America • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • Post

Trump Single-Handedly Changes the Political Calculus

The two greatest political controversies in the western world in the last several years—the attempt to delegitimize President Trump and the question of Britain’s relations with the European Union—have generated similar reflexes and tactics in the opponents of the president and of Brexit. In the one case as in the other, the initial response of the political establishments in the two countries has been disbelief followed by a tenacious determination to undo the verdict of the voters.

There is also an important difference.

In the U.K., the referendum three years ago generated a 52 to 48 percent vote to leave the European Union, contrary to the wishes of the incumbent government, which was so committed to the losing “remain” side that Prime Minister David Cameron had to be replaced by Theresa May.

As prime minister, May made three catastrophic errors: she gambled on an election to strengthen her position and then lost her majority. The Conservatives have hung on since with the support of a small Protestant party from Northern Ireland. But the government has found it impossible to reconcile the majority in the country and among conservative voters who wish to leave Europe with a majority of the parliamentary party that wants to remain.

May tried three times unsuccessfully to get parliamentary approval for a compromise agreement which Europe had accepted, but no one in the U.K. had voted for compromise and it was really an attempt to remain described as as a departure. May then signaled that she had to have a deal, which emboldened Brussels (where the EU government sits) to be inflexible, although the departure of Britain will be a disaster for the EU—akin to Texas seceding from the United States. Donald Trump warned May it would not work and it didn’t.

Boris Johnson, the leading Conservative “leaver,” won the succession easily, among the M.P.s and the 160,000 party members. Johnson is much mocked as a clownish figure, but he is a highly intelligent man and deft showman who also turns out to be a tremendous vote-getter, as he demonstrated in twice winning the mayoralty of the generally leftist London as a conservative. He has said he would seek an agreement with Brussels but will not hesitate to leave the Union without one, on the latest deadline for an agreement, October 31.

The remainers have never apparently considered the possibility that leaving this socialistic and ever more centralized union is the best course for Britain. Nor, to judge from the utterances of their chief spokespeople, have they ever apparently considered that those who wish to leave are anything but unworldly, xenophobic, know-nothings and demagogues.

Thus, with barely 90 days before the U.K. leaves automatically by the simple operation of its referendum vote and the expiry of the agreed final deadline, the remainers still imagine that they can stop the inevitable by having voted in parliament that Britain must not leave without having negotiated a departure agreement. As a French newspaper remarked, this is like the passengers of the Titanic voting no confidence in the iceberg.

Even if dissident conservatives do something that has not occurred since Neville Chamberlain was forced to hand over power to Winston Churchill in May 1940, and vote against their own government in significant numbers, compelling an election, polls indicate that the leavers retain a slim margin in public opinion and more than 60 percent of the constituencies of the British Parliament voted to leave in the referendum. It is highly likely that Johnson and his government would be reelected, but even if they were not, another government could not be installed before October 31, as Parliament is in recess until early September.

Yet a regime of belligerent and fear-mongering disbelief continues.

The parallel in the United States is obvious. There is absolutely no question of the legitimacy of the results of the 2016 presidential election. And, practically unnoticed is the fact that even those most fiercely devoted to the destruction of the Trump presidency no longer claim that it was a false election result.

Andrew Weissman and the other fanatical partisans who conducted the so-called Mueller investigation and wrote the report of it, sent an infirm figurehead forward to defend their dirty work under withering examination before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees last week. They knew from the beginning, as the Strzok-Page texts confirm, that “there was no there there” on the bunk about Trump-Russian collusion, but spun the farce of the Mueller investigation out for two years trying to provoke Trump into an action that could be called obstruction of justice, and sold through the wall-to-wall Democratic chorus in the national media as a “high crime or misdemeanor” such as “treason or bribery” which the Constitution requires two-thirds of the Senate to be convinced of beyond a reasonable doubt to remove a president.

Obviously, as Trump did not take the bait, there was no chance of that, so the best they could do was to invent the preposterous notion that failure to “exonerate” the president of obstruction meant that the House of Representatives should pursue it through impeachment. It is such cynical nonsense they can’t get even the Democratic majority of the House to vote for an impeachment resolution, and are trying to substitute continued investigation in what is taintingly called an “impeachment inquiry,” to try to smear Trump enough to cost him reelection.

Mueller admitted to Representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) last week that no prosecutor had ever officially expressed an inability to exonerate (and Ratcliffe was named director-designate of National Intelligence by Trump four days later). No one could exonerate Robert Mueller of murder either, but there’s no evidence of it.

This is a colossal fraud, and it won’t work. The public doesn’t buy it; the candidates aren’t talking about it; when Congress returns in September, Lindsey Graham’s Senate Judiciary Committee will grill the authors of the politicization of the intelligence agencies, the FBI, and other parts of the Obama Justice Department as well as the propagators of the false Steele dossier and the fraudulent FISA warrant applications. Graham (R-S.C.), will get the publicity, and the bare-faced liars who chair the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), will be talking to themselves about their “solid evidence” of the president’s crimes. Weissman and the lesser Democratic Torquemadas couldn’t find them; Nadler and Schiff can’t declare what their evidence is (because there is none).

This is the last echo of this attempted rape of the Constitution and no one will be listening when the Congress returns in September. They will listen to the Graham committee’s exposés of the Democrats who acted corruptly, and they will notice the indictments when the special counsel, (John Durham, who unlike Mueller does have full retention of his faculties), starts bringing them down.

The president deliberately has escalated the controversy by attempting to make the four extremist freshman Democratic congresswomen the real face of the Democrats, and by pointing out, in the case of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the inappropriateness of Cummings’ assault on the integrity of the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

The president undoubtedly knows that he is playing with fire assaulting the most holy of the taboos of political correctness so explicitly, though his grasp of the political arithmetic is almost certainly correct. I assume he can reassure his own followers and whatever independent voters may be left in this fierce partisan crossfire that he is not racist. In sober times, it would be clear that no case whatever exists that he is a racist. But these are not sober times and he has contributed something to their insobriety, though—one must remember—in reaction to immense provocations.

Here is the great difference between the British and American political classes. The British political leadership was obtuse, arrogant, and bumbling, and tried to terrorize the country against Brexit. But they have operated within the law and parliamentary rules. The president’s opponents have committed crimes, including the confection and propagation of the falsehood that the president has committed crimes. The Democrats will pay the price of mortal political error.

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America • American Conservatism • Democrats • Donald Trump • Great America • Post • The Left

The War on The Obvious

When was the last time you were called racist? If a supporter of President Trump, it’s a safe bet the gross epithet is regularly seared upon your forehead. Always, by those who self-anoint as progressive.

Such a charge, once preserved for the truly primitive of mind, is now stamped and singed on anyone who dares to disagree with anything issuing from the left side of the political aisle.

To point out the obvious is “racist.” This week, President Trump’s blistering comments on Baltimore’s cadaverous state invited the familiar threadbare cries. Perhaps, because that city is majority-black. Or perhaps because that term is the only resort of those defending the indefensible.

Because Baltimore is indefensible. And its denizens deserve better.

President Trump’s greatest gift is his penchant for forcing his foes to defend the indefensible. Baltimore, like many Fishtowns across post-industrial America, is Hell, for the forgotten majority, at least.

Baltimore condemns its citizens with the country’s worst schools and mops up more murders than El Salvador. Its poverty rate is nearly twice the national average.

This scandal, of course, has nothing to do with a congressman’s melanin density. In the 1950s, city residents, buoyed by chrome, copper, and steel industry jobs, enjoyed a 7 percent pay bump on the average American. The number earning middle-class wages was one-fifth higher, poverty one-fifth lower than average America.

Of course, what ails Baltimore ails Youngstown, Ohio, and the burgeoning roll-call of desolate swathes that used to matter. Back when people mattered. And not just the welfare of big business and moneyed interests.

What ails Baltimore is what put Donald Trump in the White House. It is what pushed a majority of Britons to vote to leave the European Union—the economic treachery of self-serving elites who’ve run the show since the 1980s.

Which is why the comments from one man were so disappointing to read. David Simon, writer of the acclaimed TV drama “The Wire,” has nothing but contempt for the president, and spent the weekend tweet-scorching.

If one has actually watched “The Wire,” however, you would think the creator harbored (or should harbor) Trumpian sympathies.

During its glorious five-season run on HBO from 2002 to 2008, “The Wire” was a weekly pastiche of crumbling American institutions. The perils of one-party rule, the decline of newspapers, the soft bigotry of educational decline, the corrosive effects of deindustrialization, and the hopelessness of reforming a system bought and sold by the deepest of pockets.

In the third season, centered upon the tribulations of dockworkers condemned to terminal decline, union man Frank Subotka, today’s Trump Democrat, laments the loss of what once enabled the American Dream: “You know what the trouble is, Brucey? We used to make shit in this country, build shit. Now we just put our hand in the next guy’s pocket.”

Soon after, the docks go under. And a Democratic mayor sells off the real estate to developers of upscale, yuppie apartments.

The theme is obvious. And Trumpian. And not just within Simon’s fiction.

In an essay in his book, The Wire: Truth Be Told, Simon wrote a screed presaging Tucker Carlson’s famous monologue:

Unemployed and under-employed, idle at a west Baltimore soup kitchen or dead-ended at some strip-mall cash register—these are the excess Americans. The economy staggers along without them, and without anyone in this society truly or sincerely regarding their desperation.

Ex-steelworkers and ex-longshoremen, street dealers and street addicts, and an army of young men hired to chase and jail the dealers and addicts, whores and johns and men to run the whores and coerce the johns—and all of them unnecessary and apart from the new millennium economic model that long ago declared them irrelevant.

This is the world of “The Wire,” the America left behind.

The spirit of that extract would be at home within the burgeoning circles of national conservatism. I’d imagine this journal would happily publish such work.

But for President Trump to point out Baltimore’s problems invites the charge of racism. Bernie Sanders once referred to parts of impoverished Baltimore as “a third-world country.”

Obviously, Bernie is a progressive lodestar, so his comment didn’t register among the Chatterati for whom President Trump’s mere existence tinders a Pavlovian public contempt.

And such public contempt might animate the Democratic base. But it won’t win elections. What will win is the pointing out of obvious problems, combined with the gumption actually to do something about them. President Trump hasn’t read Debrett’s on manners. So what? His voters know that.

Truth is, this why Democrats are so virulently opposed to the president. Without those seemingly intractable problems ensuring legions of lifelong Democratic voters, they have little else to offer. Their record in Baltimore says it all. And Trump-era conservatives aren’t afraid to point out the obvious.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Diaz Meyer for The Washington Post via Getty Images

America • China • Foreign Policy • Greatness Agenda • Post

Who Is China’s Fifth Column?

As U.S. negotiators head to China for trade talks, President Trump says he doesn’t care if we don’t get a deal.

He shouldn’t. His tariffs are having their desired impact.

More than 50 major companies, from Apple to Nintendo to Samsung, have moved or have plans to move production out of China.

The CEO of Sharp’s PC unit explains the thinking behind the rush for the exits: “We need permanent measures to avoid the risk of tariffs and be eligible for U.S. government procurement.”

The United States has temporarily held off on imposing the last round of proposed tariffs, but that hasn’t reassured certainty-craving businesses. “We cannot tell what will happen or when,” Sharp’s astute executive observed.

Exports from China to the United States are down 12 percent compared to last year and Chinese factory workers are working fewer hours.

China has absorbed the cost of the tariffs, devaluing its currency and cutting prices to avoid losing customers to the competition—five of China’s top 10 exports to the U.S. are also available from Mexico.

While China’s economic growth is at a 27-year low, America’s economy is running strong. Unemployment is at historic lows, wages are rising and inflation is nonexistent at both the wholesale and consumer level.

This defies the predictions of “mainstream” economists who spend more time looking at textbooks than at what’s happening in the world around them.

But another study determined that making the 25 percent tariffs on China permanent—giving businesses “certainty”—would create 1 million jobs in the United States.

That makes sense. Recall that after the United States removed tariffs in 2000, American corporations moved their U.S. supply chains to mainland China.

With China stumbling and America chugging along nicely, with all this winning, you’d expect universal cheers from the grandstands.

Indeed, farmers, ranchers and blue-collar workers support President Trump for taking on China’s economic aggression, something they believe the U.S. government should have done a long time ago.

But two influential players in the U.S. are not just withholding their cheers, they are, for all intents and purposes, taking China’s side.

These two agents of influence are Wall Street and the corporate media.

Why are they on China’s side?

With Wall Street, you need to follow the money.

Start in Lower Manhattan, where big banks and brokerage houses earn billions from listing Chinese companies on the American stock exchanges. Those companies have a total market capitalization of $1.3 trillion.

Exchange-traded funds, such as MSCI, the largest index fund in the world, are invested heavily in domestic Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock markets.

One of those Chinese companies is Hikvision, supplier of surveillance technology to China’s concentration camps. The California State Teachers’ pension fund and the New York State Teachers’ pension fund are invested in MSCI—and therefore in Hikvision.

Morgan Stanley’s private equity funds have been burned numerous times by their Chinese investments, most notably with Tianhe Chemicals, a Chinese industrial firm accused of bilking investors out of $650 billion.

While American investors may unwittingly have their money tied up in Chinese companies, American regulators aren’t allowed to look at their books; Beijing regards them as “state secrets.” U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has introduced legislation to delist companies from American exchanges that fail to meet our accounting and disclosure requirements.

As far as Wall Street is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether these Chinese investments make or lose money—the banks make money in the transaction fees.

For these reasons and others, as Peter Thiel explained at the National Conservatism Conference earlier this month, the interests of the money center banks are antithetical to America’s national interest when it comes to China.

Now let’s look at the corporate media. Beijing has found willing partners in the anti-Trump U.S. media, including marquee names such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Coincidentally, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns the Post. The world’s richest man made his fortune selling stuff made in China and imported tax-free into the United States. Bezos has a vested interest in the one-way trade with China that has destroyed millions of Americans jobs.

The Washington Post recently published an op-ed “China is winning the ideological battle with the U.S.” that repeats the talking points Chinese propagandists have been making for decades that its authoritarian model is more appealing than Western democracy.

If that’s not bad enough, the Post this month ran an open letter to President Trump titled “China is not an enemy,” signed by the policymaker geniuses who created the China Frankenstein monster. (American Greatness recently published a rejoinder.)

The authors say, “We do not believe Beijing is an economic enemy or an existential national security threat that must be confronted.” Need we say more? Xi Xinping or Joe Biden could not have said it better.

The New York Times, for its part, doesn’t rely on the opinion pages to make the same point. It ran a piece in its news columns under the headline, “A New Red Scare is Reshaping Washington.”

The term “red scare” is, of course, a loaded term with pejorative connotations evoking the Palmer raids, Joe McCarthy, and blacklists. (All of which, by the way, were grounded in more than paranoia, contrary to the standard liberal version of history.)

This conceit, this inference of groundless paranoia, permeates the story.

We are told of “growing concerns” that the Trump Administration is “fueling discrimination against students, scientists and companies with ties to China,” creating a “climate of fear” and “stoking a new red scare.”

We are told “the United States is at risk of being gripped by ‘an anti-Chinese version of the Red Scare,’” that “Chinese Americans feel targeted,” and “that’s really hurtful.”

