Interesting comment. But perhaps you should have actually paid attention to History 101. Perhaps you didn’t notice that every person who took power away from the people claimed to do it in the name of the people. Marius did it. Sulla did it. Hitler did it. Lenin did it. Mao did it. And the list goes on and on. Not a one of them claimed to be doing it solely for themselves. There are always capable people ready to take over in government – leaders do not get there by themselves – it is only the power hungry who won’t allow a peaceful transition of power to another person.
At what point did Morales decide that only he knew what was best for Bolivia and the people that voted for him and the people of his own party did not? I wonder what gave him that right to decide that – hadn’t the people of Bolivia, with their new constitution, decided that power rested in them and not in whatever leader chose to take power? Do you think they didn’t understand dictators and the damage they could do? Didn’t they take pains with their constitution to deny that power to any one person? Why did Morales decide they were wrong? And what does that say about his belief in his own country?
Your comment about social democracy is also interesting. When was it Morales’ job to give social democracy to his people? Wasn’t that something that the people of Bolivia should decide for themselves? And hadn’t they already done so? So what exactly was Morales giving to Bolivia?
Would you be willing to accept a President who used his influence with his Supreme Court to override our constitution and stay in power more than two terms simply because he thought he knew better than the American people? Why would you think that the people of Bolivia would see things differently? Morales already had three terms in power – how many more do you think he needed? If there were no trustworthy people left in his party, don’t you think that maybe he had a hand in that?
Simply because he did good things for his country does not make Morales a saint. Bismarck did a lot of good things for the people of Germany yet I would be hesitant to call him a saint. People on the left are just as capable of power hunger as those on the right. And I think History 101 tells us over and over that when power is centralized into a person or a group of persons, instead of the people of a nation – no matter what political beliefs they espouse, very bad things happen.
And yes, I do agree with you. Those on the right in Bolivia are going to use whatever they can, including the US, to get power back into their hands. But after the referendum, wasn’t Morales losing power. Yes he won in the last election, but by no means did he have a majority of Bolivians behind him like he did in his previous elections. Do you really think Morales could have kept power for very long even if the military didn’t ask him to leave? And what would have Morales done then? Of course he promised to step down, but did he mean it? If he was willing to overthrow his own constitution, what would he have done next – to protect social democracy, of course?
Now you’ve heard my explanation. I would like you to give me an explanation as to how Morales, by refusing to leave his position of power, was giving people real hope for social democracy, and how, by refusing to give up power, he was going to stop the elite from taking over. And why, when he knew he was only going to be limited to two terms after the passage of the constitution in 2009, he wasn’t grooming others in the MAS to follow in his footsteps.
Perhaps I am being too hard on Morales, but quite honestly, I cannot garner up much good feeling for an elected leader who wants to throw out his own constitution the minute it goes against his personal wishes.