And thousands came out demanding change

It happened unexpectedly. Thousands upon thousands of people filled the plaza in front of the government building, screaming and threatening. The police was initially powerless to contain them.

This is NOT about last Tuesday in Washington DC. This is a quote of the coverage by an Argentine newspaper of October 17, 1944. On that day, the mob won. Peron was brought back from prison to the Pink House (Argentine's seat of the Executive branch) and proclaimed Interim President. The outgoing President squirreled away in a chopper.

While there are some similarities, there are also significant differences between both events. In 1944, Peron replaced a military government with another (He was himself not a civil leader but a military one who had served in the ousted government as Minister of Labor). On Tuesday, the mob tried to prevent the certification of an election which, according to unanimous consensus of electoral and judicial authorities, was a fair one. Neither Biden nor Trump are military; they are both civic leaders with a track record of public service. In Argentina, nobody confronted the intimidating masses nor did anybody try to stop them. In America, the safeguards of Democracy came into action through the Law and the Constitution. Everybody had its day in court; every complain was investigated because it is the right of every American to question the authorities and to function as a watchdog for individual freedoms.

Every American has a right to his/her opinion and to his/her political preferences. Storming the Legislature to prevent the certification of a fair election, however, goes beyond the pale and against the Constitution, which is this society's Social and Political Contract.

In Argentina, Peron won and inaugurated a new era in Argentine's life. While he himself was ousted by the military in 1955, he continued to dominate Argentine's life from exile in Franco's Spain. For the last 76 years, since that faitful October 17, Argentinian society has been a divided one, and it has deteriorated almost without pause in spite of some bright moments in history when brave leaders tried to reverse the damage. Today Argentina is bankrupt financially, morally and politcally. Its leadership is corrupt to the marrow. A crooked vice-president (and past President) is manipulating the masses to confront the legal President; Federal Prosecutors put their lives on the line if they oppose her, and her past actions serve as warning to them all. Stealing by elected officials is accepted and intimidation of political opponents (and in some cases assassination) is taken as normal and expected.

I left Argentina to live in a society where Law and Order are the norm and individual freedoms are the rule rather than the exception. For the more than 30 years since I came to America, I had no reason to doubt the strength, health and stability of American society. Tuesday's events gave me pause, brought back my Argentine experience and in many ways scared me. Now is the time for every American to stand up against those who would use chaos to overturn electoral results they disagree with. Kicking the chessboard is not an appropriate reaction to losing the game. People from all walks of life, from every political persuation, have a stake in preserving the Constitution and should all use every peaceful and lawful way to express our opinions. People have the right to their own opinions - NOT to their own rules of the game.



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