We are led to believe it’s because of “Fox News hosts and others” that “skepticism has seeped into nearly every aspect of China’s interaction with the United States, with officials questioning China’s presence on American stock markets, its construction of American subway cars and its purchase of social media networks.”

Politico, an ever-reliable barometer of conventional Establishment thinking, is more explicit, telling us “people of Chinese descent, including U.S. citizens, could face discrimination,” especially now “when there’s so much racism, so much anti-immigration sentiment.”

It’s no exaggeration to say these “red scare” scares are a regurgitation of the Chinese Communist party line.

We know that because Global Times, the official mouthpiece of the CCP, helpfully informs us the Trump Administration’s China policy revives “anti-communist hysteria of neo-McCarthyism, which has echoes of the Cold War,” and “reflects populism, nationalism, and even racism.”

Political opinion warfare” is part of the influence operations Beijing uses to shape public opinion and influence foreign decision-makers, consistent with classic Chinese military strategy: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

And so we see Beijing’s Confucius Institutes spread the Chinese Communist Party’s worldview on American campuses and its United Front department mobilize overseas Chinese to support friendly politicians and official CCP narratives.

Beijing tells U.S. corporations to lobby Washington on its behalf and uses U.S. corporate media to spread its propaganda talking points. Talk about interfering in our political process! Somebody call Adam Schiff!

Photo Credit: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

America • civic culture/friendship • Great America • Post • The Culture

Rural America, ‘Romanticism,’ and Open Minds

ACCIDENT, Maryland—Hours before the festivities began, generations of families were lining up along U.S. Route 219, which is Main Street in this Garrett County town. Armed with coolers of ice, folding chairs and old blankets, and dressed in colorful patriotic clothing, they came to watch the 100-year-old homecoming parade that celebrates their community and the bold beginning of our independence.

Anticipation, that sweet pang of excitement and eagerness that’s becoming less common in an age of instant gratification, was tangible as nostalgia swept the old and novelty thrilled the young.

A meaningful silence filled the crowd as the American Legion color guard of veterans spanning World War II to today’s conflicts crested Route 219 and made their way along Main Street. A wave of applause and salutes greeted the men who made the sacrifice to serve their country in their youth and then their community in their maturity.

Following them were scores of floats, fire equipment, local bands, scout troops, church groups, the Rotary Club, beauty pageant winners, plenty of livestock and the all-important volunteers, who tossed out penny candy to the gleeful young children.

Accident, Maryland, is not much different from many small towns that dot our countryside. It’s got an odd name (yes, based on an accident), great trout fishing along the creek named after a bear, and just enough small businesses to provide a family’s essentials (plus any sweet tooth, pizza craving or appetite for fresh, locally made cheese).

This isn’t the story of rural life you’ll read in much of the media. “I spent a lot of my vacation driving around rural areas, through NC, KY, and TN,” tweeted Vox.com blogger Dave Roberts. “My impression: horrible land use, bland, ticky-tacky strip-mall architecture, & economic decay. I feel compassion for those people but I have zero time for romanticism about US rural life.”

But Mike Koch and Pablo Solanet don’t romanticize about their lives in Accident. The married couple are Washington, D.C., expats. Koch worked in housing finance for 22 years, and Solanet was a sought-after Argentine trained chef. They gradually eased out of Beltway life beginning in 2002, permanently departing a few years ago.

FireFly Farms, their bustling cheese business, is lined with paradegoers on the day of the homecoming. Despite their exquisite, locally made goat cheeses appearing on the coveted shelves of Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Zabar’s and served in dishes in some of the finest restaurants in New York and Washington, the men remain grounded and committed to their rural enterprise.

Koch said: “When we first started the business, Pablo was the original cheesemaker, the original herd manager. He really put his heart and soul, while I continued to work because, as you probably know, starting a farm-based business, the money just doesn’t roll in. So, it was necessary to make sure we could sustain ourselves.”

They are also deeply committed to their rural community.

Koch said: “On election night 2016, we stopped watching the national news, and Pablo and I made the decision to focus on our community: Do we know the county commissioners? Do we go to the chamber of commerce annual membership dinner? Do we know about what’s hot in Garrett County politics and what people would like to see in terms of improvements in recycling? Do we know Mayor Carlson of Accident, Maryland? Do we know Ruth Ann who runs town hall?”

That additional investment in community (outside of working with six local farms for their fresh goat milk and employing over 20 locals) has been, in a word, remarkable.

Koch dismisses the typical stereotypes hurled at rural people, saying: “It’s no secret that Pablo and I are married and we’re gay. It’s never brought up. What they care about is: Are you contributing to the community? Are you creating jobs? Are you behaving like a responsible citizen? And the red/blue stuff? Well, people don’t obsess about that in the way society assumes they do.”

With the exception of a few years in Florida, Glen Maust has called Accident home. The hardworking entrepreneur who has both a construction company and a 25-unit apartment building fulfilled a dream last year when he opened the Rolling Pin Bakery with his wife.

On doughnut day, which is three days a week, the aroma tempts the pedestrians to dive into the baker’s family legacy; she is Mennonite and is using the same recipe her grandmother taught her as a child. There are also sandwiches, cookies, muffins and anything else you need to satisfy a sugary craving.

The father of six, Maust employs 15 locals including his son. He knows the challenges of rural life and embraces them: “Our town has had its up and downs, but we are definitely a prosperous, growing little town, but not so much that we’re not in danger of getting a Walmart anytime soon.”

It is a pretty open-minded town, said Maust: “I would say that we still would be a fairly conservative town, and most conservatives are open-minded. Certainly some aren’t, but then there’s some liberals that are so open-minded that their brains fall out.”

“I think maybe the town of Accident is kind of a happy medium,” he said.

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America • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Donald Trump • Greatness Agenda • Identity Politics • Post • The Left

Donald Trump at the Overton Window

I shall leave it to the theologians to decide whether it is providential or merely coincidental that it was this very week in 1729, on Tuesday in fact, that the city of Baltimore was founded. I think we can say that, for the genus rattus, the city has been providential, at least since 1967. That was the year Thomas D’Alesandro III—the brother of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (and son of Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., a former mayor of Baltimore)—began the city’s 50-plus years of uninterrupted Democratic Party rule. (If you except the younger Mr. D’Alesandro’s immediate predecessor, you can push the run of Democratic mayors of Baltimore all the way back to 1947.)

Things have been good for the rats in Baltimore. For homo sapiens sapiens? Not so good. Drugs. Violence. Poverty. Squalor. “The Wire” was more documentary than fiction.

But rats have, as the book of Genesis recommended, been fruitful. Also, they have multiplied. Quoth Catherine Pugh, mayor of Baltimore until just a couple of months ago, when she stepped down because of charges of corruption, rats were so plentiful in Baltimore that “you could smell them.”

But that was in September of last year, before Donald Trump turned his gimlet eye on Baltimore, a city that has suffered not only from more than half a century of local Democratic control but also from nearly 25 years of representation by Elijah Cummings, a race-hustling confidence man right out of central casting.

Over the weekend, the president opened up on “King Elijah” in a series of tweets. “Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings,” he wrote in one, “has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull . . . Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad.”

The president continued: “Baltimore’s numbers are the worst in the United States on Crime and the Economy. Billions of dollars have been pumped in over the years, but to no avail. The money was stolen or wasted. Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!”

In short, Baltimore was “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

It was one thing when Christine Pugh dilated on the rodent theme in 2018.

It is quite another when Donald Trump does it in 2019.

The cries of “racism” came fast and furious against the president, from, among many others, the Rev. Al Sharpton. (I always love writing “the Rev. Al Sharpton”: the incongruity is positively giggle-making.)

That did not faze the president, who promptly repeated and broadened his attack. “There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know,” he wrote, “that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district, and of Baltimore itself. Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts. Shame!” And then there was this on Sharpton: “I have known Al for 25 years. Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He ‘loved Trump!’ He would ask me for favors often. Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops!”

Politico, along with the rest of the virtue-signaling, chest-less media, sobbed in impotent disbelief. “President Donald Trump on Monday opened new fronts in the bitter tirade he launched over the weekend against Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings and the city of Baltimore, lobbing insults at civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.”

You know that the president’s observation was impermissible because Politico called it “bitter,” which ever since Obama’s “bitter clingers” remark has been code for “right-wing redneck.” But the best thing about Politico’s little melodrama was its description of Sharpton as a “civil rights leader.”

What Al Sharpton really is, as the president noted, is a “con man,” a race-hustling mountebank. Thomas Sowell was less polite but more accurate when he said that Sharpton headed “a trail of slime going back more than a quarter of a century, during which he has whipped up mobs and fomented race hatred from the days of the Tawana Brawley ‘rape’ hoax of 1987 to the Duke ‘rape’ hoax of 2006 and the Ferguson riots of 2014.”

Exactly so.

I suspect that those who see an element of calculation in the president’s tweets about Baltimore, Cummings, and Sharpton are correct. As Monica Showalter noted at The American Thinker, the president has just dramatized a real problem and made the Democrats, and their enablers in the media, defend the indefensible, just as he did with his comments a couple of weeks ago about the racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American tetrarchy of “the squad.” President Trump, Showalter noted, is “now forcing Democrats to own the urban shambles and filth that characterize one-party blue-city rule, putting all Democrats on their backfoot. That’s what’s behind his surprise Twitter assault that began with Rep. Elijah Cummings and his rat-infested Baltimore district, which pretty much came out of the blue.”

I think that’s probably correct. But there are a few larger issues at play in this episode.

One was articulated several decades ago by the philosopher Sidney Hook, who, writing about the danger of spurious charges of “racism” and kindred epithets, noted

as morally offensive as is the expression of racism wherever it is found, a false charge of racism is equally offensive, perhaps even more so, because the consequences of a false charge of racism enable an authentic racist to conceal his racism by exploiting the loose way the term is used to cover up his actions. The same is true of a false charge of sexism or anti-Semitism. This is the lesson we should all have learned from the days of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Because of his false and irresponsible charges of communism against liberals, socialists, and others among his critics, many communists and agents of communist influence sought to pass themselves off as Jeffersonian democrats or merely idealistic reformers. They would all complain they were victims of red-baiting to prevent criticism and exposure. [Emphasis added.]

You see the dynamic Hook outlined at work everywhere today, not least in the ridiculous charges that Donald Trump is racist because he attacks people who do bad things who also happen to be black.

Their color has nothing to do with his criticisms. Trump attacks “the squad” not because they are female or “people of color,” but because the are anti-American fanatics. He attacks Elijah Cummings not because he is black but because he is a corrupt pol who has done ill by his district. He attacks Sharpton not because he is black but because he is a race-baiting con-man.

Donald Trump is an equal opportunity scourge. He doesn’t care if you are black or white, male or female, if you behave badly and violate the public trust, he will call you out, baldly. And note this above all: If you attack him, he will attack you back. As Brit Hume pointed out recently, “People discerning a racist motive for Trump’s attack on Elijah Cummings are missing a key point: Trump attacks those who criticize him and his administration, black or white.” Hume follows up with an amusing and color-coordinated list of people Trump has put in their place (Bernie Sanders: crazy, Elizabeth Warren: total fraud, Justin Amash: loser, Joe Biden: low IQ, Harry Reid: insane, etc., etc.).

Beyond the elements of political calculation and polemical style, however, Donald Trump’s recent tweet fests suggest that he may be on the threshold of shifting the Overton Window on race.

Named for the policy analyst Joseph Overton, the famous fenestration describes the range of ideas and rhetoric that are acceptable in public discourse, from the unthinkable and radical at one end to popular ideas and settled policy at the other.

Public discourse in America has long been held hostage to a species of racist moral blackmail that has made it almost impossible to tell the truth about many central social realities. Trump opened the window on that paralyzing darkness when he dared to violate the taboo against criticizing failure when it happened to be presided over by blacks. But to do so is not racist. In fact, it is anti-racist, because it dares to hold everyone, blacks as well as whites, to the same standard.

The ethic of one-sided discriminatory intimidation has been the Democrats’ meal ticket from Jim Crow through the comically misnamed “Great Society” right down to our current crop of race hustlers like Elijah Cummings, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, not to mention the hundreds of academics who have based their entire careers on race, not scholarship.

Trump was elected partly because he was “politically incorrect”: he dared to bring the engine of common sense to bear against the malodorous carapace of left-wing ideology.

The president has a long way to go. But he has been the first chief executive in a very long time to have the rough courage to challenge the entrenched, sclerotic establishment that promulgates an agenda of dependency in order to protect its power and perquisites, surrounding the whole with the sleepless sentinels of politically correct interdiction.

It is a rotten, and a deeply un-American, spirit that has risen up among us. Donald Trump will not vanquish it single-handedly. But simply by tearing the scab off this festering infection, revealing it to all in its hideous profusion, he has earned the gratitude of everyone who values liberty and the boundless opportunities of what we used to be able to call, without embarrassment, the American way.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images

America • Center for American Greatness • First Amendment • Post • The Constitution • The Left

Nicholas Sandmann Was Denied the Justice He Deserves

A Jimmy Carter-appointed federal district court judge in Kentucky on Friday dismissed Nicholas Sandmann’s defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post. The Covington Catholic High School student’s two other suits against CNN and NBC remain active, however.

Recall that Sandmann became Public Enemy No. 1 after video surfaced of him perpetrating a heinous crime on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial the day after the 2019 March for Life: standing while white and MAGA-hatted. Even worse, he appeared to smile as Nathan Phillips, a Native American adult who approached Sandmann and his friends, loudly banged a drum in Sandmann’s face.

Sandmann, still a minor, was quickly smeared as a disgusting racist by thousands of adult, leftist pundits (shamefully abetted by many so-called conservatives), politicians, and activists. The Twitter mob said Sandmann had a “punchable face” and was a “prime candidate for wood chipping.” He became the embodiment of “white male privilege,” a scapegoat for all the world’s wickedness. He was even deemed complicit in Christ’s crucifixion! Ultimately, he was abandoned to the mob by his own bishop, as well as by a neighboring bishop who just couldn’t resist the urge to woke-signal.

Applying a Kentucky defamation statute, the court held that 33 statements from seven Post articles and three tweets—which Sandmann alleged were defamatory and entitled him to $250 million in damages—were all protected as opinion under the First Amendment. “Few principles of law are as well-established as the rule that statements of opinion are not actionable in libel actions,” Judge William O. Bertelsman wrote in his ruling.

In assessing the relevant defamation precedents, Bertelsman focused primarily on the first of the seven articles (the other six and the three tweets contained mostly recycled statements from the first article) and determined that nine of the 33 statements were not even “about” Sandmann in particular and thus were not actionable; another seven statements (some of which overlapped with the previous set) could not “form the basis for a defamation claim” because they were mere opinions, not factual statements “capable of being proved objectively correct.”

Most importantly, the court explained that “[i]n determining whether a writing is libelous per se under Kentucky law, courts must stay within the four corners of the written communication.” Which means the “words must be given their ordinary, natural meaning as defined by the average lay person,” and the “face of the writing must be stripped of all innuendoes [sic] and explanations” that could “enlarge or add to the sense or effect of the words charged to be libelous, or impute to them a meaning not warranted by the words themselves.”

