Elite Heaven or Real Hell on Earth?

The horrific murder of Laken Riley by a repeated felony offender and illegal alien Jose Ibarra, 26, a Venezuelan citizen, was preventable—had federal immigration laws simply been enforced by the Biden administration.

When called out in his recent State of the Union address, President Biden referenced the deceased Ms. Riley. But Biden misidentified her as “Lincoln Riley”—the USC football coach!

Biden only accurately noted that she “was killed by an “illegal.””

True—but almost immediately the left was infuriated over Biden’s accurate use of the supposedly insensitive “illegal” for the murderer Ibarra.

Biden soon apologized for correctly identifying her killer as an illegal alien—but not for misidentifying the victim.

He left the callous impression that he was more upset about offending his open-borders base than about the savage beating of a young 22-year-old American nursing student.

Biden’s woke open-borders agenda supersedes any worry over the subsequent mounting number of Americans who have fallen victim to foreign gangs and criminals. He seems oblivious to the nearly 100,000 Americans who die from fentanyl imported across open borders.

The same idea of abstract humanity juxtaposed with concrete callousness towards humans characterizes much of the current leftist agenda.

The Biden administration envisions mandating the use of electric vehicles and banning natural gas appliances. These measures will supposedly help “save” the planet—even as they make life far more expensive and dangerous for the middle class and poor in the here and now.

We are told that biologically born males who transition to females have a civil right to compete in female sports.

Such transgender activism may sound compassionate in the abstract. Yet in the concrete, thousands of women are put in danger by competing against the much larger musculoskeletal frames and natural strength of transitioning males.

Moreover, tens of thousands of young female athletes are losing opportunities to excel and set records—thus destroying over a half-century of women’s efforts to reach parity with men’s sports.

In 2021, United Airlines president Scott Kirby bragged that his company was now devoted to ensuring that fifty percent of all trained pilots would be either people of color or women.

The Federal Aviation Administration had similar diversity, equity, and inclusion mandates for hiring air traffic controllers.

In 2023, Boeing bragged that it was using “inclusion” as a criterion for executive compensation. Pay from now on would be calibrated in large part on the success of hiring new employees on the basis of their race, gender, and sexual orientation.

In the abstract, ensuring that air travel “looks like America” is no doubt a noble goal.

But if such subordination of meritocracy is canonized without proper attention to the only criterion that really matters—the safety of the nearly 3 million American airline passengers who take 45,000 flights per day—lives will be needlessly lost.

Some data and recent anecdotal evidence suggest that something has now gone dangerously wrong with the entire airline industry.

In January 2023, thousands of domestic flights were cancelled or delayed because of a series of Federal Aviation Administration computer failures. Over the last ten years, near-crashes and collisions of commercial places have more than doubled.

Even scarier, in the last two weeks alone, United Airlines suffered numerous near-catastrophic events that may have involved crew lapses, air traffic controller errors, or problems with Boeing jet construction or maintenance—or all three. Specific details have mysteriously been kept from the public.

A United flight from San Francisco to Mexico had to make an emergency landing due to failing hydraulics. Another United flight bound for San Francisco from Sydney, Australia, had to return around due to a “maintenance issue.” Yet another flight out of Chicago O’Hare International Airport likewise suffered undisclosed “maintenance issues” and returned home.

At Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, a United plane simply taxied off the runway and got stuck in the grass. Another United flight from San Francisco lost a wheel while taking off!

Yet another United flight from Houston to Florida was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines caught fire. At about the same time, a United flight bound for San Francisco from Hawaii experienced an engine failure in mid-flight.

Dozens were injured on a Boeing jet during a Chilean airline flight from Australia to New Zealand due to what officials called “a technical event during the flight which caused a strong movement.”

Anytime ideology and dogma trump merit, logic, and safety, the result is predictably scary and dangerous.

America needs to recalibrate its priorities to protect the lives and aspirations of all its citizens, regardless of their race and gender.

If our elites do not stop playing god and mandating their visions of heaven on earth, then they will surely ensure hell for us all.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004, and is the 2023 Giles O'Malley Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson is also a farmer (growing almonds on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author of the just released New York Times best seller, The End of Everything: How Wars Descend into Annihilation, published by Basic Books on May 7, 2024, as well as the recent  The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump, and The Dying Citizen.

Photo: Political Polarization and Extremism

Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for task task says:

    Joe Biden violated the Espionage Act, as a senator, numerous times. He should be impeached and removed. And then prosecuted, not for what he did as President, but for what he did, illegally, when he was a senator.

    Furthermore, the audacious claim that Joe Biden is too neurologically incompetent to be convicted by a jury but is, somehow, not only neurologically competent to remain as president but, despite the progression of his multiple neuropathies, is still going to remain the DNC candidate, with the expectation to be re-elected, and remain as America’s President, for an additional four years, says all you need to know about the State of the Nation’s politics, the media, and those who would vote for what makes a Zombie seem like Albert Einstein. People who think this is normal, who refuse to take responsibility and blame, are the same people who think that planes falling out of the sky should be expected until DEI catches up and surpasses merit as a criteria responsible for successes and are willing to tolerate such failures as a reasonable price to be paid. These are the same people who created classes of people using affirmative action bills which, after they became law, did far more than eliminate discrimination. They created discrimination, bias and prejudice and, along the way, sacrificed meritorious and very capable people, as part of the process. Joe Biden is the most profound example of a deficiency of meritocracy and yet remains at the pinnacle of a vast hierarchy, a superstructure of incompetence, which is the current Democratic Party.

    God help America one last time because without a free and economically powerful America the entire world will descend into a dystopian state that will make Haiti seem like Fantasy Island.

  2. Marxist ideology can never be reasoned with or voted down or out. It must always be pummeled and beaten into a bloody pulp, burned to ashes, and the ashes scattered to the winds.

    This process also works wonders for the orc adherents of this Luciferian ideology.

  3. Clearly, all the mayhem is being done on purpose. The purpose being, to destroy the United States of America.

    Americans, especially our sclerotic Conservative intelligentsia and half wit political class, need to understand that Washington DC is now occupied by a foreign hostile government.

    The faces of that government my look and speak as if they were American, but they are simply well paid actors and/or vicious, greedy, thieving, murdering criminals.

    Think Joseph Robinette Junior, the old, ugly puckered face of New America.

  4. I find myself in a very odd position at this point in my life, watching all the arguments I used in high school against the passage of the ERA bill play out IRL. And with every additional protected class that has been added, it has gotten that much worse. Competence should be the only criteria for hiring anyone and proven incompetence should be grounds for dismissal, regardless of any other factors.

Continue the discussion at community.amgreatness.com


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