The most viral story about Kamala's Guatemala trip is some right wing nonsense you probably don't even know about
A slightly petty post making fun of a very stupid article
Kamala Harris visited Guatemala yesterday. She met with the president and representatives of the LGBT community and gave a speech in which she encouraged people not to make the perilous journey to the United States to cross the border because they will be turned back. Pretty standard stuff.
The most viral story about this trip however has nothing to do with any of this, and if you aren’t a follower of conservative media you probably have no idea it even happened.
“Kamala Harris Greeted In Guatemala With 'Go Home' and 'Trump Won' Messages,” blares the headline of a Floridian Press article with 230k shares. “Guatemala protesters tell Kamala Harris 'Trump won',” says a New York Post version with 113,000.
For some perspective, if you type the words “Guatemala OR Guatemalans” into Buzzsumo, a site that measures social shares and trending articles across the web, and search all English-language articles for the last year and sort them by social shares, the top 7 are all write-ups of this.
Let’s unpack one of the most popular versions: “Guatemalans Tell Kamala Harris to 'Go Home': 'Trump Won'” from the Western Journal.
When Harris arrived in Guatemala she was greeted at the airport by, among other people, about twenty protestors from a group called Society In Action. “We’re against [the Biden administration’s] agenda of imposing the LGBTQ, pro-abortion ideology,” one of the protestors told El Faro, an outlet whose two tweets from the event are the basis for all of these stories. “In Guatemala we’re pro-life.”
The Western Journal post about this story doesn’t exist to actually convey the details of this event. It exists because if you don’t like Kamala Harris and you see this headline on Facebook, you will think “even people in Guatemala know Trump won! The left spent 4 years saying he was—and by extension—his supporters were racist. NOPE.”
Then you will hopefully take at least one of three actions:
clicking the Like button
sharing the story
actually reading the story.
The most likely of the three is that you’ll just hit the Like button and move on. You might not even realize you hit the Like button. People are very bad at estimating the number of things they engage with on their phones. You might just instinctively hit because “me like yum good story good.” A Like on a post is not going to make anyone rich but it also isn’t worthless. To you, it allows you in a very small way to make actionable your political identity and to participate. Even if you don’t remember doing it! It’s like screaming at a television. The person in the box can’t hear you, but you touch your own humanity when you scream at it anyways.
To Western Journal, a Like is valuable for three reasons: it increases the reach of the specific post, it increases your relationship with Western Journal making it far more likely that you’ll see their next post, and it increases the juice that drives algorithmic audience growth. Every positive interaction someone takes with a page increases Facebook’s evaluation of the page’s appeal—people like this page’s content!—and then—since you are not unique and what you like might appeal to other people like you—recommends the page more.
There is a famous Jewish quip: “Jews are like everyone else, but more so.” The same could be said for a Share. It is a more valuable positive interaction than a Like. It does everything the Like does, but more. If you share a page’s post on Facebook, say goodbye to your newsfeed because you’re now going to see many many more posts from that page. It juices the algorithm in all the same ways way more. And it allows you to participate on a more conscious level. You are now actively telling people how you feel. You are defining yourself and sharing with the world one sentence in the novel that is your life.
You might have actually clicked on the link to this story. If you did, you probably scrolled for about 5 seconds and then clicked away but in that time you triggered some ad impressions for Western Journal. But this article is actually longer than you might yet think. Indeed, to even get the information I have already given you, you need to read through more than a few ads.
But OK, here you are, you are on Western Journal and you have read far enough to know that 20 protestors met Kamala Harris at the airport in Guatemala and they didn’t like her much at all. Pretty weak tea. Twenty people is not a lot of people. Twenty people is a large dinner party, but a small actual party. Twenty people is the number of people ahead of you if you have to wait 4 minutes for a table at the Cheesecake Factory. Twenty people is the number of Americans killed every year by cows.
This is the moment where the Western Journal author needs to either stop wasting time on this post or keep you interested. To do the latter, they start by explicitly stating the implicit appeal that caused the reader to click on the post in the first place.
Given the Biden administration’s coddling of illegal immigrants and its willingness to funnel cash to any country that claims need, you would have expected Harris to have met with pro-illegal immigration signs and fawning pro-Biden activists.
As it turns out, about 87 percent of the Guatemalan population was Christian in 2016, according to polling cited by the U.S. State Department.
As it turns out! Congratulations to Western Journal for discovering that Christianity is very popular in Latin America.
Christians believe in the inherent value of human life…
It follows that a country of Christians wouldn’t be on board with a woman’s “right” to choose to kill a baby in the womb.
This is a small point but whoever wrote this blog post is presumably sitting somewhere in the United States, typing away on a laptop. According to Pew, 65% of Americans identify as some sort of Christian. Sixty-five percent is less than 87%, but neither number is 100%. Both Guatemala and the United States have Christian majorities but non-Christian minorities of varying sizes. If we’re going to use the icky and inaccurate rounding-up term of “country of Christians” then the United States is also one and in the United States 59% of people are in fact on board with a woman’s right to choose an abortion in “all or most cases.”1
Furthermore, why would a country whose residents believe in the intrinsic value of human life and individual freedom buy into the Biden administration’s militantly anti-scientific, anti-freedom LGBT agenda?
There is something to be said for tolerance of people who don’t seem to fit in neatly with everyone else.
But that is different from ignoring the biological markers between male and female to instead effectively mandate that sex is determined by features of the personality — and then cracking down on individual and religious freedom based on this anti-scientific nonsense.
If the Biden administration had its druthers,….
