Pinochet Revisited (1)

Reader Norma asked this question of me under one of yesterday’s posts:

Sooo…how do you reconcile your admiration for Pinochet with your revulsion of Guevara/Castro, given that they used a lot of the same means to achieve their respective ends?  Is it all about the ends rather than the means?

I’m not an admirer of Chilean General and President Augusto Pinochet, by any means. What amazed me, back when I visited Chile with The Mrs., was how many Chileans, both ordinary working-class and the prosperous middle class, were admirers of Pinochet. So I attempted to bring some balance to the established trope about him, and looked at commentary and historical observations outside the usual “He was an evil dictator!” howls from the Left, both academia and most especially, the Press.

Norma was referring to a long-ago post I wrote called “The Pinochet Conundrum”, and I’d like to beg my Loyal Readers’ indulgence to read what I wrote back then, because it saves me having to rewrite much of it. The piece was actually posited against the problems facing post-war Iraq, where “moderates” in government were facing all kinds of radical Islam terrorist activity, and my point was that perhaps what Iraq needed was a strongman like Pinochet, who might do all sorts of barbarous things to the extremists, in order to turn the country as a whole into a modern, prosperous society (as Pinochet did for Chile). It’s a “conundrum” because you have to make all sorts of uncomfortable choices, some of which might go against the grain of long-held beliefs and, it should be said, decades of Leftist propaganda. Here’s the Conundrum, as I wrote it back then. Please read it.

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Avoiding The Blue Meanies

“We don’t CARE how y’all did things back in California”
“Welcome to Texas. Now lose those bad Yankee habits”
“Californians welcome. Your politics, not so much”
“You screwed up New York. You screwed up California. Now can you leave MY state alone?”

or the all-time favorite:
“Yankees Go Home”

We are all familiar with the topic: Californians / New Yorkers / etc. get sick of their home states, pack up and leave for places less screwed-up, but bring all their bad political- and voting habits with them, and proceed to turn their adopted states into copies of the ones they fled.

Over at Maggie’s Farm, one commenter made this suggestion, which I found perfectly acceptable:

States should pass a constitutional amendment as follows:

1. Persons establishing a new state residency (i.e., not a change of residency within state) shall be prohibited from voting in state elections for a minimum of five years (ten years, if the prior residency is California).
2. The waiting period shall start on the date of issuance of the new resident’s state-issued voter ID.
3. New residents shall be registered to vote at the time of issuance of voter ID, in precincts reserved exclusively for national races (i.e. for president and vice president).

Loyal Readers of this website probably wouldn’t have too much disagreement with any of the above, although the “ten-year California extension” probably wouldn’t survive the Constitution’s Equal Protection challenge, but that’s okay. Remember, what commenter Craig suggests is but a microcosm of federal citizenship law for immigrants: you can’t become a citizen until you are legally resident in the United States for five years (with a couple of exceptions), and therefore you can’t vote, and so on.

This piece of commonsense would have a very salutary effect: remember, a newcomer to say, Texas, could always vote for POTUS and VPOTUS — that’s his absolute right as a U.S. citizen. But he couldn’t vote for anything to do with the state of Texas until he registers to vote and passes the five-year moratorium after which Texas citizenship is automatically granted. (And I don’t want to hear about “taxation without representation” from some Illinois transplant, because unlike Illinois, we have no state income tax in Texas, so the argument is moot — or as we call it in Texas, “utter bullshit“.) So we Texans could be spared the dolorous consequences of Blue staters’s bad habits, at least until we’ve had a chance to turn them into Texans.

This is actually of more than a little concern to me, because my area of north Texas is fast becoming home not just to people fleeing Blue-state bullshit, but corporations (e.g. Toyota) relocating here to escape Blue state taxation and regulation — and these corporations are bringing a large number of Blue state people with them.

This is a big state, and there’s lots of room for more folks; but there isn’t a lot for room for neo-socialist and Big Government nonsense in our state. We got to where we are by severely limiting government influence in our everyday lives — the Texas constitution is one of the most restrictive governmental covenants in the world — and by not allowing our government to tax its people into penury.

Just so we’re all clear on the topic: we already have a real problem with Latin American immigrants — the legal ones — bringing the typical Latin-American pro-government / welfare state mindset across the Rio Grande, without having a bunch of Californians and northerners doing the same thing across the Red River as well.

And don’t even think about gun control, newcomers, unless it’s keeping the bullets to a 1″ circle on the target. That, we Texans can all get behind; the other kind… as they say up north, fuhgeddabahdit. Literally.