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Of Course Leftists Who Love Socialism And Censorship Embrace Brazil’s Budding Autocracy

Socialism keeps doing its thing, and so do the media.


“Why is Washington so silent about Brazil’s decline into tyranny and full-scale government censorship?” Aaron Kheriaty asks.

I’m not sure why D.C. is silent. I do know that the American left, which includes the media, has, to one degree or another, been whitewashing leftist authoritarianism since Walter Duranty.

Just recall the recent coverage of Argentinian President Javier Milei — who is about as removed from being an authoritarian as ideologically possible. A “right-wing populist,” a “far-right outsider,” a “far-right populist,” on the “far-right,” a “rightist,” a “far-right libertarian,” and a “radical” were how he was described.

When the corrupt, far-leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — who Milei once fittingly described as an “angry communist” — won back the presidency in Brazil last year, the media gave us headlines like, “Lula beats far-right President Bolsonaro to win Brazil election,” and “Brazil’s Lula sworn in, vows accountability and rebuilding,” and “Lula wins Brazil presidential election in historic comeback,” and “‘Olê, olá, Lula!’ Brazil’s voters sing for a heroic comeback to banish Bolsonaro,” etc.

Recall, as well, that the media and Democrats were obsessed with the alleged fascistic inclinations of Brazil’s right-populist Jair Bolsonaro — no George Washington, to be sure. Bolsonaro was conveniently lumped in with Donald Trump, Vlad Putin, and Viktor Orbán as a harbinger of the growing fascist threat. Alex Burns, in an embarrassing puff piece in Politico, praised Lula as a symbol of “endurance of democracy in an era of extremism.”

Bolsonaro was no more authoritarian than Lula — or Nicolas Maduro or Gustavo Petro or Luis Arce, or a bunch of other names you’re never going to see pundits wringing their hands over. But those names do help Democrats here at home.

Indeed, Lula, a friend of China and Russia, likens the liberal democracy of Israel to a Nazi state while praising theocratic fascists in Iran. Most of America’s self-styled progressives likely concur with his assessment. Lula’s Working Party champions state control and the nationalization of the economy as a means of saving the environment from nefarious capitalists. Or, in other words, the Brazilian is implementing the Green New Deal. What’s not to like, right?

Lulu’s party is also building a censorship state — euphemized by American media as “cracking down on disinformation.” Every two-bit dictator in history has justified limiting free expression as a way to curb dangerous disinformation. And, sadly, these are the same types of state intrusions and justifications we hear from the contemporary American left. How are progressives going to condemn Brazil when they’re probably envious of its great strides?

Indeed, the American left has a long tradition of treating center-right governments as fascists and socialists as innocuous “democratic” entities. Communists have long been celebrated in academia. Hollywood will never stop making romantic biopics about blacklisted Stalin stans. And there have been entire books written detailing the American left’s love affair with tyranny in Cuba.

But there is also the recent rise of “democratic socialists” such as Bernie Sanders, who’s praised virtually every murderous communist regime in the world. It was not that long ago that Rachel Maddow, David Sirota — author of the enduring classic, “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle” — and scores of other progressives praised the rise of Venezuelan communists.

Venezuelans, of course, would soon be foraging for their dinners. But socialists will get it right next time, no doubt.

When Meghan McCain, then co-host of “The View,” pointed out all this out a few years back, she became a target of widespread abuse from the online left, not to mention her dimwitted co-hosts. Last I checked, nearly 60 percent of Democrats have a positive impression of socialism. Let’s just assume that the number in American newsrooms is far higher. Of course these people don’t see Lula as an authoritarian.

And though it’s only going to get worse, none of this is exactly new. To understand the double standards, take the case of Nicaragua and Chile.

The American left was obsessed with the 1973 Pinochet coup in Chile, even decades after it happened. You might have thought it was the most pivotal moment in the history of the world. Even 50 years later, the left was still lamenting that “elected” Marxist Salvador Allende was overthrown. Pinochet was, without a doubt, a brutal dictator in the South American tradition. But what made him especially important and relevant was that he saved Chile from communism.

Now, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega —  strongman, ethnic cleanser, and mass murderer — had come to power through a leftist junta. In the 1980s, Democrats would often pay the man visits to bolster the reputation of Sandinistas. John Kerry — not some backbencher, but future presidential candidate and until recently “Climate Czar” — was a big fan. The senator helped sink a $14 million aid package that would have helped Contra revolutionaries. In the meantime, Ortega was in Moscow securing $200 million in support from the Kremlin.

Unsurprisingly, Nicaragua is now the poorest country in Central America. And Ortega is back to murdering the political opposition. You’d think such a man deserves at least as much attention as Orban, who has yet to murder the political opposition. The Hungarian praises Trump. Ortega praises Obama.

Chile, by the way, (with the help of Milton Friedman) is now one of the richest and freest nations in South America.

Two of the poorest countries on that continent are Venezuela and Bolivia.

Which is to say, socialism keeps doing its thing. And so does the American left.

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