This goes on and on for a while. The goal is that you, the Western Journal reader, completely forget that this is even about twenty activists in Guatemala making a couple of signs. You agree with all the culture war stuff and you keep nodding along and thinking “yes, yes. good point” over and over in your head.
…many Guatemalan people would prefer that “woke-ism” remain an American problem
The truth is that the spread of ideological leftism does need to be confined to the United States, where it should be defeated.
Does this person know anything about Guatemala? I’m not a Guatemala expert but I haven’t been on Mars in a cave with my eyes shut and finger in my ears and I do spend a lot of time on wikipedia.
In 1954, the United States helped overthrow the government of Guatemala and then supported a succession of right wing dictators who brutally oppressed their citizens, setting off a civil war that left hundreds of thousands of people dead or disappeared. All of this was done in the name of combatting leftism as part of the Cold War. This was very bad and Bill Clinton apologized for it in the 90s, by which time the Cold War was over not because we supported tin-pot autocrats around the world but because of the bravery of people in Poland and Hungary and Romania and Estonia and Latvia and every other country that rose up behind the iron curtain and precipitated the fall of the broke, totalitarian Soviet State.
So after all of that here is Western Journal saying that despite us winning the Cold War, the evil Marxism did successfully spread to the United States and now it has infected us worse than everywhere else and we must defeat it here to protect the dominos from falling in the other direction.
This all leaves a final question: Why is the vice president of the United States in Guatemala instead of at the U.S. southern border, where the crisis is occurring and Americans are hurting because of it?
Yeah, why doesn’t the Vice President get a gun and get in the back of a pick up truck and patrol the border?
The answer is that the Biden administration has painted itself into a corner.2
The best solutions to the illegal immigration crisis happen to be fortifying the border, prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants, and removing incentives for criminal border crossings.
These are all Trump administration solutions that would work to solve the problem, but they fly in the face of the Biden agenda, which is to be anti-Trump.
Ah, so “by paint into the corner” they meant Biden had promised (painted) to be the opposite of Trump (existing floor) but he did it the wrong direction (liberalism) and now is standing in a corner (reality) standing on the narrow unpainted part of the old floor (Trump) and he can’t get out of the room (stop illegal immigration) without stepping on his promise (new floor paint). And you see he can’t wait in the corner patiently for a few minutes for his paint promise to dry because time (insert your own madlibs style) is of the essence.
Democrats have decided instead that the “root cause” of illegal immigration to the United States is that America is just too good relative to the rest of the world.
I thought that America was a commie hellhole filled with abortionists and gay people and that the good Christian folk of Guatemala didn’t like that stuff.
If we invested taxpayer dollars in humanitarian aid, then people of other countries wouldn’t feel the need to come to America anymore because their country would be as good or better, the thinking goes.
The problem is that this thinking is stupid.
That does sound like a problem.
It also happens to be dangerous because it requires us to beef up the rest of the world and cut ourselves down to size.
This is almost over. I promise.
In an effort to pretend3 that the illegal immigration crisis is caused by factors other than Biden administration policy, this line of thought has sent Kamala Harris to other countries to investigate and report back about how bad they have it relative to us.
This author seems to think that Kamala Harris is the lead on an HBO drama. Before she was supposed to be personally patrolling the border, now she’s Jack Ryan on an important detective mission to Latin America.
Her solution to our own problems, then, will always be to solve the problems of everyone [else]
Alert: Sir, you are losing the attention of your conservative readers.
…to make all things equitable.
Equitable! That’s a word people have learned to react to!
This is a load of bunk.
Ok, the Facebook readers are nodding along again.
The Guatemalans know it as much as we do.
So, you’re a Western Journal reader. You have made it to the end. Where are you at?
Well, you’ve gone through a lot. There was the little bit at the top about the protest about something (abortion) in some country (Guatemala) and uh Harris is socialist and uh Christians like yourself are righteous and there are a lot of Christians outside of the United States too who are also righteous but those good people of solid oak don’t support emigrating, and uh the left in America is too woke, and Biden who maybe wants to do good but can’t because he is a floor painter who can’t build the wall because of the promises he made to the left. And even people in Guatemala know that Trump won the election.
So you close the tab, click back to Facebook and if you haven’t already shared it, you do so now with great intentionality. This story proves every single thing you have been saying. It’s exhibit A! If you had already shared it, maybe you share it somewhere else. Text it to your group DM. Or maybe you just shut your phone and go about your day constantly scoffing every time you think about how so many people have the wrong opinions about politics. They must not read whatever the name of that place is that wrote that great article that said you were right all along.
When I began writing this post the Western Journal article had 130,000 social shares. It now has 180,000.
The Western Journal is right that women in Guatemala don’t enjoy abortion rights. Which doesn’t mean they don’t have abortions! They do. “Nearly 65,000 induced abortions are performed annually in Guatemala,” according to a 2006 study from the Guttmacher Institute. Of those, about 21,600 women—or 33%—end up “hospitalized for treatment of complications.”For comparison, about a million abortions are performed in the United States a year and the percent that end up with complications requiring hospitalization is .24%.
People don’t actually paint themselves into corners in real life. Few people are haphazardly painting their floors alone with no plan and when they do, they notice that they are painting themselves into a corner before actually applying the final bit of paint and they stop and reorient. Furthermore, assuming this is a residential situation, most of this type of floor painting involves patterns with multiple colors (like black and white diamonds) and if that is the case you even could get out fo the corner by playing lava and hopping on the unpainted diamonds. If you or anyone you know has ever actually painted themselves into a literal corner, please let me know. I want to hear your story.
“An effort to pretend” is a funny phrase. Who wrote this? Robin William’s character in Hook before he remembers how to become Peter Pan?