Bertelsman also analyzed the allegedly libelous publications in their entirety to “determine if [their] gist or sting [are] defamatory”—in other words, if they would “tend to expose Sandmann to public hatred, ridicule, contempt or disgrace, or to induce an evil opinion of him in the minds of right-thinking people.” For a statement to be defamatory, it cannot be an opinion; it must be about someone in particular; and it has to in itself—without reference to any “extrinsic evidence of context or circumstances [or consequences]”—be injurious to its object. None of the 33 statements, in Bertelsman’s determination, met this threshold, even as many people then and now hold “an evil opinion” of the “smirking” Sandmann.

Unfortunately, that conclusion follows more or less inescapably from Bertelsman’s straightforward application of Supreme Court and Sixth Circuit precedents to the facts of the case.

That Sandmann couldn’t convince the court to find that even one of the nearly three-dozen statements constituted defamation indicates deep rot at the core of this area of First Amendment jurisprudence. Especially so when the district court declined to reach a critical question in defamation law, namely, whether Sandmann was either a “public figure” or a “limited-purpose public figure.” Indeed, it is difficult to see how such an analysis could result in a finding that Sandmann—who did nothing to seek the public-square spotlight and the firestorm that later enveloped him—was anything other than a purely private figure, a classification which would have given his lawsuit a much higher chance of success.

Recently, Justice Clarence Thomas, concurring in the denial of certiorari in McKee v. Cosby—a case that asked the court “to review [the petitioner’s] classification as a limited-purpose public figure,” a classification rooted in the landmark defamation case, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964)—put it best when he wrote, “New York Times and the Court’s decisions extending it were policy-driven decisions masquerading as constitutional law.”

What the New York Times decision and its progeny, including this case, get wrong is that free speech, for the Founding generation, generated a correlative duty to use it responsibly for the pursuit of truth, and its primary regulators were to be state legislatures, not courts. The Founders were not free-speech libertarians (even as the Supreme Court increasingly, and worryingly, has embraced such a relativistic vision of speech), and a world in which the press can, even incidentally, sic a ravenous, self-righteous mob on a teen and plaster racist next to his face forever and suffer no real consequences is not truly a free society.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court described why in 1788:

Libelling is a great crime. . . . With respect to the heart of the libeller, it is more dark and base than that of the assassin, or than his who commits a midnight arson. It is true, that I may never discover the wretch who has burned my house, or set fire to my barn; but these losses are easily repaired, and bring with them no portion of ignominy or reproach. But the attacks of the libeller admit not of this consolation: the injuries which are done to character and reputation seldom can be cured, and the most innocent man may, in a moment, be deprived of his good name, upon which, perhaps, he depends for all the prosperity, and all the happiness of his life.

No less an authority than Dante concurs; he placed liars deeper in hell than the violent because lies “offend against the rational part of the human being, which is nobler and more in need of protection even than the body.”

Sandmann plans to appeal, and he should, even though the Sixth Circuit likely would be forced to affirm Bertelsman’s decision thanks to decades of too-lenient defamation precedent that now robs private citizens of our right to our good names.

The Supreme Court should take this opportunity to reign in its runaway defamation jurisprudence, restore (at least to a degree and in this one area) the original understanding of the free speech clause, and tame our public discourse—which today more resembles the Wild West than a public square of a constitutional republic ordered to truth.

Free speech exists to secure human flourishing and the common good of the nation. We should take it back from those who have weaponized it to create a culture of fear as they push an anti-American agenda.

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America • Democrats • Post • Progressivism • The Left

The Great Excluded and Our Nationalist Future

The Trump versus “the squad” brouhaha merely affirms what pundits have been saying since Trump’s MAGA movement swept up the American Right in 2016: American politics, from here on out, is American nationalism versus multiculturalism. A drift on the American Right towards nationalism, and deeper polarization between multiculturalism and nationalism, seems inexorable.

Trump’s “go back” tweets and the ensuing chaos expressed a widely felt frustration on the Right—a feeling that led to Trump’s election in the first place. That frustration is with the fundamental unfairness of America’s current multiculturalist regime.

Multiculturalism declares that America is for “everyone,” except, of course, for those it pointedly excludes. Trump’s base are the Great Excluded. Until Trump came along, they were up for grabs politically, waiting for someone who cared about them and what they care about.

Leftists balk at the “bigotry” of Trump and his supporters. To them, nationalism is vulgar, uncouth, and racist by definition. They dismiss Trump supporters as racist. The Left’s lazy recourse to labeling everything “racist” says more about diversity politics than about the people leftists constantly slander.

Many on the Left now find it incontrovertible that Trump, and all his supporters, are xenophobes.

Republican support for Trump went up after his tweets. How could so many Americans be so hateful? But these charges merely add insult to the injury of the Left’s abuse. What about leftist racism and bigotry? Doesn’t that count?

Certainly not, interjects the polite, well-educated leftist. It isn’t possible to be bigoted toward certain groups, namely, those which enjoy the institutionalized hegemony of their colonialist ancestors, or whatever middlebrow shibboleths the badly educated are taught by their sociology professors to repeat.

But of course the Left is bigoted, toward Christians, toward whites, toward American nationalists. There are two sets of rules, and the American Right is chafing under the fundamental asymmetry of this political landscape.

Fed Up With Multiculturalism
The Right is waging a pitched battle. Under the Left’s rules of engagement, put in place by cultural enforcers in power, one must always defer to a “person of color” when such a person is speaking “their truth.” Humans are apportioned their degree of moral worth based on how oppressed they are. It’s the job of the “oppressors” to shut up and do what they’re told. The “oppressed” must all think the same way, too. Everyone must agree that America is racist in its very soul, a nation founded on genocide, that all Christians are homophobes, and that all white people are saddled with the original sins of Columbus and Hernando Cortes.

The Right is fed up with multiculturalism, its asymmetrical rules and its deleterious effects. They’re tired of being told that immigrants don’t need to assimilate, learn English, or even enter the country legally, while they are accused with the worst names for wanting borders, a decent society, and the rule of law. They are tired of being disparaged by people who express manifest hatred for their nation, but who get a pass because they happen to be of a certain race.

The Left will never stop accusing proud Americans of racism and xenophobia because multiculturalism asserts that America is sinful at its foundation and needs to be fundamentally reimagined. America’s history is thought to be racist and in need of total revision. Its future belongs to “everyone”—that is, everyone except those who multiculturalism isolates as the enemy.

Anything which belongs to tradition and heritage—American symbols, heroes, religious tradition—must be discarded, or else repurposed. Anyone who contradicts this vision is a “racist,” and the Founders are racists too, except for when their writings can be used to justify open borders. The Bible, rather than a book of wisdom and truth, a cultural touchstone, is a historical source document to be disingenuously cited to support this or that woke policy.

Multiculturalism’s god is diversity. It hates the very things that make a country prosper—cultural cohesion, morals, social trust, a national identity—while valuing the very things that lay nations low. In place of fertility and careful stewardship of culture, multiculturalism preaches anti-natalism and cultural suicide.

Nationalism and love of country are equated with xenophobia. Christianity is branded hateful and homophobic, a relic of the past, and morals are mocked, or else suspected of harboring a secret, malevolent agenda. The rule of law, citizenship, and borders are “racist” and exclusionary, solely because they refer to a distinct nation and people.

Elected officials who encourage immigrants not to assimilate, to defy the law, and to trample over American sovereignty, who want to abolish the meaning and distinction of citizenship, are lauded as heroes—not because they love America, but because they despise it openly.

Stop Playing Their Game
Standing against the Left’s vicious, resentful, race-obsessed multiculturalism is the “love it or leave it” nationalism of the Right: “it doesn’t matter what your skin color is or where you’re from. If you don’t love this country, you can leave.”

But under multiculturalism, it is okay for the Left to disparage Americans and their country with impunity, to persecute and slander and abuse anyone who stands in their way. Americans are ordered simply to lie down and take it.

Trump challenged this whole con game, and the Left is furious. They’re not angry because Trump is “racist.” They’re mad because he called out the diversity scam. Is it any wonder that his supporters like him more for it? The American Right has boiled in helplessness under these rules for decades. It seems that, finally, as they witness the brazen theft of their country by unscrupulous people who hate their nation, who think it is wicked at its core and needs to be fundamentally reimagined, they are just about fed up.

Until now, that is until Trump, the Left forced its elite ideology on the American public without any pushback. This was a fundamentally non-democratic endeavor. Leftists captured power with a “long march” through the institutions, and through generations of networking, activism, and ceaseless intimidation, they created a new American religion—multiculturalism—to replace and suppress everything that came before roughly 1965.

Except this was never done democratically. Americans never voted to let 11 million (some say upwards of 22 million) illegal immigrants into their country. They never voted to send millions of jobs overseas. They never voted for gay marriage or abortion on demand. They never voted to have their schools and universities staffed by woke scolds to tell their children what sorry, shameful, racist, misogynist monsters they are. They never voted to have Christianity chased from the public square and relegated to the cultural status of a yoga class.

Everybody has their breaking point, and it seems that in 2016, the American Right had just about had it. So they voted for the angry, Bad Orange Man who at least acknowledged how mad they were.

A New Nationalism Is the Logical Endpoint
Fast forward to 2020, and the landscape hasn’t changed much, with one exception. The leftists who spent decades spitting on the “bigots” have multiplied their arrogance and their bile. Before, it was “compassionate immigration reform.” Now, it’s abolish ICE, borders, and citizenship. Before, it was equality for the races. Now, it’s f–k white people. Before, it was “safe, legal, and rare.” Now, it’s infanticide at any time, for any reason. Before, it was “tolerance” and “marriage equality.” Now, it’s a liturgical season of compulsory, ecstatic celebration.

So, yes, nationalism is the future of the American Right. It’s Newton’s Third Law of Politics. The American Right’s pivot to nationalism is just the logical consequence of nationalism having been suppressed for so long.

National pride is a natural feeling. Human beings weren’t made to hate their country. No amount of political re-education can breed out the love in one’s heart for their homeland, neither can it suppress the human craving for what is true and good. Leftism seeks to suppress the irrepressible, because it must stifle, at last, our humanity. It must quash curiosity, humor, common sense, virtue, patriotism, and faith.

Americans today are living through a social experiment, now 50 years running at least, accelerating in the last few years, that runs against the grain of human nature and common sense. For masses of people, it seems that the country is simply upside down. The good and the true are spurned, while the wicked and the false are uplifted.

Late term abortion is cherished as an inalienable right, as a positive good, while the nuclear family is assailed as a retrograde bastion of bigotry. Genders multiply without warning. Religious feeling is muted and diminished, allowed to exist in an alley of an alley of an alley of the public square and reduced to little more than a spiritualist hobby—tax free.

Americans are told that they are inferior, less American, than people they have never heard of from halfway across the world, who cannot speak their language and have never set foot in their country. They are told that they are insane for doubting that the American president is a Russian agent. Their religion is mocked by jackasses on television and in the mass media. The only time their faith is invoked, is when it is used as a weapon against them. They are told constantly how privileged and powerful they are, and yet they feel distinctly the opposite.

To add insult to these thousand cuts, they are told that if they dare to complain, if they dare to disobey, then there is no slander too vicious for them. They must be exposed as bigots, racists, and Nazis, and chased from public life, fired from their jobs, and forced to eke out an existence in obscurity, isolation, and shame.

Now, doesn’t that sound reasonable?

Where the Fight Leads
Human beings can only take so much nonsense and abuse. The world that the Left has created is a massive lie, propped up by relentless propaganda and threats of unpersoning to anyone who would pull back the curtain. Masses of Americans are being made to bear witness to evil and plain absurdity. They are being enjoined to celebrate that the world has been turned upside down.

The virtual reality that leftism requires must appear seamless. It must appear that no other world is desirable or even possible. But its principles are too obviously divorced from reality and common sense for people to accept them without the constant threat of reputational harm.

The more they protest, the more obvious the cracks in this artificial world appear, the louder the enforcers scream: “Diversity is our strength!”

The Left plainly realizes that this is not a recipe for peace, because they are willing war. They realize that what they want is unnatural, that it requires immense suppression and abuse, constant reinforcement of obvious, obtuse falsehoods, just to keep the experiment humming along.

And what have decent Americans done to deserve all this? Is it because their ancestors once owned slaves—which in the case of most, isn’t even true anyway? Or that they think men and women are different, and that to will oneself a different sex doesn’t make it so? That they have certain rights as citizens, and that nations should be sovereign?

Most look around them and they don’t see a country that is filled with racism and hate – except for the hate that is directed at them, from Hollywood actors, from the pages of prestigious newspapers, even their elected officials! They encounter this contempt everywhere they look. It can’t be tuned out; it saturates their culture, assails them from all directions.

It has dawned on the American Right that in our multiculturalist regime, they are not treated equally. They can see that the Left clearly and manifestly hates their country, their religion, their race, but they are not allowed to push back.

Is it any wonder that the Great Excluded are clinging to Trump ever more tenaciously? Trump’s supporters have been called racist so often, for so little, it no longer means anything to them. Now they are being told to abandon the one person who represents them—and that it if they don’t, then they are the lowest of the low—because he singled out four ungrateful narcissists who despise them and their country.

The Left isn’t offended by the “racism” of Trump. They’re offended by the audaciousness of people who refuse to play by their rules.

Now the Left, more urgently than ever, wants to suppress, shame, and disenfranchise the Right. The Left strategizes in the open how best to do it: abolish the Electoral College, perhaps the Senate? Or would it be more expeditious to have an open borders policy and simply import Democratic voters?

Trump’s supporters have wised up to the con game. They realize that the future of the country belongs to “everyone”—except them. The more the Left attacks national pride, national sovereignty, citizenship, and immigration restrictions as racist, the more nationalist the Right will become.

It seems inevitable that the Right, having realized they have nothing to lose, will become more unapologetically nationalist. They understand that the Left will keep calling them racists and bigots until they no longer have a country left to defend.

Photo Credit: Found Image Holdings Inc/Corbis Historical via Getty Images

America • Deep State • Donald Trump • Intelligence Community • Post • Russia • The Leviathian State • Trump White House

Don’t Let Mueller Fool You

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday gave a performance in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees that Fox News anchor Chris Wallace described as a “disaster for Democrats.” 

Mueller, who was appointed by the Justice Department in 2017 to investigate whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign “colluded” with Russia to rig the 2016 election, appeared nonplussed by his surroundings. His responses to members’ questions posed to him were laconic, to say the least. After a little more than two years of a seemingly unforgiving and endless investigation, Mueller’s appearance was a total flop.

The Democrats have responded to Mueller’s lackluster showing either by quietly admitting it was an unmitigated disaster for their party heading into what will be another contentious presidential election year, or by insisting, as Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) continues to do without evidence, that it proved everything the Left has been saying about Trump’s perfidy. 

Republicans mainly have agreed that Mueller was an embarrassment; a doddering old man who was well beyond his prime. Rush Limbaugh has maintained for months that Mueller was merely a figurehead for the investigation into Trump; that he was uninvolved with the day-to-day operations of the insidious, politically-charged investigation. 

Instead, Mueller’s presence as the namesake of the investigation into President Trump and his 2016 campaign allowed for true partisans to run amok—and to do so while still hiding in the murky shadows of the swamp. 

Don’t be fooled. 

