Instead, let's quickly look at a couple of bright spots--and believe it or not, there are a couple, and both involve exercising the franchise and defying the progressive orthodoxy!
I have written before about Marine Le Pen (here, for example) and the sort of terror she provokes in the comfortable elites that now rule and ruin the West. She has been labelled "far-right," fascist, xenophobic, etc., and threatened with legal action because she and her party, the FN (National Front), have dared question the progressive orthodoxy that dominates France's politics, elite media, universities, and entertainment industry.
It appears that the FN has won big in the first round of France's regional elections. Per the BBC,
The triumphant leader of the far-right National Front (FN), Marine Le Pen, says French voters rejected the "old political class" in regional elections that put her party top.
Nearly one-third of voters backed the anti-immigration FN, which won in six out of France's 13 regions. <...>
The nationalist FN got about 28%, ahead of the centre-right Republicans party led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, which polled just under 27%, and the governing Socialist Party (PS), trailing with 23.5%.We'll see what happens in the second round as the traditional parties seek to form alliances and come up with strategies to block the surging FN. In the meanwhile, I agree with POLITICO that,
The far-right National Front’s victory in the first round of French regional elections on Sunday will have an impact far beyond the composition of local governments and the shock it will have sent through the French political establishment.
In every single European capital, politicians will ponder the results and wonder how an anti-immigration, anti-European movement could become France’s first political party. They will also worry about what it means for Europe in a time of crisis — economic and existential.From Europe, we turn to the Americas.
The past many years have been a dark time for the people of Venezuela.
I have written a great deal about the plight of Venezuela (here, here, here, here, here, for example) under the Chavez/Maduro evil clown circus. In one of those posts, I referred to a "slow motion coup" underway in oil-rich Venezuela by which Chavez/Maduro take apart the institutions of democracy bit by bit in the name of fighting "imperialism" and giving a level playing field to the poor (Bernie Sanders, are you there?) Opposition leaders who were too pesky suddenly found themselves afoul of the tax authorities, or accused of participating in vague gringo-backed plots against The Revolution. The opposition had a hard time getting its act together: first, because of the oppression aimed against it; second, because of the lack of international support--especially from the US--for democracy in Venezuela; and third, of course, because of its own bad strategy and tactics. It seems this time the opposition got its act together just as the regime implodes along with oil prices. Maduro simply does not have the loyalty of the "revolutionary" elites--e.g., in the military, in Hollywood, in Cuba--in the same way as did the much more charismatic, smart, and devious Chavez. The Congressional elections held yesterday have produced a sweeping victory for the opposition which has taken at least 99 of the 167 seats in the legislature. Pre-election polls had shown some 85% of the population fed up with the direction of Venezuela and dissatisfied with Maduro.
The economic outlook for Venezuela is extremely dire. What the opposition-dominated Congress can do to reverse the Chavez/Maduro decline is an open question, and one I leave to those more versed in Venezuelan politics than I (check the excellent Fausta's Blog). The Venezuelan Congress has lost a great deal of power, and the Maduro regime remains a lawless one. That regime, however, I think, will be more constrained than in the past as the military and other power brokers, clearly, did not support any potential move to suspend the elections or to engage in wide-spread vote rigging to favor Maduro. I repeat, this is a spot of light in a very dark picture, but . . . you never know, freedom and liberty have a way of winning the day.
Just a little bit of hope . . .