Unless you have family or friends in or from Venezuela, the country seems far removed from most people’s daily lives. Considering the paucity of geographical knowledge that most Americans possess, it might even be considered a success if many people could place Venezuela on the correct continent. Yet, it would be a mistake to ignore that South American country.
In an incredibly short time political decisions, along with Cuba’s intrusive assistance and specifically socialist leanings, turned Venezuela from one of Latin America’s most prosperous countries into a land where hunger, shortage and sadness abound. We ignore the warnings emanating from this disaster at our own risk. Today, Venezuela serves as compelling evidence of how evil ideologies will gradually impoverish a society and destroy lives. And all this was done in the name of equality and compassion.
Closer to home, I encourage you to watch two videos. (I strongly suggest you not do so too soon after eating.) They show how two cities, Seattle and San Francisco, are no longer jewels of the American west coast, but have tragically deteriorated into rather filthy, dangerous, crime-ridden cities in serious decline.
When our oldest two children where small, our family spent one summer on our sailboat in San Francisco. We had a wonderful time taking day trips from that magnificent location. Years later, when our family had blessedly added another five children, we moved from Southern California to the Seattle area. We rejoiced in the clean air and breathtakingly beautiful views. Not only was crime low but civic pride and respect for the law was high. Only five years ago, in 2014, when the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl, there were articles about how Seattle rioted politely, with joke pages listing posts such as: I rioted by crossing the street on a red light—twice! When a few fans did get out of hand and damaged a pergola in downtown’s Pioneer Square, the public raised funds almost immediately to rebuild it. As you can sadly see in the video, Seattle is unrecognizable today.
The United States is a large country. It can still thrive as a nation even while parts of it wallow in filth. However, there is a tipping point. Increasingly, those citizens who are financially able to do so are voting with their feet, moving from high-tax, high-crime, failing cities and states. Unfortunately, as they move to safer, better functioning cities, they bring their misguided voting patterns with them, potentially setting in motion the eventual destruction of their new homes.
Pay attention to Venezuela, and should you meet newly relocated neighbors, perhaps a showing of the Seattle KOMO news report would make a fitting “welcome to our neighborhood” evening activity.