Robert Mueller Is Not a Sad Sack

Mueller knew exactly what he was doing. Yes, he appeared much as Muhammad Ali did against Trevor Berbick in 1981: a sad remnant of a once-dominant fighter who was ultimately crushed by his own frailties. Yet, unlike Ali in that fight against Berbick, Mueller has no known or discernible physical or mental ailment that would reduce his talents. 

What Americans saw Wednesday was an act by Mueller to deflect attention away from the fact that his investigation was never going to “prove” any “collusion.” The entire thing was a grotesque act of political theater designed to give the anti-Trump forces of the establishment the boost they needed going into 2020. 

Mueller also wanted to protect critical intelligence sources from deeper public scrutiny, meaning that those responsible for initiating the absurd investigation into Trump will not be punished for their wrongdoing and, further, that these same people will be free to attempt similar shenanigans in the future. That’s right. The deep state will live to fight another day. Now that their attempt to defeat Trump through investigations and false accusations has faltered, Mueller would rather be viewed as a hapless hack than as the corrupt top cop he is. 

At the end of June, the House Democrats issued a subpoena demanding that Mueller appear before the House to answer questions related to the Russia investigation. Shortly before Mueller’s appearance, Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer sent a letter to Mueller reminding him that his testimony, “must stay within the boundaries of your public report because matters within the scope of your investigation were covered by executive privilege.” Mueller did exactly as he was instructed by the Department of Justice. 

This was not the act of an ignoramus, rather it was the mark of a truly deceptive personality.

Mueller has been a career federal prosecutor. He has been involved in some of the biggest, high-stakes investigations both as a prosecutor and, later, as the second-longest-serving FBI director in history. Mueller has survived endless controversies, whether it be engaging in a massive cover-up after the FBI engaged in heinous informant abuse, or botching the 2001 anthrax terror attack investigation. 

After each controversy, Mueller maintained his good standing in “polite” society. 

The Greatest Ego Trip Ever

Mueller, I believe, accepted the role as special counsel investigating claims of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence because his ego would not allow him to pass up the chance. Not only did Mueller personally and politically dislike Trump (being a “Republican,” as we know, does not preclude NeverTrumpism), but as a career federal prosecutor, Mueller could not help but to envision himself the man to take down this much-maligned president. 

Pride goes before a fall, though, and Mueller has suffered through the greatest ego deflation of any public figure in recent memory. Touted as the purest of the pure; proclaimed to be the most respected man in Washington; portrayed as being too smart and tough for Trump to handle, Mueller has been stymied at every turn—and had minimal effect on Trump. 

The world did not witness the public nervous breakdown of a once-powerful member of the elite in that hearing. Instead, we saw the shiftiest move an inside operator could make in these tough circumstances. Mueller played dumb; he allowed himself to be the center of a partisan feeding frenzy, while ominously insisting that the president was neither guilty nor innocent—a sort of legal purgatory, awaiting final judgement. 

And who will be the arbiter of that final judgement? 

Mueller slyly showed us his devious hand: the president would be subject to an investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. He would not be investigated for “conspiracy” to rig the 2016 election. Instead, Trump would be subject to an investigation into purported corrupt practices that occurred during his tenure as head of the Trump Organization. This investigation would begin the moment Trump leaves office, provided he loses in 2020, and it would be Mueller’s last laugh. 

Whether or not this come-from-behind-winds investigation can be more successful than the current spate of inquiries into President Trump is another matter, and not an especially important one for Mueller’s purposes. What Mueller appearance showed was the long-game that our wretched elite are playing. The Right can joke among themselves that Mueller broke down today and laugh at his embarrassing display. Yet, what most in the Right-wing media don’t get is that Mueller and his ilk are not playing for laughs and they don’t worry about the embarrassment. They are playing for keeps. 

Straining Credulity

Ask yourself: do you really believe a former FBI director would be unaware of the fact that virtually all of the people working for his investigation team were not only rank partisans who hated Donald Trump, but who also were active supporters of Hillary Clinton? Is it probable that Mueller is fine with his eponymous investigation turning up a royal goose egg for all to see?  

Come on. 

Mueller was shining everyone on today and that’s why all of us should be upset and why Trump and his supporters should continue to be on guard. These corrupt elites are only just getting started—especially the more obvious it becomes that they will not defeat Trump in a fair election.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit:  Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

America • Center for American Greatness • Foreign Policy • Identity Politics • Immigration • Post • The Left

Ilhan Omar Blames America for Illegal Immigration

Radical Somali-American and left-wing Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) argues that U.S. foreign policy is the cause of the global refugee crisis. Without question, excessive aggression from the United States in Latin America and the Middle East has exacerbated the pre-existing pathologies that pervade their political, social, and economic systems. 

Whether America made some unique contribution to these horrors, however, is an open question. Still, in this way, Omar has stumbled her way into an undeniable truth: U.S. foreign policy is too aggressive far too often, and it has caused some disruptions—and this leads to some unwanted migration.

Very often, migrants are seeking entry into the United States or Europe not out of an urgent need for safety, but for easy access to generous welfare systems and jobs. As a result, migrants tend to amass a good deal of money that they can then remit back to their families in their homelands. The fact that neither Europe nor the United States require true assimilation of these migrants into the larger culture makes migration even more attractive since the migrants will get money and protection without having to abandon their own cultures.

The longer the West tolerates this flocking of “refugees” in ever larger numbers and does not require them to assimilate, the more reverse-assimilation becomes likely. 

Already migrants in Europe and the United States are offered legal protections that few native-born citizens are offered. A faux sense of cultural sensitivity enforced by the “elites” of their host governments, causes them to go out of their way to make people who have no intention of returning the favor feel comfortable. 

It explains why in the United States, Spanish is no longer viewed as a second language but as a language to be respected as co-equal to the language of the land (and, in certain parts of the country, the lingua franca). It’s also why some European governments are willing to abandon their own free speech laws in order to placate violent Muslim migrants who become offended by cartoons that depict their religious prophet, Mohammed. 

Foreign Policy Plays a Role
There is little doubt that incessant bombings of the Middle East or an endless cavalcade of covert U.S. action directed against disliked governments in Latin America can cause instability which, in turn, can create mass migration. But Omar and her socialist Suicide Squad in Congress are attempting to craft a rather languid U.S. foreign policy in response—one that undoubtedly entails the United States turning the other cheek in response to each terrorist provocation or kneeling before a tinpot, Latin American Communist dictator (a lá Barack Obama’s approach). 

This is not the appropriate response to previous missteps and it will not even ameliorate the illegal immigration problem. And, beating our warplanes into plowshares or bringing all the troops home from the Greater Middle East tomorrow—as gratifying as that may be—will not prevent the flood of refugees and migrants into Europe either. These moves would likely make us weaker while not addressing the real problem of our current immigration policies. In fact, it’s galling to hear Omar and her comrades suggest they want to fix the ongoing immigration crisis given that they disagree with the suggestion that mass migration is even a problem! Forgive me for not trusting their solution to a problem they don’t see as a problem.

It’s Immigration Policy, Not Foreign Policy
When Omar and her fellow members of the socialist Suicide Squad argue that U.S. foreign policy is the cause of the present immigration crisis, they are not being serious. Instead, they are using these claims to distract Americans and deflect attention away from the fact that the type of lax immigration policies they support are the real cause of the present immigration crises, both in Europe and the United States. After all, Ilhan Omar is a proponent of the status quo for U.S. immigration policies. Like so many of her fellow “democratic-socialists” in the United States, she likely looks with favor on Europe’s current open borders immigration policies. 

In the United States, these open borders immigration policies have damaged many of the communities that supported Donald Trump. Similar concerns are spurring nationalist-populist movements that are destabilizing the European Union. So long as the borders of the United States and Europe remain open for anyone to walk through, we will not see any semblance of general stability, security, or sustainable prosperity in the West. The longer this paradigm persists, the less hope there will be for the West to survive in its present form.

They Hate You, Folks . . .
Make no mistake: destroying the West in its present form is precisely the intent of the socialist Suicide Squad.

Whatever kernel of truth there may be in Omar’s criticism of the past excesses of U.S. foreign policy, it is not the cause of our immigration crisis. Omar is deliberately misleading people when she makes such claims. By appealing to the general unpopularity of U.S. foreign policy (unpopular everywhere but within Washington, D.C., of course)  Omar avoids having to address the uncomfortable realities of mass migration which are really to blame for the current crisis. 

More dastardly, though, is the fact that Omar is essentially scapegoating the American people; in effect, blaming the victims of illegal immigration, for the problem of illegal immigration. The only people responsible for illegal immigration are the bureaucrats who allow for it to occur, the business leaders who encourage it, and the migrants themselves who benefit from it. 

Until President Trump not only builds his wall but gets Congress on board with a complete revision of every aspect of U.S. immigration policy, the United States will continue to decline in disturbingly similar ways that Europe has declined. 

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

America • Center for American Greatness • Conservatives • Democrats • Donald Trump • Post • Progressivism • The Left

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Get along? Apparently no—at least until after 2020. Two examples summarize why.

“We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice,” said U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), one-quarter of “the squad” sowing havoc among Democrats in the House. “ We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice. We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice.”

Of the Republican Party, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes said the other day: “It must be peacefully, nonviolently, politically destroyed with love, compassion and determination, but utterly confronted and destroyed. That is the only way to break the coalition apart… Not by prying off this or that interest. They are in too deep. They have shamed themselves too much. The heart of the thing must be ripped out. The darkness must be banished.”

In other words, the new progressive message is that we all must vote monolithically and predicated on our superficial appearance, religion, or sexual orientation. And the Trump base must be destroyed, though annihilated with “love” and “compassion.”

Love It—Or What Actually?
All are presently shocked that Donald Trump would dare suggest that if anyone did not like the United States, then perhaps he or she might, of their own volition, consider leaving the country.

Trump apparently was directing his ire exclusively at particular first-generation congresswomen and suggesting that their anti-American furor logically might lead such unhappy U.S. citizens to consider voluntary deportation.

Perhaps no politician should ever advise American citizens with whom he disagrees to leave the country. But Trump did not suggest mandatory departures—in the manner that Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) had wanted Trump supporter and immigrant Sebastian Gorka deported.

Trump was not talking of some grand swap in the explicit fashion that NeverTrumpers have variously wished for the Trump Republican and/or white working-class base to be forcibly exported and replaced by Latin American border crossers.

So wrote Bret Stephens of the New York Times: “So-called real Americans are screwing up America. Maybe they should leave, so that we can replace them with new and better ones: newcomers who are more appreciative of what the United States has to offer, more ambitious for themselves and their children, and more willing to sacrifice for the future. In other words, just the kind of people we used to be—when ‘we’ had just come off the boat.”

Columnist Max Boot narrowed the theme somewhat by suggesting only Republican lawmakers and grandees should be deported and replaced. “If only we could keep the hard-working Latin American newcomers and deport the contemptible Republican cowards—that would truly enhance America’s greatness,” Boot wrote. That’s harsh. At least Chris Hayes only wishes to destroy the Trump base with love and compassion in his heart.

Trump himself post facto rebuked his rally supporters for chanting “send her back”—a likely reference to sending naturalized U.S. citizen and loud critic of America, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), back to Somalia.

But Trump’s larger point was exasperation that he was tired of being constantly smeared as a racist and fascist. He was especially piqued at U.S. congressional representatives and the Left at large, who transfer their current unhappiness with America back to its very founding and innate nature—and the accompanying monotonous baggage of name-changing, statue-toppling, and nonstop censuring and boycotting.

Certainly, then, it was logical that anyone who harbored such existential animus toward the United States might take Trump’s advice, end their current torment, and thus gladly and voluntarily free themselves from an oppressive land. After all, we are told migration in general is a fluid and good thing and that some 20 million entering America, even illegally, is a very good thing indeed.

Americans recently supported such anger at gross ingratitude when Southern California-residing Mexican immigrants, legal or otherwise, a few years ago booed the American soccer team of the country they most desperately sought to enter and cheered the Mexican team, whose country they had done all they could to leave.

During the Proposition 187 frenzy in California, I never quite figured out why one of my students, here illegally from Mexico, waved the Mexican flag while participating in a ritual, free-speech area burning of the U.S. flag—all to showcase his anger at being exposed to deportation to Mexico. I suggested at the time he instead just carry a handwritten placard, “Please, I will do all I can from now on legally to stay in your wonderful country.”

Politically Correct Hatred
Ilhan Omar presents a most exasperating case because on the one hand she poses as an avatar of the successful immigrant, while on the other she neurotically whines that America has failed utterly to meet her expectations when she fled a Kenyan refugee camp to enter the United States.

Her fervent anti-Israelism is fueled by an equally despicable and loud anti-Semitism. And she rarely seems to acknowledge that a foreign country welcomed her in extremis, subsidized her upbringing and education, and, quite unlike her tribalist, racist, and anti-Semitic native Somalia, relegated matters of race, gender, class, and religion to insignificant status or indeed saw them as advantages to be rewarded in electing her to Congress.

Omar herself was so desperate to gain citizenship or legal residency for her apparently own British residing brother that she may well have concocted a fraudulent marriage him. If true, she may have committed several U.S. tax and immigration felonies. And that makes her ingratitude all the more unappealing—and her present apparent exemption from legitimate federal investigative scrutiny into her possibly serial illegal conduct all the more unbelievable.

So, the larger landscape of the new age of acrimony is not a sudden loss of manners, but rather a complete progressive meltdown at the election of Donald J. Trump.

Opposing Obama?
We now forget that half the country was quite upset by the 2008 election of Barack Obama, not because of his race, but out of concern that he had been the most partisan voting senator of the era in the entire U.S. Senate. 

Opponents were taken aback when he boasted, shortly before his victory, about fundamentally “transforming” the country. During the campaign he had urged his supporters to take a gun to a knife fight and to “get in their faces” (which targets did he signify by “their”?), as well as writing off the Pennsylvania working class as backward gun and bible clingers, and his own grandmother as a “typical white person” (what did he mean by “typical” and did it apply to 230 million Americans?). The idea of Obama as a healer was a myth and analogous to the fable of a Noble Peace Prize winning global activist.

Obama mocked charges that Trinity Unity Church of Christ of Chicago was fueled by racism, by swearing he could no more disown Rev. Jerimiah Wright—his anti-Semitic, racist, and anti-American personal pastor, whose kindergarten banal sermons on the “audacity of hope” became the inspiration for Obama’s second book—than the grandmother who raised and nurtured him.

What did Obama mean when he weighed in during the Trayvon Martin affair by remarking that Martin might have resembled the son he never had? Did he need to slander the police in the Skip Gates affair or demagogue the Ferguson melodrama?

What exactly were Obama’s own injunctions about knowing when to quit making lots of money, or to acknowledge that one does not build his own business, or to realize that it is not a time to profit ever to apply to his post-presidential, lucrative self—or was all that just transitory boilerplate demagoguery aimed at a particular class of which he had not quite yet joined?

Congressional Republicans and conservative media announced they wanted no part of Obama’s promised radical progressive “transformation,” especially his plan to nationalize health care. They nonstop promised that they would do their best to stop him.

Indeed, fringe groups at the time (including Donald J. Trump) had trafficked in crazed birther conspiracies. And the Tea Party’s reason to be in 2010 was to defeat and destroy the Obama Democratic congressional majority.

