Blackballing a dirtbag
What do people do when a powerful political figure is a dirtbag, but some of the main local news organizations are so biased that they refuse to report the news?
Stage a vocal political protest and put it on YouTube.
It’s easy and a no-brainer, but political and business organizations around the world still can’t seem to figure it out. Neither can the US government, which could make its political influence go a lot further worldwide if it invested modestly to enable loud street protests.
So here’s a video posted March 12 on YouTube, shot in El Salvador, showing disgraced former president Tony Saca going out to vote in the by-elections. Saca was president from 2004-2009 as a member of the conservative ARENA party, but discredited the party and himself with his reputation for widespread graft, corruption and thuggery. His mis-rule allowed the unreformed Marxist FMLN party to take the presidency for the first time. He was kicked out of ARENA in 2010.
Saca managed to make a comeback by starting a new party called GANA, but is reportedly trying to co-opt ARENA by influencing the party’s pick of its next presidential nominee.
He showed up to vote May 12 with a retinue of about 40 cheering supporters and some slavishly loyal TV crews that attempted to show his political strength.
Instead, ARENA loyalists mobbed him with chants of “thief” (ladron) and “traitor” (traidor), filling the pavilion with noise and drowning out his few supporters. The main Salvadoran TV stations showed Saca surrounded by his dozens of fawning supporters, but the most influential outlets didn’t show the chants from the people of the ARENA party he once led.
So the ARENA folks put it up on YouTube and it went viral, with Latin America policymakers in Washington circulating it to one another, reminded that Saca is indeed a dirtbag and that he risks damaging the ARENA party once again.
ARENA loyalists, seen in the video wearing white vests and bracelets with red, white and blue designs, surround Saca and chant. (The man wearing a vest that says “Vigilante” isn’t a vigilante; he’s a poll watcher representing the ARENA party.)
These kinds of protests are quick, easy, and cost nothing. And they can bring a lot of attention, especially in places where the news media are unprofessional or under someone else’s control.