Fred LaSor: Might as well stay home

We were promised fundamental change when President Obama took office: “change we can believe in,” which attracts voters who are fed up with business as usual in Washington, D.C., where politicians get fabulously rich and lobbyists get legislation to help their clients. Of course there’s no quid pro quo. Or is there?

Commentators on the right have said Obama wants to destroy the America they knew by letting in untold numbers of immigrants, politicizing the IRS and Department of Justice, and cooking the books on government statistics.

But maybe he’s actually restoring America to pre-1950s greatness. I should explain ...

When I was growing up, “banana republic” was an unkind reference to a third world nation, often in Latin America, where politicians ignored the will of the people, became fabulously wealthy taking bribes, and could only be removed by armed revolution.

America was the “shining city on the hill” north of the Rio Grande, where anyone could succeed by dint of hard labor. The symptoms of a banana republic are well known: failing infrastructure, politicians talk about “taking care of the poor” but don’t, and the poor all want to escape to the United States. Once they got here they worked to succeed by dint of hard labor.

Obama has changed all that. The rule of law is out the window, you don’t have to stand in line for a visa to enter the country, and when you arrive you don’t need a job — you just sign onto the social network originally set up to take care of citizens who found themselves out of luck and out of work.

Americans of a conservative bent don’t understand just how clever Obama really is. Guatemalans and Hondurans who were fed up with having to bribe officials in their own country to avoid being targeted by government agencies arrive here and learn the IRS is doing the same thing while the EPA is shutting down businesses who are not their friend and giving cheap loans to the ones who kick back some of the money as “political contributions.”

Africans who tried to immigrate to the USA because they were fed up with the lawlessness of their “big man” presidents arrived here to find if you’re well connected you’re not subject to the same laws as the rest of the population. Just imagine a poor third world immigrant listening to the chief of the world’s best investigative bureau explaining Hillary Clinton had indeed broken the law, had lied about it afterward, but had not intended to do so. There’s not an African immigrant anywhere in the USA who has not seen exactly the same kind of favoritism at home. There it’s tribal. Same here, but we call them political parties instead of tribes.

Two or three years after Hillary is elected all illegal immigration will be in the other direction. Why come to a country where 33 percent of the population is out of the work force: that’s as bad as back home. No rule of law? Same problem in Nicaragua. The IRS investigates you if you speak out against the government? Ditto back home. Panamanians used to join the U.S. Navy for a full career leading to citizenship and VA health care for life. Now the VA lets you die in a waiting line.

See what I mean? Pretty soon our country under Obama and then Hillary Clinton will be no better than the banana republics people used to flee. Might as well stay home, if that’s the case. Fiendishly clever, isn’t it?

Fred LaSor spent an entire career in Africa and Latin America. He knows banana republics.


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