Obama in the heated climate of the times was certainly attacked as a liar for his false assurances about Obamacare, and as a dunce who thought there were 57 states, that corpsmen was pronounced with a hard “p,” and that Hawaii was in Asia—though no one sought to call in a Yale psychologist to ascertain whether his apparent puerile ignorance was proof of dementia.

Critics serially pounced on the fact that Obama’s signature “autobiography” or “memoir” was mostly mythographic fiction. They pointed out that his past modus operandi of winning a senate election in Illinois was to count on state employees and the toady media illegally leaking the confidential divorce records of his primary and general election opponents who otherwise might well have defeated the future president.

Obama’s minions were pilloried as Orwellian figures who monitored the communications of Associated Press reporters and James Rosen of Fox News, who jailed a minor videomaker to scapegoat him for the Benghazi mess, and who went after journalist critic Sharyl Attkisson. Obama likely knew that his own FBI and CIA were in violation of federal law in their zeal to ensure a Hillary Clinton continuum and the destruction of the Trump candidacy.

Republicans lost no time in blasting Obama CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as admitted liars who had perjured themselves while under oath before Congress. They had a field day castigating Susan Rice as a serial prevaricator on matters from Benghazi and the Bowe Bergdahl circus to weapons of mass destruction in Syria. And they tried to leverage Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and scandals at the IRS, EPA, National Security Agency, Department of Veterans Affairs, and General Services Administration for political advantage. After all, that is what American politics has at times always been—a rough and mean-spirited brawl to discredit your vulnerable enemies and thereby reacquire power by winning elections.

Yet there was never a sustained and collective Republican effort to enlist the media to remove Obama from office by means other than an election.

A Contact Sport
Republicans during the transformative Obama era were content to chalk up huge wins in the 2010 and 2014 midterms, to go to court in hopes of stopping Obama’s executive orders, to shut down the government if need be to stop excessive spending, to investigate scandals such as “Fast and Furious” and Benghazi, and to censure Attorney General Eric Holder.

But what they did not do was immediately declare Obama an illegitimate president or a president so foreign to their own liking that they forthwith sued in three states to overturn the election.

They did not stage a campaign to subvert the voting of the Electoral College, or introduce articles of impeachment right after his inauguration.

They did not sic the Bush Administration FBI, CIA, NSA, and Justice Department on Obama’s campaign, transition, and presidency, or unleash Hollywood celebrities to virtue signal their imaginative ways of decapitating, burning, stabbing, blowing up, shooting, and punching their own president.

Conservative politicians, bureaucrats, and activists did not invoke the ossified Logan Act, the Emoluments Clause, or the 25thAmendment to remove immediately Obama from office as a traitor, crook, and a crazy.

In efforts to impeach, they did not turn loose a special counsel and over a dozen right-wing government lawyers for 22 months and $35 million worth of harassment, or obsess over their president’s long (and often checkered history), as they wheeled out each week of his presidency an assortment of stale crooks, terrorists, and racists from his past—such  unpleasant and indeed unhinged figures as Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Father Michael Pfleger—or go after the Obama children, all to force him from office.

When Obama essentially got caught on a hot microphone promising Russian President Medvedev that he would be flexible after his reelection on the implementation of long-planned Eastern European missile defense if Vladimir Putin would give him a little room, Republicans did not introduce articles of impeachment on grounds he was “colluding” with a foreign power by offering a quid pro quo to Russia to de facto interfere in a U.S. election: if Putin didn’t cause trouble for the Obama reelection effort, then Putin got rewarded by no worries over bothersome missiles in Eastern Europe. Even if conservative forbearance derived only from pragmatic lessons from their own past ill-fated impeachment of Bill Clinton, they still did not seek to impeach Obama.

I don’t remember the conservative movement labeling the majority of Americans who voted for Obama as deplorable people, as irredeemables, as the dregs of society, as Neanderthal clingers to their Bibles and guns, as typical black or brown or some such color people. Much less was there a “NeverObama” left-wing movement that repeatedly dreamed out loud of deporting the rival but hated hard-left Obama base and swapping them with illegal aliens. Mitt Romney did not go on a year-long crusade blaming dozens of things and people for his own poorly conducted 2012 presidential campaign and claiming he was “robbed.”

The Antecedents of Trump Hatred
Again, by all means his opponents can, if they so wish, ridicule, caricature, and blast Trump and hope he fails. But after trying for nearly three years to destroy the president and prematurely remove him by any means necessary before a scheduled election, please do not appeal to the better angels of our nature—while deploring the new “unpresidential” behavior of Donald J. Trump for lashing out at those who sought to reduce him to a common criminal, pervert, traitor, dunce, and Satanic figure.

Such invective was always characteristic of the new progressive agenda rather than specific to Donald J. Trump. After the 2008 dismantling of John McCain into a senile lecher and reducing Mitt Romney into a tax cheat, animal tormenter, high-school hazer, elevator owner, and enabler of an equestrian wife with MS, and after George W. Bush was reduced to Nazi thug worthy of death in progressive novels, op-eds and docudramas, Donald Trump sensed that half the country had had enough and he would return slur for slur—and so may the best brawler win.

After all, in 2019, this 243rd year of our illustrious nation, most Americans are not simply going to curl up in a fetal position, apologize for the greatest nation in the history of civilization, and say, “Ah, you’re right, Representatives Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, and Tlaib. It is an awful country after all—and always was.”

While one may always wish that the president and his critics tone down their venom and play by silk-stocking Republican Marquis of Queensberry rules, it is hard for half the country to feel much sympathy for the Left that sowed the wind and are reaping an ever growing whirlwind.

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Administrative State • America • Democrats • Donald Trump • Post • Progressivism • The Left

20th-Century Progressive Politics Continues to Unfold

The West took a turn for the worse about 100 years ago. Three versions of a new political vision—fascism, communism, and progressivism—came to power at about the same time. Each one put the government at the center of national life. The political history of the 20th century in the West is largely the story of these three versions of a modern statist vision.

In 1922, Benito Mussolini, the founder of the fascist movement, was elected prime minister of Italy. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin seized power in Russia and founded the Soviet Communist state. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson won the presidency and swiftly laid the foundations of the progressive state that America is today.

As Mussolini put it: “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” According to Mussolini, fascism meant the politicization of everything—and everything was swiftly politicized in Lenin’s “dictatorship of the proletariat,” too.

Does it seem to you that American life today is politicized to an astonishing and often ridiculous degree? Have you heard that the city of Berkeley in California has decided that the term “manhole cover” is sexist? It’s true. In Berkeley, they shall henceforth be called “maintenance hole covers.” It took the progressives about a century, changing the rules and changing the culture step by step, progressively, to make this a problem the Berkeley City Council had to solve.

But the politicization of American life is no laughing matter. Failing to adhere strictly to the Nazi party line in the Third Reich or the Communist party line in the USSR could cost you your life. In America today, failing to adhere strictly to the dictates of political correctness can cost you your livelihood, as we have seen in far too many instances already. Basic, common sense terms such as “he” and “she” have become politically radioactive, and in coercively many-gendered New York City, you can be fined for using the wrong pronoun.

President Trump’s failure to follow the strictures of political correctness has earned him hysterical denunciations from the political, academic, and corporate establishments, and from Hollywood, too, of course. The reaction to Trump by people from all across the establishment has revealed the astonishing success of the progressives’ project of imposing political correctness on Americans.

Trump’s fight against political correctness is a fight for the soul of America. Political correctness is the party line of a one-party Progressive America, and it must be challenged and defeated or America will be lost to them.

“Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” does not yet obtain in the good ol’ USA, but it should be clear to everyone by now that that is where the progressives want to take America. The progressives understood from the beginning that in America, unlike Germany or Russia, they could not impose their vision on the country overnight. They knew they would have to work up to it, taking care not to upset too many Americans too much along the way.

Woodrow Wilson got things going in 1913. The 16th Amendment, ratified in 1913, established the progressive income tax. It provides the financing for the gargantuan central government which has replaced the federal government of limited powers America once had. The 17th Amendment, also ratified in 1913, provided for the direct election of senators. Senators had been chosen by the legislatures of the states. The change diminished the power of the states, and led to the concentration of political and economic power inside the Beltway we have today.

The creation of the Federal Reserve—1913 was a banner year for such “innovations”—was the progressives’ crown jewel because of the control it gave the central government over finance and the economy. Thus the basics of the modern progressive state were all put in place within a single year.

But after this year of the great leap forward, the progressives, unlike the fascists and the Communists, set out to bring revolutionary change to America in stages, progressively.

The politicization of health care makes the progressives’ strategy clear. The progressives initiated the process of insidiously imposing state control over health care with programs for old people and for the poor. Sold on the basis of compassion, these programs greatly extended the reach of government power. But these entitlement programs, for progressives, were only stages on the way. It took them nearly a century to impose Obamacare on America. Obamacare extended the reach of political power over the private affairs of every American not already part of the programs for the poor and for old people, but it too was only another step toward their ultimate goal.

The progressives are already abandoning Obamacare, enacted just a few years ago. Today their rallying cry is “Medicare for All.” Once they have it in place and have eliminated private insurance, they will have finally achieved the progressive vision for this important area of American life—”healthcare within the state, no healthcare outside the state, no healthcare against the state”—and they will have done it by successfully applying their tried-and-true strategy of a step by step, progressive advance to the goal of putting the state in charge.

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America • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Donald Trump • Immigration • Post

Can Trump’s New Asylum Rules Stem the Illegal Tide?

Illegal immigration numbers remain at levels triple that of previous years, and Congress continues to bicker, foot stomp, other otherwise ignore the problem. In the face of this, the Trump Administration released its latest attempt to bring the border crisis under control. 

Under new rules issued last week, migrants will now be required to seek asylum in at least one country they pass through on their way north. In other words, to qualify for asylum in the United States, Hondurans and Salvadorans would first have to apply for—and be denied—asylum in Guatemala or Mexico.

The response from critics was predictable. “These new regulations are illegal and flout our asylum laws,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Tuesday. In a press release, the ACLU stated that the “Trump Administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger,” right after they vowed to file a lawsuit to fight the change. U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, described the regulations as “xenophobic and racist.”

None of them, however, acknowledged a key feature of the new rules: they put the United States in compliance with exactly the way the rest of the world handles the flow of refugees between borders. 

Under international law, the Dublin Regulation stipulates that migrants seeking asylum are required to claim it in the first safe country they enter. The basis of this rule prevents migrants from using the asylum process simply to shop for a preferred destination, because it assumes that if migrants truly are seeking shelter from persecution, they will stop in the first place they find relief.

In practical terms, it can be explained this way:

Passing through another country without seeking asylum undercuts any claim made upon arrival at the U.S. border. For example, a Honduran who claims he was forced to flee due to political persecution has no compelling reason to go further than Mexico. He obviously has no credible reason to fear he will be persecuted by the Mexican government. Thus, ignoring Mexico’s asylum process is prima facie evidence that a claim for asylum in the U.S. is bogus.

If this rule is racist and xenophobic, then so apparently is the prevailing legal standard in Europe. And so is our similar agreement with Canada, which has been in place since 2004.

Why Are These Rules Necessary?
A key feature of this ongoing border crisis is the exploitation of the asylum process by thousands of illegal crossers, which has resulted in a backlog of over 900,000 immigration cases and years of wait time. 

Under federal law, to be granted asylum an alien must prove that he faces persecution, or has a “well-founded fear of persecution,” in his native country “on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

Migrants claiming asylum are given an initial screen by Customs and Border Patrol agents, but then their claim must be heard by a judge. Given the years-long wait time, migrants are generally released into the country. By the time they show up for their hearing—if they do—many of them have been in the United States for years.

Migrants increasingly have figured out how to make this dysfunctional system work for them. Show up, claim asylum, get released. Come with a child, and the process is further expedited due to federal rules that prevent the detention of children for more than 20 days.

Border interviews confirm that while many migrants are fleeing violence, their primary goal in getting to the United States is economic. Many male migrants say they intend to secure work in the United States to send money back home, and in many cases have family already in the country and jobs lined up. At the same time, many don’t intend to stay in the United States permanently; they plan to work for a time before returning home. 

In other words, these are largely economic migrants using the asylum process—designed to protect people fleeing persecution—to gain entry to the United States to make money. 

Migrants exploiting the system in this way create huge backlogs that prevent true asylees from having the expedited access to necessary relief. But even that definition has been stretched by judges. 

Recent rulings have extended the legal meaning of “persecuted social group” to include “married women in Guatemala who are unable to leave their relationship” and “those likely to be recruited by gangs.”

With such a loose standard and nearly guaranteed release into the country, is it any wonder asylum claims have increased 1,700 percent in the last decade?

Congress Could Change All of This
Democrats are seething with indignation and immigration groups have already sued the administration over the new rule.

As with the furor over the immigration crisis, however, Congress has the power to change the situation.  Congress could change the asylum laws, to make them more restrictive, or more generous. Congress could give Border Patrol and the Department of Health and Human Services more resources to address conditions in the squalid detention facilities. Congress could also beef up enforcement resources to go after the cartels who are reaping billions of dollars from trafficking in drugs and people. 

Instead, the House Democrats spent last week passing a resolution to condemn a tweet, voting to hold Trump Administration officials in contempt, and trying (and failing) to pass a resolution of impeachment. Meanwhile, the Republican majority in the Senate spent last week voting on tax treaties that would largely benefit corporations. 

The same people who vilify the Trump Administration are, through their own inaction, leaving the White House to try and manage a daily overwhelmed and drastically under-resourced southern border.

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America • Center for American Greatness • Cities • Environment • Libertarians • Post • Technology • The Culture • The Left

The Coming Socialist-Libertarian Feudalism

Wishful thinking among many libertarian and socialist idealists is that an alliance might form between them. After all, members of both ideological camps believe that anything goes when it comes to sex and drugs, neither of them believe in national borders, and both are repelled by conservative ideologues.

The problem with such an alliance of idealists, of course, is that at the core, the socialist believes in big government and the libertarian believes in no government. No matter how you further define those core beliefs, they are incompatible. But the powerful special interests behind the libertarian and progressive movements, respectively, are not idealists, they are pragmatists. And in the dirty realm of real-world politics, socialist and libertarian elites have formed a powerful alliance.

Underscoring issues of personal liberty while ignoring the ultimate collision their worldviews portend, socialist and libertarian mega-donors back candidates and causes that share common immediate policy goals: the densification of American cities, mass immigration, alleged “free” trade, and a hands-off policy with respect to Big Tech monopolies.

Urban “densification” is one of the most transformative—and cruel—epic policy trends in American history. And hardly anyone is talking about it.

In a recent article by Joel Kotkin, a moderate Democrat, he refers to “conservative free-market fundamentalists” as the group that’s “advancing plans that would divorce capitalism from the small property owners whose pieces of property secure the system’s popular support.” Kotkin is referring to libertarians who favor “densification” of cities because they support the property rights of those who own the land and choose to build high-density housing.

What these libertarians are supporting, while ideologically pure, is absurd. Just because you own a half-acre property, you’re not necessarily allowed to demolish the single-family home on that property in order to build a 20 story building. For the same reason, you can’t demolish that home and build a rent-subsidized fourplex. In the real world, there are zoning laws that restrict property rights to protect the neighbors and the community at large. These zoning laws are what people rely on when they purchase a home in a neighborhood filled with similar homes.

