By J.D. Ellis
First, I would like to say that I’m a big fan of Scott Fugit’s contributions to CuencaHighLife. His articles are a joy to read and his creative talent is impressive. I wish he would write more often.
Second, In the future, he should channel that creative talent to subjects he knows best and stay out of politics, for which he has a fanciful but flimsy grasp. I refer to his column on Monday, October 10, where he tells U.S. expats that Donald Trump is their best choice for president.
Although I am a reluctant supporter of Hillary Clinton — she is simply the much better of two lousy options — I must come to her defense in the face of Scott’s charge that she is queen bee of the world’s illegal drug trade. I must also challenge Scott on his suggestion that Ecuador expats will be in the crossfire of a drug war if Hillary is elected.
Getting to Scott’s pro-Trump point is not easy. He states his case through an imaginary conversation with a Cuenca professor, Profesor Bicicleta, and takes a long time to do it.
Many of his points about the U.S. intervention in Latin America and in the international drug trade are accurate, including the fact that governments, including that of the U.S., often encourage and protect the drug trade because of “national interests”. Military forces of the U.S. and other countries have a long, well documented history of involvement in illegal drugs.
As Scott makes his case for the drug-running Clintons (who are in league with the Bushes, by the way), he says Profesor Bicicleta is stunned and confused. No wonder, since Scott offers no proof of any of his claims.
I know where Scott got his information and understand his reluctance to share sources. As a political junkie, I cruise the some of the same blogs and websites that Scott does. I’m aware of the theories like the one that Hillary sits atop a sparkling pile of pure cocaine, sleeps with female goats, and puts saki on her morning corn flakes. Like Scott, I’ve also heard the one that Trump’s personal drug dealer is about to come forward, with videos, about the candidate’s fondness for opiates and his coke habit — imagine how much pussy Trump could grab after snorting a couple lines of pure snow!
I don’t argue with Scott about the “agendas” of big corporate media. Much of what it reports is biased and unreliable. On the other hand, it is much more reliable than most of the right-wing — and the handful of left-wing — political websites and blogs that Scott reads. They provide entertainment value to some of us and a religious experience to others, God bless ’em.
Ironically, in trashing Hillary and suggesting that her election will bring doom to Ecuador expats, Scott admits he has no idea what Trump would do if he were elected. Does anyone?
The fact of the matter is that Ecuador has done a pretty damn good job of containing the in-country and through-country drug trade. Even the U.S. government gives it credit. The country continues to be a transit point for raw drugs from Peru and Bolivia, but the majority has been pushed off-shore. The drug route through the central valley, from Loja to Cuenca to Quito to Colombia, has been mostly shut down due to frequent police checks. The danger spots today are the port cities of Manta and Esmeraldas. The drug fight will go on, however. Like the poor, it will always be with us.
So, I believe Ecuador expats are in as good a place as possible, given the current state of the world.
Note to Scott Fugit: I repeat my great respect for your writing talent. The election will soon be over and you can concentrate once again on more important issues.
J.D. Ellis has been a political science professor at University of California-Irvine, a truck driver in Alaska, and a political commentator for National Public Radio. He currently lives in Cuenca.