Lessons from Venezuela on how to beat a populist

An interesting article from Andrés Miguel Rondón who talks about how they tried to beat the populist Chavez and what did and didn’t work.

The summary:

  • Don’t forget who the enemy is.
  • Show no contempt.
  • Don’t try to force him out.
  • Find a counterargument. (No, not the one you think.)

A specific example:

The worst you can do is bundle moderates and extremists together and think that America is divided between racists and liberals. That’s the textbook definition of polarization. We thought our country was split between treacherous oligarchs and Chávez’s uneducated, 15gullible base. The only one who benefited was Chávez.

Good food for thought.

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