Kotkin writes: 

That [densification] includes California State Senator Scott Wiener’s effort to force high-density on residential areas by allowing fourplexes on virtually any parcel, which produced one of the strangest alliances in recent political history. Free market advocates—many of them funded by the Koch brothers—linked arms with left-wing and green activists reprising the arguments made in the Soviet Bloc against middle-class single-family neighborhoods.

Densification is going to destroy tranquil residential neighborhoods, everywhere, and it is backed by socialists in the name of providing affordable housing, by environmentalists in order to prevent “sprawl,” and by powerful financial special interests that benefit from an ongoing real estate bubble. 

Libertarians support densification on principle, without even recognizing that they are ignoring—much less opposing—the flip side of densification, which are new policies to suppress land development outside of the “urban containment boundary.” Densification, also known as in-fill, or “smart growth,” will never provide sufficient new housing to make homes affordable unless it is balanced by similarly relaxed approval processes for homebuilding on open land.

The topic of “smart growth” exposes another special interest favoring densification, the Silicon Valley high tech industry. California’s Silicon Valley is an epicenter not only of concentrated political and economic power, but it is also one of the world’s largest ideological fermentation tanks containing potent strains of socialism, progressivism, and libertarianism. 

And in this “do no evil” caldron of visions, plans, and stupefying power, innovators are building the “internet of things,” so that not only shall we live in stack-and-pack housing, we will survive on algorithmically managed micro sips of water and energy. And depending on what time we run our clothes dryer, we will pay a bit more or a bit less depending on the spot market price for electricity and water—such a libertarian concept!

More immediately visible is Silicon Valley’s control over the online universe—search results, video suggestions, remarks on Twitter, posts on Facebook—where two salient facts elude libertarians. First, the companies that now control the online universe are monopolies, and the big five—Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook—are the five biggest companies in the world based on their stock market capitalization. 

Equally important, these companies have been having their cake and eating it, too, insofar as they receive an exemption from liability due to their status as a “platform,” yet exercise biased censorship on platform contributors as if they were a publisher. 

Each of these facts has consequences. Monopolies do not make for healthy market economies. Platforms cannot be publishers. But where are the libertarians?

The vision shared by socialist and libertarian oligarchs alike is what Kotkin calls a “Wall Street-dominated rentership society . . .” where “people remain renters for life, enjoying their video games or houseplants when not coding or doing gig jobs.”

This vision is not only furthered in densification policies that are fruitless in terms of making housing affordable but dazzlingly effective in turning nearly everyone into apartment renters, but also in the internet of things. In the future, you will not own your clothes dryer or any other major appliance, nor will you own your car, much less video games and software services. Instead, you will “subscribe” to these gadgets, so you can receive the latest updates and services. “Subscriptions” will replace lease payments, loan payments, and warranties. Owning anything will become increasingly impossible. Green conservation mandates will ensure compliance. But, hey—you’ll be able to watch algorithmically curated videos on your refrigerator!

It is a fatal misconception to consider pragmatic socialists as indistinguishable from communists. Socialist nations, particularly those in Northern Europe that are frequently cited by defenders of socialism as exemplars distinct from hellholes like Venezuela, are not ruled by politburos. These socialist nations are ruled by an influential cadre of extremely wealthy, propertied elites, who manage public opinion through their ownership of the primary media sources and through their donations to effective politicians, regardless of party. Does this sound familiar?

It is also a fatal misconception to overstate the differences between America’s elite socialist oligarchy and America’s elite libertarian oligarchy. In both cases, they subscribe to the policy of mass immigration, at the same time as they support environmentalist conventional wisdom that condemns Americans to pay taxes to fund the settlement of these tens of millions in rent-subsidized apartments crammed on to every lot that flips, in every neighborhood where people aren’t wealthy enough to hire attorneys to stop it.

Is it even possible for a populist libertarian movement to offer meaningful support to a conservative American political agenda? Or will their “thought leaders” continue to please the donor class, writing predictably bland justifications for free trade, open borders, urban densification, and out-of-control communications monopolies? Will libertarians support privatization to the point where a meter runs every time anyone steps onto a public road, and perpetual subscriptions replace ownership? Why not?

Where do libertarians draw the line? Will they accept Libra, the new cyber-currency that Facebook is about to launch? Will they squawk when cyber-currencies issued by mega-corporations dominate commerce? Will they care when monopolistic “private” companies erase not only the speech platforms of dissidents but their ability to use their proprietary cyber currency? Why not?

Libertarians don’t have a fully realized political ideology, they have a perspective. As a perspective—smaller government—they are a useful part of the mix. But libertarians aren’t recognizing the real-world limitations on libertarianism; if they did, they would choose sides. They would rebel against the donor fueled socialist-libertarian axis. They would ask: Will you fight to preserve your nation and your culture, or won’t you? 

The libertarian and socialist elites have made their choice, and they are working together under the assumption that nations and culture don’t matter, only profit and power do.

The only viable, real-world version of a libertarian ideology ought to be unrecognizable and troubling to the idealist. It is corporate-controlled feudalism that incorporates just enough socialist populist demands to avoid an unpleasant conflagration. The beneficiaries of this political economy are the super-rich and the myriad poor. In this world, nationality means nothing, heritage is irrelevant, and the middle class and mid-sized companies alike are exterminated. Tradition and culture become a commercialized and sanitized afterthought, micro-marketed to the various vestigial niches along with soap and virtual reality.

Idealists do not govern America today. Rather it is a pragmatic axis of socialist and libertarian oligarchs, each with their own gullible constituency, moving together towards a futuristic version of feudalism.

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Administrative State • America • Center for American Greatness • History • Post • The Culture • The Left

If We Could Put a Man on the Moon . . .

It’s been 50 years since we first landed on the moon. It’s been 46 years, seven months, and four days since we last departed from there.

When President Kennedy first announced the goal of landing on the moon, it was a literal “moon shot.” The announcement came mere days after Alan Shepard became the first American to reach space during a 15-minute suborbital flight—we had yet to even put a man in orbit.

President Kennedy’s goal would require NASA to learn to put a manned spacecraft into Earth orbit and return it safely, conduct rendezvous and spacewalks, perform trans-lunar injections, achieve lunar soft-landings, and bring vehicles back from the moon.

It would require the development of rockets bigger than any built before, sophisticated suits to protect astronauts from the harshness of space and sustain their lives, and innovative technology and software to control precisely the complex and exacting navigational requirements.

The attempt was literally unprecedented.

But we did it.

Despite the massive technical and scientific challenges, it took America just eight years, one month, and 26 days to fulfill Kennedy’s promise. NASA’s budget for the duration was just $3 billion shy of the $40 billion that Kennedy had called on the country to pledge for the moon shot.

Imagine that—a government agency completing a project under budget and ahead of schedule.

The program was not without opposition. Two years after Kennedy’s announcement, former President Eisenhower stated, “anybody who would spend $40 billion in a race to the moon for national prestige is nuts.” In early 1969, mere months before the historic landing, a poll found that only 39 percent of Americans were in favor of the Apollo project. Among the reasons that 49 percent opposed the program: “God never intended us to go to space.”

The Apollo program and its supporters plowed straight through the opposition. They had a goal and they’d be damned if a little bit of negative opinion would stand in their way. It was something that America had to do and something that America would be proud of doing.

And they ended up being right. By now most, if not all, opposition has faded with the years. Even the most hardened cosmopolitan globalists, anarchistic libertarians, and identitarian separatists must get a small kick of nationalistic pride when they remember that we are the only country to ever land people on the moon.

But that pride has become inextricably mixed with nostalgia. It is no longer pride for what America is. It is pride for what it was.

We don’t do real moon shots anymore.

What Happened to Us?
President Obama’s Cancer Moonshot received $1.8 billion to be spent over seven years—just under 0.01 percent of the yearly federal budget, compared to the nearly 5 percent we spent yearly on NASA during the height of the Apollo program.

We aren’t even willing to make substantial outlays of time, effort, or money to deal with the substantial, concrete issues we have.

When $8.6 billion—just under 0.2 percent of the federal budget—is too high a price to pay to secure our borders and some start arguing that we should just give up because illegal immigrants will enter the country anyway, we know that we’ve lost our resolve.

But this downward trend has been with us for a while, in spite of temporary reversals.

President Carter was not entirely wrong when, in 1979, he said that America was facing a “crisis of confidence.” And he was not wrong to point to the moon landing, then just 10 years past, as a symbol of America’s strength. Nor was he was not wrong when he called America’s people, values, and confidence the greatest resource of the country saying that we would have to renew all three lest we fall to “fragmentation and self-interest” and turn to “worship” of “self-indulgence and consumption.”

Unfortunately, Carter had the charisma of a damp mop cloth and inspired about as much confidence as Lehman Brothers in late 2008.

But the malaise that the nation felt in the late 1970s was tame compared to what was to come. The United States, much like the Apollo program, may have been a victim of its own success.

After the emotional fervor surrounding Apollo 11, the subsequent missions drew far less interest—for many, the moon (if not space) was conquered and all that was left were the technical details that were best left to the scientists. The nation lost interest.

Similarly, many believed after the end of the Cold War that the major ideological struggles of human history had been resolved and anything left was best left to the technocrats. History effectively was over. And with no more ideological battles to wage, Americans felt increasingly entitled to kick their legs up and indulge in the material signs of our prosperity. Having won the fight, why would we risk the spoils on anything as intangible as an abstract goal?

As Francis Fukuyama argued, the “struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism” was being replaced by “economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.”

He even mused that the “very prospect of centuries of boredom at the end of history will serve to get history started once again.”

But it was never clear that history actually ended.

The Crisis of Our Elites
It is far more plausible that America’s so-called elite—enraptured by the cornucopia of cheap money to be gained from globalization—wanted to rationalize their complete abandonment of their neighbors and fellow citizens. They bought indulgences for their residual guilt by throwing money at supposedly oppressed groups and prostrating themselves on the altar of wokeness.

But now, the body politic is waking up, shaking off the false consciousness of political correctness and leftist cultural hegemony, and starting to see the reality of our current predicament. And America’s so-called elite, which once believed that they lead the country, are learning that they were the tail wagging the dog and that populism can be a bitch.

The sweet lullaby of the end of history and the fairytale of the “developed nation” have given way to the harsh reality that the United States has been falling behind economically, culturally, technologically, and spiritually and that our current national security and our future freedom hang in the balance.

Everyone knows that we are in tremendous debt. Last year alone, we paid more than $500 billion just to service the interest on the debt. But this—no matter what the libertarians and deficit-hawks tell you—is not fatal by itself. There are far more important threats we face that few in the media want to stress. Perhaps sustained attention to these issues would raise the obvious question of why we have done so little to ameliorate them and why the experts have been loath even to acknowledge their existence.

We face a formidable threat in China—a country we have systematically underestimated and treated the way a parent might treat a petulant teenager. A slap on the wrist will not stop their systematic theft of intellectual property, manipulation of currency dynamics, and exploitation of our trade policies.

But until President Trump’s election, economists and technocrats, enthralled by the prospect of “the endless solving of technical problems” of bureaucratic trade negotiation and the perpetual paychecks such tasks could produce, did not dare rock the boat lest the price of some crappy and lead-ridden toy from China jump 20 cents. The risk and the paperwork weren’t worth it.

Where Do Their Loyalties Lie?
We face uniquely powerful and fundamentally un-American tech companies that are intent on silencing opinions with which they do not agree. Companies that have worked with foreign governments to create censored search engines, only stopping after intense public scrutiny in the United States. And companies that have faced increasing scrutiny for sharing sensitive technology for potential military applications with foreign entities.

These companies have smartly paid off most of the main institutions in Washington, D.C. and have hidden behind a wall of insufferable libertarians and free-marketers who would rather see conservatives trashed and censored by the big tech companies than cross the sacrosanct principle of the invisible hand—these are the same people who seem to forget that “Ma Bell” was broken up by the Reagan Administration.

We face a broken education system with rising tuition and diminishing value. Americans have taken out over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt with the federal government owning nearly 92 percent of the debt. The government apparently seems intent on repeating the same mistakes that it made with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ahead of the Great Recession. At least those loans had some underlying collateral that could be recovered. Good luck monetizing that 20-something’s bisexual Native-American pottery degree.

Even our most elite colleges are breaking. At Yale, I saw some of the greatest minds of my generation destroyed by madness, spending weeks arguing whether Latin@ or Latinix was the less-gendered term to replace the masculonormative Latino. The classics are casually tossed aside with scorn—what could we possibly learn from Aristotle? He didn’t even have Snapchat!

The elite educational institutions are cynically cashing in on their brands and churning out many mediocre students who cannot reason themselves out of a paper bag and are far more interested in following the beaten moneyed path than having an independent thought.

How Do We Dig Out of This Hole?
We have recently seen progress on all three of these challenges. Trump has held a firm negotiating stance with China, in spite of all of the hand-wringing and lamentations in the press. Republicans in Congress have started appreciating the threat of the large tech companies and have begun to grapple with their Heritage and Cato foundation talking points to find some way they can address the actual problems in front of them while still getting money from the Kochs. And we’ve seen increased skepticism of higher education and some substantive attempts at reform.

Good. Let’s keep fighting.

But even these problems pale in comparison with the fundamental upheaval our entire world has seen over the past century. An upheaval that few are willing to acknowledge.

Technology, increasing social volatility, and an enlightenment-inspired skepticism of tradition and the past is changing how humans live at a pace that we haven’t seen before. And though we have been debating the increasing pace of modern life for a long time, there’s no doubt that information technology and our immersive devices have produced a quickening. It remains to be determined whether the benefits outweigh the costs—and this determination largely falls to us.

Our Societal Challenge
The rise of birth control, the sexual revolution, the various waves of feminism have all fundamentally shaken society. Women have played an increasingly prominent role in the professional sphere and a diminished role in the domestic sphere. The dominant culture pressures young women to have high performing careers and shames stay-at-home mothers. In spite of a slight reversal in recent years, the share of stay-at-home mothers has fallen dramatically over the past 50 years.

Mobile phones and other interactive devices with screens and access to the internet, all fairly recent inventions, are now ubiquitous. Social media, less than 20 years old, has become an important fixture in our day-to-day social interactions. The average American adult now spends more than 11 hours per day engaging with media on their screens. Many parents now give screens to young children to keep them entertained and to help with education. This is a profound change in the way that people interact with each other.

All sorts of behaviors and orientations, once stigmatized, have been normalized and gained widespread prominence in popular culture. Homosexuality and transgenderism are now widely supported by most in the mainstream. Dissenting voices that criticize the normalization of such orientations are typically punished harshly and socially ostracized. Recreational drug use and frequent premarital sex have become commonplace and are regularly depicted in media with many technological tools facilitating both.

These are not necessarily entirely bad things. They are also not unquestionably good things either. But our inability to speak openly about the changes or to have a free exchange of opinions about the various changes is, undoubtedly, an evil. Such profound changes are certain to have positive and negative side effects—if we are only allowed to speak of the positives, the negative effects will fester and metastasize.

