right now?
    It’s always wise to be mindful of the slippery slope. We’ve been confronted with a number of such slopes in our history including a fair number in the past four years. None have resulted in a slide to the bottom. This editorial has just a little too much of a sky is falling feel to it. Or to quote the movie line, “lighten up Francis.”

      • But this time, the CIA is on the side of the mob tearing down monuments and burning down cities.

        The War on Cops instigated by the Obama administration has been dramatically won with police departments kneeling down to their victors, rioters, looters and arsonists.
        Police departments will be disbanded and the police themselves will be defunded, disarmed, and decommissioned.

  • Let me know if anyone hears a statement about defacing public property from Joe Biden.

  • Well, if the media won’t show the truth, and the Republicans won’t grow some balls, what are the rest of us supposed to do? My god, I’ve never seen such a bunch of pansies as the Republican party. And I thought Trump was a fighter! Where the hell is he?

  • The children of the Left hate Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Grant, and so many others while they proudly wear T-shirts with Che Guevara, Hugo Chavez, Lenin, etc., portraits. These children have near zero knowledge of history or what they are really even saying.
    Even more importantly, they do not understand human nature and how priorities, values, and what is considered normal behavior, all change over time such that what was normal a few hundred years ago are taboo today and how many things that are normal today could easily be taboo in a few hundred more years.
    Even more important is how everyone has the capacity for evil or even just bad behavior. Bad behavior is not what separates the great from the mediocre; it is their ability to overcome their inherent bad behavior to perform something truly incredible for humanity. Instead of celebrating people overcoming their natural sinful state to accomplish something truly great, they focus on the sins shared by everyone to justify in their own minds how these great people were nothing at all. What a delight for us to see them as they then wear their Mao, Lenin or whatever T-shirts, to tell us how we should celebrate as heroes those who accomplished some of the most heinous crimes in human history while delivering little of anything beneficial to our fellow man. Thus, the ignorance and moral vacuum of these Leftist children is dwarfed by their ego and hypocrisy.

  • ‘Do not worry too much about the statues which are now coming down. They mean surprisingly little. Worry more about the ones they are soon going to be putting up, and what they will represent. “. Robin Williams? (smirk)

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