Erick Erickson, city-councilman elect for the city of Macon Georgia (where some of my favorite people live), posted today, on his blog, Confessions of a Political Junkie, a YouTube clip of him being interviewed on the Brit Hume show. I urge each of you to go watch the clip.
It seems that the mayor of his fair city has taken a public stance in support for Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela. You'll note that Hugo Chavez is a self-proclaimed "hater" of America, the American President, and all things American. The mayor, C. Jack Ellis, has apparently sent a letter to Mr. Chavez-a letter of solidarity, pledging his backing a support of the dictator. Mr. Ellis praised Chavez for "reaching out" and subsidizing the cost of heating fuel for some low-income American residents, calling Chavez a, "champion for the common man."
This Chavez, who has vocally pledged support to Iran and Cuba (communist regimes, and in some cases, posing a serious threat to America and it's citizens), and who has publicly called President Bush "the devil,"-this Chavez, according to Ellis, is a "champion for the common man."
Where's the public outcry here? I'm appalled, frankly. Politics aside, regardless your political affiliation, if you have any love for America, and what it stands for, this simply has to floor you! It's unspeakable!
Because this "champion for the common man" has not only publicly trashed America, and all we, as Americans stand for, he has maintained a dictatorial regime of corruption that has broken the proverbial backs of the Venezuelan people. Chavez has taken all powers of state into his own hands, eliminated virtually all oversight, and what remains amounts to no more than a farce. Transparency International, an independent group based in Berlin, in their annual Corruption Perceptions Index, ranked Chavez led Venezuela 130th out of 150 countries surveyed, in terms of political corruption. Chavez, in the last few years, has appointed two brothers, a cousin, his father and two other close relatives to lucrative political posts, tightening his grip of power in key political and economic arenas.
And the effects of his blatant disregard for humanity, and corrupt leadership, are evident. Since Chavez took office, murder rates in Venezuela have tripled. Police have been implicated in many of the more gruesome and violent crimes. The United Nations (who have little use, but occasionally publish interesting and accurate statistics) reported that, in 2005, Venezuela had the highest number of deaths by gunfire, per capita, of any nation in the World. The Heritage Foundation ranked Venezuela 152 out of 157 nations ranked on their annual ranking of economic freedom. They are, for all intents and purposes, economically repressed. The Venezuelan National Statistics Institute released data in 2005 showing that, as of that year, poverty had actually increased by 10% since Chavez had taken power-to a whopping 53% of the population!
In short, this man is no champion of the common man. He's a calculating, conniving political vulture, who cares for nothing other than fulfilling his personal ambitions. The most distressing thing, I think, is that the citizens of Macon were so blinded by Ellis' personlity or charisma, that they failed to see whatever skewed political bent existed there that has allowed him to speak out in this way! It's a travesty, and I urge you to visit Erickson's site, comment on his blog expressing your support for him, and for his stance, asking him to express to his mayor-and to the people of Macon, that Mr. Ellis DOES NOT speak for America!