Trump Dynamics: Colombia poised to elect a conservative populist

Joining a region that has swung right in the wake of the horrors of socialist Venezuela, Colombia is swinging hard right, poised to elect a hard-core conservative populist president aligned with former President Alvaro Uribe in its runoff on June 17.

Even Ian Bremmer, the center-left analyst and foreign policy establishment maven sees the writing on the wall, writing a pretty persuasive piece about why that looks inevitable. Besides that, polls show the split is 55-35 in favor of the conservative Ivan Duque. Note Bremmer's lip-curdling opener in the full NeverTrump spirit:

Another election, another polarized outcome. Last weekend’s first-round results in Colombia’s presidential election signal just how bad things have gotten there. The country must now choose between a right-wing Senator in Ivan Duque and a far-left former Bogota mayor in Gustavo Petro. The smart money is on Duque. Here’s why:

How bad? How about how good?

Bremmer notes that the establishment elites from the center-right party of President Juan Manuel Santos is scandal-tarnished, much as Hillary Clinton was, the electorate in general is conservative, which is true of Colombians, the economy is bad - and the two big ones, which he ranks 3 and 5:

Five is Venezuela, the nightmare of socialism which is bringing 38,000 refugees, by some reports, pouring over Colombia's border each day. The country has accepted more than a million Venezuelan refugees and all of them have a story to tell, firsthand, about what socialism is like. Imagine a U.S. where one in 45 residents or so could tell the story of communism, quite a few of them in the cities where their voices would be heard.

The second reason, Bremmer's number 3, is even more noteworthy:

The Santos government's failure to pay any attention to the views of the people, who in their majority did not want a Castro-brokered "peace agreement" with FARC's Marxist narcoterrorists. Colombia, remember, held a closely watched referendum back in October 2016, shortly before President Trump was elected and a bit after Brexit, and its voters stunned the world by rejecting the much-vaunted peace proposal. That roughly parallaled Brexit, as well as the Trump election of 2016, and for the same reason: People felt they were being trampled over by socialists who Knew Better and their own voices were being silenced. They told the government they didn't want a peace agreement with terrorists, much as the U.S. voters didn't want Obamacare, and then they came out in their majority at electiontime and showed it. It was the same dynamics that elected President Trump.

The Nobel committee was so stunned by this result it went and gave its peace prize to President Juan Manuel Santos anyway as a sort of consolation prize and to encourage him to keep going. And in turn, Santos took the prize, and bulled ahead with his plan, putting it through via Congress, with just a few token changes to slop the masses, pretty well ignoring the voters.

That meant FARC's depraved, psychopathic terrorists basically got off scot-free for the war they conducted since 1964, killing 200,000. Terrorist kidnappers and drug dealers, employers of child soldiers, torture-murderers, including the leadership of this monstrous communist outfit are getting away with it, and even being rewarded. They get free propaganda press, free entry to jobs, free congressional seats, some astonishing concessions.

Bremmer notes that the election has split on polarity lines, with the challenger, a horrible leftist guerrilla named Gustavo Petro who adored Hugo Chavez, on the other side of the ballot. He roughly plays the role of Bernie Sanders.

Now, the real repudiation is coming, and the polls show it will be by a big margin.

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