And now, Nayib Bukele:
El Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele has won a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election, earning him a historic second term and underscoring his status as one of the world’s most popular political leaders.
Posting on the X platform, Bukele announced that he had won the election with over 85 percent of the vote.
“According to our numbers, we have won the presidential election with more than 85% of the votes and a minimum of 58 of 60 deputies in the Assembly,” he wrote. “This is a record in the entire history of the democratic world… God bless El Salvador.”
I knew nothing about Bukele until this very morning. But his electoral success, given the deplorable conditions in El Salvador before he was first elected, comes as no surprise:
Over the course of his first term, he implemented a hardline security strategy that saw the arrest of around one percent of its population, many of whom were members of the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs. This has led murder and crime rates to plummet.
The country that gave us MS-13 is now safer than these United States? Hard to believe, isn’t it? But apparently Bukele’s sweep through the gangs has yielded enormous results in securing the country. He appears to have discovered a hitherto unknown principle of public safety: If the criminals are locked up, the crime rate will go down.
It seems Bukele’s successes weren’t confined to re-establishing law and order:
Bukele didn’t only solve crime, he also built a thriving economy. He switched El Salvador’s currency to the dollar and bitcoin, encouraging international investment and tech business. Google announced a partnership last year, bringing jobs to the thriving Latin American country.
Infrastructure was another critical component of the Bukele agenda. New roads, highways, and a hydroelectric dam created clean energy for the people as the country worked itself out of poverty. Now, many tourists find El Salvador’s “Surf City” a rival to travel in the nicer areas of Costa Rica or Mexico.
Public safety plus public prosperity? Who is this guy, some unsung genius only now coming to light? A fusion of the souls of George Washington and Milton Friedman?
Now, when you arrest over 76,000 people, there are bound to be some innocents in the harvest. What will become of them is an unanswered question. And surely, some Salvadorans have profited more than others; economic boom times are like that. But the voters of El Salvador appear pleased with the results. An 85% fraction of the vote speaks for itself.
But that’s not what has me writing about Bukele and El Salvador this morning:
In the United States, however, the mainstream media took to calling Bukele a “dictator.” Much as we’ve seen with how they treat President Trump, news outlets began calling Bukele running for re-election a “threat to democracy.”
This message was amplified this week by Rep. Ilhan Omar, who put in a resolution for the U.S. to intervene in El Salvador’s elections.
I led Members of Congress in sending a letter to @SecBlinken urging action on threats to democracy in El Salvador.
The State Dept must review its relationship with El Salvador and defend democratic values. The Salvadoran people deserve free and fair elections without fear of…
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) January 31, 2024
As a rule of thumb, if Ilhan Omar is against it, I’m very likely to be for it. As for the American media, they tried the “dictator” schtick with Viktor Orban, with Giorgia Meloni, and again with Javier Milei. It got them nowhere. Even a real dictator who posts Bukele’s level of results in public safety and prosperity is likely to be immensely popular.
As usual, it’s the pattern that matters. The Left, which controls the mainstream media, is opposed to freedom, true public security, and general prosperity. Politicians who deliver those things are a threat to its core agenda: control. The Left can do nothing with a free, safe, prosperous people who are happy with the leadership that secured those things for them.
The popular figures I’ve cited here are major threats to the Leftist / globalist program…just as was President Donald Trump. As a result they’ve become targets for defamation. The media and the most prominent figures on the Left will do whatever they can think of to besmirch their reputations. Outright lies about them, both political and personal, are “on the table.”
Bukele, Orban, et alii have scored varying degrees of success. But any success at all at peeling back the chaos, impoverishment, and control the Left has layered onto such countries will drive them rhetorically bananas – and no jokes about “banana republics,” please! The Left admits to no permanent setbacks; their tactics from here on deserve close attention.
Keep an eye on El Salvador. Stay tuned.