Our decades-long inability to have open conversations and debates about these trends is in part a byproduct of the belief of many that we have reached the end of history and liberalism has won the ideological fight.

Of course, many in the mainstream orthodoxy have claimed liberalism for themselves and have constructed highly convenient definitions for the ideology. Nevertheless, if the ideology won and any further fighting is merely between those states and individuals “still in history” and those already at the end of history, what self-respecting pseudointellectual wouldn’t want to stand squarely at the end of history?

A Shallow End to History?
And so, eager not to be left behind, the “woke” among us accept whatever manifestation of liberalism is fed to them by the academics in their ivory towers and view any dissent with scorn. “Educate yourself,” they sneer as they clutch their copies of The Atlantic, The Nation, and The New York Times—the scriptures of their expert oracles in the Church of Wokeness.

Not content with deconstructing the present and distracting us with petty stupidity that pushes us ever closer to another civil war, they have started deconstructing the past. Most recently, telling us why the Apollo program was sexist and misguided.

All of this is rich, coming from people who have never landed themselves on the moon and would likely have to call AAA to change a flat.

We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others too.

This language would be considered racist, ableist, chauvinistic, and imperialistic by many in the same party that nominated its author, John F. Kennedy, nearly 60 years ago.

During the 2016 election, many people asked when America had been great. They pointed to the countless sins of the past and smeared our entire history from top to bottom. But history is not that simple. It is not a simple fable of good versus evil with wooden two-dimensional characters.

America was great when it helped win World War II. It was great when it landed a man on the moon. It was great when it built the Interstate Highway System. America was great when it had confidence in itself and didn’t spend its time mired in remorseful, brooding, nostalgia, cataloging all of its wrongs and agonizing over missed opportunities.

America needs hustle. It needs spunk. It needs another goal to tackle. And it needs the heart to want to win.

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America • Identity Politics • Immigration • Post • The Left

Left Goals: Abolishing Citizenship

Few issues so clearly separate those who care about America from those who do not like immigration.

In recent days, Democrats have advised illegal immigrants to defy the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, suggested decriminalizing illegal entry, and even embraced free healthcare for illegal immigrants. Democrats applauded the Trump Administration’s decision to abandon the citizenship question on the 2020 census—calling it vindication for “democracy” —but denounced the ICE raids on illegal aliens with deportation orders.

While claiming fealty to the United States, the Democrats have all but proudly declared they are for open borders and against the rights and interests of American citizens. They have reached a consensus that American citizenship is a meaningless abstraction and an unearned privilege that effectively must be abolished—if not by law, then by ignoring the existence and unique rights of American citizens qua citizens.

Peel back the sentimental platitudes (does anyone really think families shouldn’t stay together?) and the Democrats’ take on immigration reveals a profound betrayal. They are more concerned with the welfare of illegal immigrants than with that of the citizens of the country they were elected to serve. By seeking to abolish American citizenship, Democrats are withdrawing from the most fundamental commitment of politics: to secure the good of the people.

Democrats have been blurring the line between citizens and non-citizens for a long time, but their opposition to the citizenship question put their true view in rather stark terms. Throughout the census battle, Democrats accused the White House of having political, “racist” motivations, as if citizenship is only distinguished from alien status in fascist regimes.

The citizenship question was political, of course, but only in the most rudimentary way. It was political in the sense that nations are political entities comprised of citizens. It was political in the sense that politics is about justice, and justice is about the common good.

It’s not surprising that a majority of Americans support the citizenship question. Americans know that discounting citizenship would be to their detriment. This is not “white supremacy,” it’s Plato and Aristotle. The Left is spurning Politics 101: the end of politics is the virtue and prosperity of citizens, a good which is impossible to pursue without first recognizing that there exists a citizenry for whom it is the purpose of politics to seek their good.

If counting citizenship is racist, then politics serves no purpose. The Left’s rejection of American citizenship, therefore, is a retreat from any obligation to care for America, its people, and its future.

Who Benefits?
Take a second to consider what a perverse, profoundly awful idea this is: people have no right to know who lives in their nation. By the same token, since there is no citizenry, the nation has no duty to care for its people. The logical consequence of abolishing citizenship is that America is an abstraction, not a real place, that its citizens are owed nothing, least of all the protection of their government.

Who might benefit from the abolition of citizenship? Certainly not the majority of citizens. Democrats say that counting citizenship is a political ploy by the Right, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Democrats are the ones throwing their countrymen under the bus for political power.

The Left insists that the real purpose of counting citizenship on the census is to intimidate immigrants, resulting in a skewed count in liberal, urban areas, the same ones where Democrats just so happen to concentrate. But what is this, if not a candid admission that Democrats no longer care to hide that they attract illegal immigrants for political reasons? The assumption is that illegal immigrants are here, and they’re here to stay, and that’s final.

This is all about power for the Democrats. But their cynical power grab intersects with the interests of America’s ruling class, to the great detriment of Americans. America’s elites are in a hurry to drop the mess their failed leadership created. Instead of listening to Americans demanding an end to illegal immigration, they plan to immiserate them more.

Rejecting citizenship allows the ruling class to relinquish responsibility for the ruled. If citizens don’t count, then America’s leaders have no particular obligation to care for them. If there is no difference between a naturalized citizen and an immigrant who has the sheer luck to avoid a court order, then Americans are owed no protection, least of all from the ravages of mass migration itself.

Americans Last
This retreat only formalizes and legitimizes the decades of neglectful leadership that led to the election of Donald Trump. But rather than address the suffering of Americans on the decline in an age of runaway globalization, industrial decline, and open borders, Democrats want to accelerate these trends.

Democrats say that not enforcing immigration law makes “everyone safer,” but this is a brazen lie. Mass migration is great for Democrats seeking political capital, billionaires seeking cheap labor, and poor families from Central America seeking opportunity, but not for most Americans. The Left is not suggesting any practical limitations on immigration. This is no mystery: liberal elites know that illegal immigrants aren’t coming to their ZIP codes or competing for their jobs.

Then comes the inevitable objection: America is a land of plenty, with more than enough to take care of every American citizen and illegal migrant alike. But on a practical level, it is not possible to prioritize the competing interests of America’s declining middle class and an endless stream of poor laborers from around the world. As a matter of principle, it can hardly be in the national interest for Americans to be denied the distinction of national belonging.

Rejecting citizenship undermines national identity, cultural cohesion, and democracy at a core level. Americans are placed last, before a numberless multitude from around the world. Not all of the Left’s policy goals are, by definition, set up to work  against American citizens—aspects of the left’s interventionist economics have grown more appealing to conservatives of Tucker Carlson’s variety—but their rejection of citizenship denies the existence of American citizens and their unique rights qua citizens.

To secure the good of American citizens, it is right and just that the law protect them from exploitation. To do that, the law is obligated to distinguish those who it exists to protect.

Remarkably, Democrats cheer the abolition of citizenship as an advance for “democracy,” but this is an absurd inversion of the truth: abolishing citizenship disenfranchises Americans in the most treacherous way.

Democrats are very good at making their own losing of power sound like a crime against humanity. Counting citizenship is “white supremacy.” Not abolishing the Electoral College is “voter suppression.” But here is a real attempt to quash democracy in the open.

Like the drive to abolish the Electoral College and the more theoretical question of eliminating the Senate, the leftist drive to do away with citizenship is motivated by a desire to drop already disenfranchised Americans, namely, “bigots” who still believe that America is a distinct nation. The liberal elite wants to suppress these Americans for good, to strip them of political representation so they are powerless to protest the brazen theft of their country.

Erasing Sovereignty
Without citizenship, American democracy has no meaning. But the Left understands “democracy” to mean the tyranny of the mob, the revolutionary progress of an abstracted, universal humanity. If there is any principle other than power that drives the Left’s abolition of citizenship, it is a dogmatic loyalty to this universal humanity and its “human rights.”

Rallying behind a founding myth which brands America an evil and undeveloped place, the left saddles Americans with a generational debt to be paid by accepting limitless migrants who, it is imagined, will improve the nation and bring it closer to its true destiny as a “nation of immigrants.”

Immigrants are imagined to have a universal human right to entry that erases the rights and sovereignty of Americans. By this same token, Americans have an obligation to care for the citizens of other countries, but not their own. The suffering multitudes of the world are owed health care, a job, every right and accommodation, but downwardly mobile Americans suffering the consequences of having their nation stolen deserve nothing.

There are no nations or citizens, only an abstracted universal hodge podge, mere “people” living within arbitrary borders. America is just a big shopping mall with a fire sale. There is nothing more to tie the nation together than shaggy abstractions, misty-eyed cliches about the Statue of Liberty and, more troubling, a compulsory hatred of America and its past. If this is all there is to unite the nation, then the country is lost. How could a country that resents its own history, that subordinates its citizens to claimants from half-way across the earth, that welcomes people who hate it and sends them to the halls of power, expect to last?

A Stunning Betrayal
The argument in favor of counting citizenship is simple and robust: every nation has an obligation to take care of its citizens. Counting citizenship is about securing the common good, about seeking justice for the people of the United States. Only the most cynical person would reject the political purpose of nations, or even the notion that nations exist. But that is what the Left is doing.

The Right opposes what follows from the Left’s sentimental platitudes about family unity: that the welfare of illegal immigrant families should trump the national interest.

Families belong together, and so do nations.

If Democrats really want to help America’s middle class, they can start by acknowledging that the American people are sovereign, that they have a right to enjoy the protection of their own government, and that they are owed a responsive government that listens when they speak. Americans voted to end illegal immigration, so why are Democrats enabling it?

The Left’s rejection of citizenship is a stunning betrayal whose long-term implications should trouble all Americans. Their position is not just absurd, it’s unjust. If they won’t support their own citizens, what are they doing in government?

Photo Credit: Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

America • Americanism • civic culture/friendship • Post • The Culture • the family

The End of Watch Call

Jesus said, “Blessed are those pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

Our country is filled with unheralded heroes. Those that don’t seek self-promotion or use bombast to be recognized. Their hearts are only pointed to serving others. They work for our good and for God, not seeking fame, but to serve.

Many of our firefighters fit this model. They mostly serve as volunteers in local fire departments. They don’t get paid to serve, they just show up. They are the men and women who rush into burning buildings to bring people to safety. Their joy is in saving and not gaining.

When they pass into our Lord’s hands, they are given an “End of Watch” call—a broadcast over the airwaves to announce that their service and time is complete. The fire volunteers upon hearing this call offer them a moment of silence. It is a moving gesture of recognition.

Louis “Lou” Aroneo was on one of those men. He died this July and received his “End of Watch” call from the Stirling, New Jersey Fire Department. But Lou is more than just an individual who received a last call. He represented what makes America a special place. In his life he represented a way to live life. A way our forefathers taught us. A way that included honor, respect, duty and service. Lou didn’t curse the darkness, but instead chose to light candles.

Lou had no special privileges in life. He wasn’t a star athlete or a famed entertainer or even a noted politician. He was part of the tapestry of men and women known as first responders. Lou didn’t go to Harvard or Yale; he went to a local college and became an engineer.

While some will seek fame through rancor, Lou sought kindness. While some sought self-promotion, Lou sought to serve. Some seek to tear down, Lou sought to build up.

He had a wife and raised his children in a small town in New Jersey. He passed on to our Lord with a very ordinary resume. A simple life on paper, but a rich life in the hearts of the people he helped and served.

Even though he received a medal of honor for rushing into a burning building to rescue a wheelchair-bound individual, there will be no movie made about his exploits. Even though he raised his children to honor and respect others, no book will be written about his excellence. Lou lived his life the right way. A uniquely American way.

I take it upon myself to declare Lou a hero. Because he lived the way we all should live, with a quiet faith and desire to do good. Lou’s life compass was pointed to doing what was right and without compromise. Noting that perhaps we as Americans we should strive harder to recognize these people as the heroes. We should read about them more or see them on television. Perhaps knowing more about these heroes will soften the drums of discord.

Lou would be the first to point out he wasn’t special, he knew many others who lived the same life. And he would have been right, many others do. Our country needs these standard bearers of commitment and service. They are the ones who are there in times of disaster. Lou and his fire company stood on the shores of New Jersey during 9/11 to help. They stood in line waiting to help those devastated by Superstorm Sandy. They are the ones carrying children late at night from a house fire. They are the ones who are first on the scene of a terrible car wreck. They are the first eyes you see when you need to be rescued. They work, while we sleep. They are American first responders. They serve because they are supposed to serve.

I only wish that I knew Lou before I completed my latest book, Your Faith Has Made You Well. He would have been a terrific character to stand beside the dozens of other ordinary heroes, who are portrayed. As Christians we can never have enough heroes of faith. Lou stood tall among them.

As a country we need heroes like Lou. These are the people who don’t use social media to bring them fame through bombast. They don’t like to jockey for position to get what they want. These heroes seek only to help.

Every day we see these unnoticed heroes in our midst. They walk in supermarkets, hotel lobbies, or along crowded streets. They have blended in to live their lives without notice.

Look hard though and you will see them walking among us. They hold doors for others. They stop and pick up litter. They speak kindly to others. They have faces that show their integrity. They help parents overloaded with groceries. They are with us every day.

Lou passed on to our Lord on July 3. He had a funeral procession that included nine ladder trucks decorated with American flags and a long waiting line of people giving their last respects. Lou didn’t pass on with millions in the bank or with lasting notoriety. He passed with a more blessed legacy, a peaceful assurance that he would reside with his Lord from living an honorable life. While maybe not recognized fully by the world, it certainly was recognized where he is today, with his Lord for eternity. America needs more heroes like Lou.

Lou did get his last call. A time honored tradition for firefighters. He was the Chief of Stirling’s fire department and was sent off to be with God, having served humankind with honor. Many other first responders will go after him and they as well will receive the last call. Their special moment when the dispatcher says: “End of watch call! You have completed your mission here and been a good friend to all. Now it is time to rest. Thank you for your service.”

Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images

America • Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • Identity Politics • Immigration • Post • Progressivism • race

Shallow Politics and Deep Politics

In January, three new telegenic, outspoken, and self-proclaimed “progressive” congresswomen took their seats: Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Omar, a former refugee from Somalia who has maintained political connections there, brought to Capitol Hill her baggage of Islamist political affiliations and credible claims of immigration fraud; Tlaib, born to Palestinian immigrant parents in Dearborn, Michigan, proved so devoted to Israel’s destruction as to be dumped even by J-Street. Ocasio-Cortez, born to Puerto Rican parents in the Bronx and raised in sheltered Westchester, is a political novice who won a thin primary that her opponent, the incumbent congressman, basically failed to contest. 

But AOC, as the insiders call her, quickly made up for her lack of baggage by endorsing the Green New Deal that promises to ruin America’s economy in service of impossible ecological goals, and her ideological Svengali is her chief of staff, who identifies himself with pro-Hitler Indian nationalist activist Subhas Chandra Bose.

None of these women represents the mainstream of the Democratic party of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama as Americans knew it prior to 2016. On July 14, Mike Allen published on the news website Axios data from a May 2019 poll that showed that only 22 percent of voters in the poll had a favorable view of AOC, and 9 percent (“not a typo,” Allen notes) has a favorable view of Rep. Omar. 

