The Left Lets the Rat Out of the Bag

One of the more pathetic failings of the Left is to deny not only the consequences of its policies and tactics, but to deny their policies and tactics altogether.

Then one of their ranks lets the rat out of the bag.

Two recent incidents belie the Left’s disingenuous agenda:

First, former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), a Jack Kerouac impersonator who has parlayed his penchant for limp punk rock and rants about his failed Texas U.S. Senate run into becoming the third choice of Lone Star state Democrats to be president, has with a wave of his wildly gesticulating hands scattered the Left’s smokescreen about their goal “common sense” gun control. Per O’Rourke in Houston on Thursday night: “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15s!”

While perhaps a bit too loquacious to fit on an effective bumper sticker, O’Rourke’s nuanced new campaign slogan to shred the Second Amendment does fit nicely on a t-shirt that you can buy for a donation to his campaign (which makes this is a very limited time offer).

This is not a case of an obscure member of a party or organization being used unfairly to tarnish the vast majority of its saner members. Despite his current poll numbers in the 2020 presidential primary, O’Rourke is not a fringe figure within the Democratic Party; moreover, he made his remark about taking people’s lawful property to an appreciative gaggle of his ideological mates from the stage of a televised—well, in fairness, it was CNN—presidential debate.

Doing so in a manner that seems less like campaigning for president than like auditioning for a cameo role as “Primary Roadkill No. 2” in a “Fast & Spurious” flick, O’Rourke blows away every leftist fig leaf about gun control, such as “no one wants to take your gun” by boasting about how the Left is going to take your gun away—regardless of whether you or the Constitution say otherwise.

Just Stop Pretending

In incident two, despite their best efforts, the climate cultists keep letting the truth slip about the tactics and aims of their climate change agenda. On the heels of having to backpedal from a slip of the tongue and truth by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, that the Green New Deal was primarily not about climate change but rather about “how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing,” now comes an ironic bolt of truth from the blue by an author of much renown (though not of science or public policy), Jonathan Franzen.

Last week, I penned a brief missive about the climate cult’s fearmongering and the debate in Sweden as to whether cannibalism might be an appropriate means of combating climate change or surviving its cataclysm (the silver lining of which is that a hardy few may survive the climate apocalypse). Naturally, the Left scoffed at such a depiction of the climate change cult.

Then Franzen unwittingly published a reprieve for all of us who have similar complaints against the climate cult. In The New Yorker last week, Franzen penned his own essay, “What If We Stopped Pretending?” “The climate apocalypse is coming,” the essay teased. “To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it.”

Despairing of his belief that climate change has won and is giving no quarter, Franzen bemoans what he believes should have been:

[O]verwhelming numbers of human beings, including millions of government-hating Americans, need to accept high taxes and severe curtailment of their familiar life styles without revolting. They must accept the reality of climate change and have faith in the extreme measures taken to combat it. They can’t dismiss news they dislike as fake. They have to set aside nationalism and class and racial resentments. They have to make sacrifices for distant threatened nations and distant future generations. They have to be permanently terrified by hotter summers and more frequent natural disasters, rather than just getting used to them. Every day, instead of thinking about breakfast, they have to think about death.

And you thought getting up in the morning was hard enough already?

The minute Franzen let this rat out of the bag, the Left pounced on him for—with no trace of irony—his pessimism. Yet, if as Ronald Reagan believed “all great change in America begins at the dinner table,” it is hard to see how asking your family and friends if they prefer their death well-done or tartare is the best argument to accomplish anything except diminishing their appetites (unless they’re Swedish cannibals).

Nonetheless, however unintentionally, Franzen deserves credit for deftly limning the depressing proposition of the climate cult—servitude or death, and with the former a healthy side dish of fear and penury in the bargain.

A Doleful, Existential Struggle

All Franzen has done is carry the organic logic of the climate cult’s fearmongering scam to its ineluctable, disconsolate terminus.

In his incisive article “Jonathan Franzen’s Crazy Climate Rant Contains a Nugget of Truth,” The Federalist’s Warren Henry notes, “Franzen cannot quite escape the mindset he believes has led to the End of The World As We Know It.”

Yes, Franzen will note the pleasing tiles of mosaic—little bits of the Left’s regressive agenda accomplished for their own sake, though taking no greater solace in the larger picture because, having “escaped” from the shadow of God, they now find their gleaming terrestrial Eden eclipsed by the specter of death.

Such is the doleful existential struggle of the secular leftist mind. It’s why, like Franzen, who has succumbed to the despairing logic of the climate cult’s apocalyptic fear mongering, the dolorous Left’s conflating righteousness with the immorality of letting the ends justify the means (because one is out to save the world and vanquish the “Bad Orange Man” or cement the “woke” fad du jour into law) will never allow them to eschew mendacious disclaimers even when one of their own lets another rat out of their rhetorical bag of tricks.

The truth is, no one wants to “fundamentally transform” something they love; and, no one can fundamentally transform something they don’t love without the unsuspecting support of the people who love it.

So buyer and voter beware. If not, someday the Left’s rat will leap out of their bag and into your business—and these days, the damn thing is rabid. When that happens, though, the Left will be unable to issue yet another disingenuous disclaimer.

They’ll just claim the rat wore a MAGA hat.

About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

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