In the way of argumentative cantankerousness, one of my grievances is governance as represented by Z, upon whose unshaven head I empty the vial of Taiwan’s continued democractic success. This might be why Ukraine’s flag flies in Tapei City, but not the other way around.
That’s because Taiwan is a successful liberal democracy in which individual freedoms are protected by constitutional rights and liberties along with collective rights and liberties enforced by the rules of law. Ukraine is merely an electoral democracy — a government based on a system that enables all citizens to select one candidate from a list of competitors for political office.
Z is the populist leader of Ukraine. Under martial law, he and his six Yanukovych-era “managers” oversee the executive branch, legislature and courts. The result: a gigantic mess.
Another populist in charge of an electoral democracy is Argentina’s president Javier Milei, who took selfies and videos with surprised passengers on board his jet to Davos yesterday.
“The objective of the trip [Davos] is to plant the ideas of Liberty in a forum that is contaminated with the socialist agenda 2030 that will only bring misery to the world,” Milei’s office said on a post on X. Below is a video of his bizarre rant.
Political scientist Enrique Peruzzotti has argued that reliance of populist leaders on electoral legitimacy prevents them from becoming authoritarians because canceling electoral contests or refusing to accept a negative electoral result would bump up against what constitutes the main democratic validity claim.
I listened to Milei’s speech.
The Argentine leader, who has been compared to Z and former US President Donald Trump for their vainglorious manners, denounced “radical feminism,” “social justice,” and “the bloody agenda of abortion,” “harmful ideas which have taken root in our societies.” Yikes! Free enterprise capitalism, er, is not the answer to all our problems, as I’m sure Joseph Stiglitz would agree.
I am a big fan of radical feminism!
On the Ukraine jacket, we conclude that reaching an agreement on a truce between Russia and Ukraine remains unlikely. The war remains a zero-sum game and truce will look like capitulation for either Z or Putin. That means fighting until a coup d'état occurs in one of the warring countries.
On the Team USA jacket, Uncle Joe met with Senate and House leaders in the White House yesterday to discuss border security and continued assistance to Ukraine. The Senate will cough up a bill next week that Speaker Johnson may, or may not, put to a vote.