Unsurprisingly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), with a clearer view and more concern for what wins national elections, has tried to marginalize them together with Rep. Ayanna Presley (D-Mass.), who up until now was not nationally notorious. As might have been expected, AOC responded with charges that Pelosi was “dogwhistling” racism.

Into this struggle, which the licensed journalists at Salon have instructed us is “not a catfight,” President Trump has inserted himself:

The man from Mars might be astonished at how many commentators who previously reveled in calling the president “Drumpf” rushed to levy charges of racism, but we Earthlings are more inured. Some even among Republicans or other clearer thinkers are sure that by weighing in, Trump “stupidly” reunited the quarreling Democrats.

The picture of politics these pundits have in mind is something like this: 

  • Everybody is already either a Democrat or Republican, an opponent or a supporter of the president’s reelection. 
  • There are no voters whom some Democrats can appeal to precisely by distancing themselves from other Democrats.
  • There are no voters whom some Republicans can appeal to precisely by distancing themselves from other Republicans.

One wonders what these pundits think Pelosi was trying to do by criticizing the “squad” of four progressive representatives. In the real world of politics, politicians usually win elections by appealing not just to committed partisans, but by playing to the less committed and unaffiliated and by distancing themselves from the less popular elements in their own parties. 

Trump won in 2016 by distancing himself from Chamber of Commerce Republicans and the neoconservatives of the George W. Bush Administration, thus attracting working-class Americans, including more Hispanics and African-Americans than Romney could. Bill Clinton won in 1992 and 1996 in part thanks to his Sister Souljah moment, appealing to moderates by distancing himself from the race hustlers, and, as president, making inner cities safer and more prosperous by cracking down on “superpredators.”  

Now if national mainstream Democrats such as Pelosi have to try to distance themselves from the extremists in their own party, national Republicans such as Trump compete for swing voters by saddling national Democrats with the burden of supporting them. If Pelosi had refused Trump’s latest tweet gambit, she might have forfeited the partisan base and the extremist donors who helped send the squad to Congress in the first place.

This is the shallow politics of Trump’s tweets. I call it “shallow” because this analysis focuses on the targeting rather than the content. But the content, which of course the virtue-signallers on the Left and the self-proclaimed right-wing NeverTrumpers, distracted as they are by “racist” mantras don’t bother to read carefully. All of this points to deep issues in U.S. domestic and foreign affairs that ought to be on the table.

Immigrants to the Americas have always brought with them their old-world feuds and ideologies, and have passed them down, diluted by intermarriage and acculturation, to their children and grandchildren. 

John Jay, of Huguenot origin, could not help but see Louis XVI and his courtiers as the heirs of the bigots who had driven his family to the New World. In negotiating with Britain and France, Jay acted in 1782-83 out of suspicions that his fellow American diplomats in Paris, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, themselves of transplanted English stock, never thought to entertain. Elected and responsible politicians have no choice but to take account of those passions, sometimes exploiting them, sometimes mitigating them, sometimes suppressing them, and sometimes simply calling them by name, as the prudent pursuit of the common good and the political survival of the individual leader demand.

But there is another side to that storm of troubles from faraway shores. As my Tel Aviv colleague Yossi Shain showed in his 1999 book, Marketing the American Creed Abroad, diaspora activists and politicians are part of networks that help export American ideals to their home countries. 

This, too, is an old tradition. William Cobbett, an English immigrant to America who was one of the loudest voices among Federalists for prosecuting Jeffersonian Republicans for sedition and treason, upon returning to England was transformed by his American experience into a radical reformer who served two years in Newgate Prison for protesting Hanoverian repression. 

Why, then, is it absurd in 2019 to imagine, as President Trump asks us in these three tweets to imagine, that Omar could become an inspiration for enlightened reform in Somalia, that Tlaib could have some beneficial effect among Palestinians in her parents’ native Ramallah, or that Ocasio-Cortez could help bring genuinely progressive government to an indebted and scandal-dogged Puerto Rico?

Those of us who cherish American ideals and institutions know exactly why it is absurd: because these three members of Congress were educated in American schools and universities to have contempt for Americans and American traditions. To their ethnic homelands, Omar, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez would only export more hatred and derision of America as well as guaranteed-to-fail green socialism, but no worthy ideals or estimable practices.

For that corruption, virtually invisible when Shain was doing his research two decades ago, both unhyphenated and hyphenated Americans are to blame. It is the teachers of these representatives, and the parents and taxpayers who fund those teachers’ salaries, who have to answer for that failure to Americanize these otherwise impressive women.

Photo credit: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

America • History • Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • The Left • The Media

When ‘The Right Stuff’ Goes Wrong

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy committed the United States to put an American on the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade. 

Just to be clear, nothing like this had ever been attempted. Americans, though, were uniquely suited to the task, Kennedy said: “We choose to go to the moon . . . and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

In Kennedy’s day, it was understood the American he had in mind for this dangerous mission would be a man (or, as it turned out, men) expected to perform at the highest level.

In his speech Kennedy emphasized “hard,” as in something requiring great effort, now a word heard mostly in male-enhancement commercials. Sadly, the bedroom may be the one place these days where men’s performance gets any kind of public mention—and that’s to sell pharmaceuticals. 

American men live in a very different country from the one Apollo 11 came from on July 20, 1969. That was the day when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon while Michael Collins circled above in the lunar command module, hoping to take the three of them home. 

How different? Read The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe. The book is a celebration of old-fashioned manhood in all its rocket-powered glory. In other words, most of the astronauts Wolfe wrote about would never pass a human resources screening.

Their qualifications were tested, but not by having them fill out forms. These guys, many of them former combat pilots, had already proven they had balls. That’s part of what Wolfe meant by the book title. 

In the ultrasensitive work environment of today, the mere mention of similar male attributes would get you fired. On the flight of Apollo 11, they were among the things that mattered most.

Which explains why on this historic occasion there won’t be any mainstream media salutes to “the right stuff,” as Wolfe conceived it. Putting aside the Playboy lifestyle enjoyed by some astronauts, the idea that three white men, relying solely on know-how and pre-toxic masculinity, got from the earth to the moon and back might alarm certain people. Then there are “the optics.” In addition to being all male and active duty or ex-military, the Apollo 11 crew was not ethnically diverse, culturally inclusive, or gender fluid. 

Years later, there were rumors in some parts of the world that Armstrong had converted to Islam while taking his famous moonwalk. All officially denied by the U.S. State Department in 1983.

Speaking of spiritual matters, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which manages the U.S. space program, used to allow crews to mix science and religion. During the 1968 Christmas Eve flight of Apollo 8, astronauts broadcast the first live television pictures of an earthrise as they read a passage from Genesis. Atheists sued.

Armstrong and Aldrin have never been rebuked like Christopher Columbus and other well-known explorers, largely because they never encountered and/or enslaved any indigenous peoples on their 21-hour moon visit. But they did leave an American flag behind. And that was a problem.

“First Man,” the 2018 Neil Armstrong biopic, received generally favorable reviews, except from some conservatives, who complained the film omitted an important patriotic element by not depicting the planting of a U.S. flag on the lunar surface. 

Producers were probably concerned about the effect on ticket sales in countries that hate America, or maybe ticket sales to moviegoers in this country who hate America.

Just as Nike was concerned recently when it halted the sale of a new shoe decorated with a miniature version of the original U.S. flag. (On the advice of a washed-up football player who’s made a new career for himself trashing the country’s most cherished symbols.)

Given how much has changed, it’s not hard to imagine what America’s first mission to the moon would be like if it happened today. 

The spacecraft would have to be bigger to accommodate a larger, more diverse crew, including at least one unskilled illegal immigrant. 

Leading the mission would be a commander of color, with crew members chosen by NASA and a select panel of race, ethnicity, and gender identity consultants. 

In-flight meals would feature dehydrated multicultural entrees and a special vegan menu. Tang would also be served. 

The landing would be televised and show the mission commander climbing down a ladder to set foot on the moon, followed by the non-binary co-commander who would read the following statement:

“That’s one small step for they. One giant leap for them.”

Then, as the phone rang, signaling a call from the White House, xe would say, “If that’s Donald Trump, we’re not answering.” 

It makes you glad the real thing happened 50 years ago.

Photo credit: Corbis via Getty Images

America • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Donald Trump • Identity Politics • Post • The Left

The Squad vs. Trump: We Already Have the Winner

Those who portray President Trump as some kind of Vulcan who plans his moves like he plays three-dimensional chess have probably never met my old boss, let alone worked closely with him and seen how he actually makes key decisions.

He’s not a clinical plotter; he’s an instinctual pugilist. Whether it’s negotiating with dangerous dictators in Asia or dangerous Democrats back home, his actions are more Rocky Balboa than Gary Kasparov. And that’s what makes them all the more impressive. Just look at the last few days preceding his Twitter war with the Four Horsewomen of the Democrat Apocalypse.

Last Thursday, President Trump held what may have been one of the most important meetings of his presidency, at least when it comes to his chances of being reelected in 2020. In a bold move, driven in part by the good offices of his masterful social media adviser, Dan Scavino, the president invited 150 of the leading conservative internet influencers to the White House for a social media summit. This was a highly heterogeneous group, all ages, males and females, white, black, brown, yellow, Reaganite to libertarian—this author included—and all linked by one thing: their support for the president’s MAGA agenda and their roles as defined in opposition to the “legacy” media.

And of course, the FakeNews Industrial Complex was not happy, with the New York Times leading the way, lambasting the president’s guests as mere “trolls.”

Of course jealousy had nothing to do with this reportage. Nor did the response from one reporter who openly insulted all of the president’s guests in the Rose Garden, before I decided to take action against the Playboy “correspondent” who previously had verbally abused Sarah Huckabee Sanders for two-and-a-half years.

But the important point is not the unrestrained jealousy of the media or their foul and churlish response to the summit. The point is the timing, the president’s follow-through with the “Squad” last weekend, and the message he was broadcasting through his guests to the majority of Americans who believe in America and the president’s America First agenda.

First the message to you and America. If you don’t know what happened at the summit, you can watch our meeting with the President and read the full transcript here. And you really should, because the president was in fine form. It was a meeting about serious issues, curtailment of First Amendment rights, Big Tech censorship, the corruption of the media, but the president was also very funny, direct and candid. And his key message was crucial to 2020. Big Tech is censoring, deplatforming, and demonetizing voices on the Right because they and the leftist media are afraid, as they should be given the depth and breadth of their lies.

President Trump shared with us that the assembled guests in the White House have a combined audience of 500 million followers, bigger than any legacy media platform in the world today—so of course the propagandists worry they are losing their monopoly on information control. But this is exactly why we mustn’t be afraid. The president sent a message of almost biblical tone, in that we must not be afraid because the power is now in our hands, in the hands of what Andrew Breitbart called America’s citizen journalists.

Then there’s the president’s role as the troller-in-chief.

President Trump doesn’t play chess, but he knows how to win. There’s a reason his reality-TV show ran for 14 incredibly successful seasons and only ended because he entered the Oval Office. This weekend, right after the social media summit, he demonstrated his preternatural strategic communications ability when he unleashed a handful of strategic tweets.

Most American who don’t devour politics have no idea who Ilhan Omar is or what Alexandria Ocasio Cortez really believes. But after tweeting out that those who criticize America should go and fix the places where they came from (Somalia and the Bronx?) before they come back and lecture the rest of America was a masterstroke. In the firestorm of a Democrat response which led to articles of impeachment being introduced in the House and Nancy Pelosi bringing a resolution to condemn the president as a racist, the only winner is the president. Let me explain.

I keep hearing that the president’s greatest vulnerability is apolitical suburban housewives who couldn’t tell you who Antonio Gramsci was if their lives depended on it. These are voters who are not aware that the Democrat party has been taken over by extremists who hate America. Well, they do know now. The president’s tweets were the fuse to a signal cannon that has woken up all Americans to the racism, anti-Americanism, and bigoted extremism of the so-called Squad. After Sunday there is no way to hide AOC’s reprehensible concentration camp comments from the widest audience possible, or Ihlan Omar’s belittling of the 9/11 attacks, or Rashida Tlaib’s anti-Semitism, or even Ayanna Pressley’s racism.

And incredibly, the president did all this while managing to trigger Pelosi to embrace the squad, making her break all the congressional rules on decorum, triggering the presiding black Democrat to drop his gavel and walk out in disgust. The subsequent impeachment vote saw 137 Democrats jump ship and vote against the resolution. All this after more than a year of screams for Trump’s impeachment from the Democrats. If you ever doubted the power of social media—or the president’s unmitigated fluency in its use—doubt no more.

We may have more than 470 days to go until the election, but not one of those days will be a day during which the true face of the Democratic Party can be denied any longer.

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Photo Credit: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

America • Democrats • Identity Politics • Immigration • Post • The Left

Advice to Democratic Wolves: Start Wearing Sheep’s Clothing

Many prominent liberals have ripped into Democratic candidates for sponsoring ideas too far from mainstream America. Their advice? Stop being so honest and start lying.

“Candidates are campaigning in an America of their own imagination—a bit to the left of Sweden,” columnist Richard Cohen said recently.

It is important, as Cohen understands, for Democrats to find a winning platform and a plan to win back the White House. Right now, their positions come off as extreme and probably make them unelectable.

He’s right. Only 13 percent of Americans want to make private health insurance illegal, while 55 percent of Californians think free healthcare for illegal immigrants would be going too far. Both of these positions have been endorsed by the Democratic Party.

And these radical positions raise more questions.

Would Democratic candidates raise their hands in support of illegal immigrants, or foreign nationals, voting in American elections? Will it ever be a good idea to enforce border policies?

What’s chilling is how ambiguous liberal commentators are. Should Democrats oppose extreme policies or should they just hide their extremism? It isn’t clear.

Writing for Mother Jones, Kevin Drum spends a lot of time explaining to Democrats what the people are seeing: “it’s hard to see much daylight between [Elizabeth] Warren’s plan and de facto open borders.”

But what should they do about it?

If Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) admits that his “new vision for America” requires increasing taxes on the middle class, that’s true enough. But is the advice that he should lie about this or that he should find a better way to promise the cake without the calories? It’s certainly never that he should moderate his position.

Most Democrats pledge to offer illegal immigrants government provided health care. And South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg thinks it’s sensible that the 11 million illegal aliens (by extremely conservative estimates) in our country should have the same access as American citizens.

But would Cohen and Drum have Mayor Pete lie about that in order to get the votes who don’t support it, or would they scale back and recommend real limits?

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) thinks enforcing our immigration laws “is not reflective of America and our values, and it’s got to end.”

Would Cohen and Drum have her be dishonest about how she would change immigration? Or should she actually implement something even more generous than open borders when in office? Perhaps we should pay for their passage?

Anyone with eyes to see knows that today’s Democrats see no enemies to their left—they have removed any pretense of cloaking themselves in moderation and are showing voters their true plans for the country.

Of course, taking time to be honest about the real objects of the Democratic party might distract them from their one and only goal: “The urgent challenge is to rid the nation of Trump.”

After all, if President Trump really is “Hitler,” as commentators like Cohen and Drum have recklessly suggested in the past, then no candidate could be too extreme to dampen their support. Not even the Bolsheviks.

Since the only change in the Democratic Party is a push toward further left-wing extremism, Liberals had better recommend that these candidates start lying now. If they wait till later, the mean orange man will make them pay.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images