Fred LaSor: Presidential politics in Peru

When I was stationed to the U.S. Embassy in Lima, more than one of my Peruvian friends lamented the fact they could not vote in U.S. elections. They understood that a national election is not a worldwide event, but they pointed out that America influences developments in Peru to such an extent they should be able to vote for our president.

This recollection returned when I saw that one of the Democrats’ complaints about President Donald Trump was that Ukraine tried to interfere in our election. Ukraine probably did, as did the Russians, the Mexicans, the Israelis, the Germans and a whole lot of others.

But according to Attorney General Barr, the charge that Trump asked the Ukrainians or the Russians to intervene is bogus, just as all the other charges against Trump have turned out. He did not steal the election from Hillary Clinton, he did not collude with the Russians, he did not violate the emoluments clause by owning a hotel that international visitors have stayed in, he did not commit bribery and on and on since the Washington Post announced impeachment was starting 17 minutes after he was inaugurated. Many of the charges leveled against him are actually projections of misdeeds that Democrats have committed, as was the case when Joe Biden threatened to cut off U.S. foreign assistance to Ukraine unless they fired a prosecutor he didn’t like — a genuine quid pro quo.

We learned this week that the Democrats in the House of Representatives impeached President Trump. It appears they painted themselves into a corner. No matter how you cut it, the impeachment effort in the House is not a winning strategy for Democrats.

We also have seen the report of the FBI’s internal investigation into possible FISA abuse, a report by Inspector General Horowitz that claimed not to have found any intentional misconduct or political bias on the part of the Bureau in its decision to investigate people in the Trump campaign. The report then went on to list 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FBI application for a FISA investigation on Carter Page, demonstrating conclusively that the Bureau misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when it applied for approval to investigate Page. The actions of some in the FBI and CIA are nothing less than an attempt to thwart the vote of the American people.

All of this adds up to a coordinated Democratic Party effort to overturn Trump’s election, something I have written about previously. It would definitely be understood by my Peruvian friends, who have had a number of presidents who played fast and loose with the Constitution. Alberto Fujimori, president when I was there, tried to change the Constitution so he could have a third term. When the Supreme Court ruled against him, he tried to fire them. He then fled to Japan, where he tried to run for the Legislature. As Sir John Dalberg-Acton warned us, “...absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

So maybe my Peruvian friends were right: They should get to participate in our presidential elections this year. They certainly couldn’t make more of a hash of it than the party who still can’t — three years after their candidate went down to defeat — acknowledge that loss and start passing needed legislation.

Fred LaSor thoroughly enjoyed his two years in Peru. He is enjoying the Carson Valley in retirement.


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