Education • Post • Progressivism

Boston University and the Societal Engineers

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Like most parents of high school graduates at this time of year, I am cleaning up the vast array of promotional materials sent by colleges and universities now that my daughter has committed to the school of her choice. My daughter is a catch academically—a high-achiever who wants to pursue a career in science or engineering—so it was not a surprise that several upper-tier schools courted her with scholarships and generous aid packages.

Boston University was no exception. The school clearly spared no expense on its brochures, which featured prominent lettering, graphics, and striking colors. The tag line for the school of engineering brochure, “Creating The Societal Engineer,” appears in big white letters. But for someone like me with a background in history and the humanities, this phrase was a bit jarring. What exactly did they mean by “societal engineer”? I wanted to know more.

BU hired Kenneth R. Lutchen as dean of the engineering school in 2006. He introduced the concept of “societal engineering” two years later and the university trademarked the term in 2012. The engineering department has grown and prospered under his leadership. During his tenure, Lutchen has formed partnerships with big names such as General Electric, Philips, AT&T, Procter and Gamble, Accenture, and others, with the goal of facilitating research and fostering talent and, more broadly, serving humanity.

Boston’s brochure touts a program where Boston’s engineering students work closely with rural doctors and hospitals to devise medical equipment that can be readily accessed to train personnel, can withstand harsh climates, and, most importantly, can be easily repaired. There can be no question that a university so focused on positive outcomes for people is engaged in something laudable and praiseworthy. Using technology to advance civilization, extend human lifespans, and raise people’s standards of living are all good things.

But the term “societal engineering” immediately evokes an older, more sinister term: social engineering. Born of good intentions over a century ago, social engineering also offered technological advances destined to push humanity forward by solving all its problems. Instead, it left behind it a legacy of misery, bloodshed, and death. Social reformer Pierre Guillaume Frédéric le Play is credited with coining the term in 1872 at France’s École des Mines, where he was a professor and engineer-in-chief. Le Play was also a pioneer in sociology and his efforts to apply rigorous scientific methods to the study of French family dynamics have left a lasting legacy in the field. William H. Tolman, an American scientist, mechanical engineer, and industrialist, published Social Engineering in 1909. The book focused on how American industrialists at the time tried to “promote better relations between capital and labor.” The idea was that just as businesses needed traditional engineers to solve technical challenges, they also needed social engineers to help solve social or human problems. The subsequent popularity of the idea helped foment the belief that any project subscribing to that label was necessarily in the service of some humanitarian good.

But it quickly became clear that “social engineering” had no limiting principle. In its most malignant form, social engineering gave birth to the “new Soviet Man,” China’s “Great Leap Forward,” and the “Cultural Revolution.” Indeed, it left more than 100 million corpses in its wake. Early 20th century social engineering efforts led to the promotion and implementation of the eugenics movement, which in the United States alone led to some 60,000 forced sterilizations of women government social workers deemed mentally or socially “unfit.” Eugenics became the lodestar of social engineering. Horrific medical experiments, such as the Tuskegee syphilis study, were justified on the grounds of bettering society at the expense of people supposedly “lacking in social value.”

Is Lutchen’s “societal engineer” a new spin on that older, discredited idea? Lutchen did not respond to my several requests for clarification. But his public record is enough to make one wonder.

Although Lutchens formally introduced “societal engineering” into BU’s curriculum and promotional literature a decade ago, Merriam-Webster dates the first use of the adverb “societal” to 1890, about the same time “social engineering” began as a movement. Webster’s also provides a clue as to why Lutchen’s letter swap is significant. When the adjective “social” is changed to an adverb “societal,” it modifies the noun “engineering” to suggest calculated action and direction. Understanding this particular conjunction and the moral cynosure it became during the Progressive Era might have been useful information for Lutchen to have as he was refining his vision for the school, its students, and their respective roles in the world.

In an essay published in the Fall 2011 edition of Bostonia, the university’s alumni magazine, Lutchen explained how he came around to the “societal engineering” concept. “I looked around and tried to conceptualize the goals of an undergraduate education in engineering,” he wrote. “How did an education in engineering map into the greater context of society?” Luchen’s question is a good one. His answer leaves much to be desired, however: “I recognized that undergraduate education must prepare people for success, where success was an ambition to impact society. It dawned on me that we have the potential to transform the goals and experience of engineering education at the undergraduate level.” Which sounds an awful lot like social engineering.

“You can create somebody with the most powerful foundation possible for orchestrating people from all forms of disciplines so that you can move an organization and society forward to improve our quality of life,” Lutchen explained in a 2013 video. He listed the main attributes of Boston University’s program as fostering “system-level thinking” not only in technological innovation but also in how product ideas are put into mass production “specific to their region and culture.” The attributes of the societal engineer, as he sees them, are a global awareness, a sense to incorporate public policy, and “social consciousness”—a highly elastic concept open to all manner of mischief.

It’s troubling to note where Lutchen seems to be steering his program. The engineer apparently has departed the world of concrete and steel and entered the realm of dangerous abstraction. Writing in the Spring 2019 issue of ENG, Boston University’s engineering school magazine, Lutchen makes the case not just for the societal engineer but rather for the “societal citizen.”

“We need higher education in general to commit to Creating the Societal Citizen,” he writes. He wonders “if people who have not been exposed to the scientific method are considerably more likely to claim climate change is a hoax or that childhood vaccinations are dangerous. They do this despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. Why? Perhaps they want to believe this and/or there are politicians and those with cynical business self-interests (who also rarely have STEM backgrounds) who push this narrative.” He goes further, suggesting that certain politicians and businessmen have nefarious goals. “I suspect that an individual who does not understand the scientific method or quantitative analysis can more easily dismiss compelling data in favor of personal opinion.” Implicit in these comments is the ridiculous suggestion that people with STEM backgrounds would never be swayed by political ideology, donor pressure, or personal prejudice.

Social engineering promotes the unspoken ethical tautology that if a thing can be seen from one point of view to serve the common good, it is ipso facto good. Lutchen in his letter to accepted students this year defines his societal engineer as one “who has the confidence, capacity, and passions to work with people from all disciplines, cultures, governments and organizations to solve society’s greatest challenges and improve people’s quality of life.”

A lofty goal, but it exposes the real problem: When one thinks he has this power, he gives himself moral carte blanche to create the perfect society, whether the projects he is advancing actually are in the best interests of the masses or not. Moreover, who decides? And what gives them the right to decide what’s in the best interest of society? STEM education?

Social engineering, and Lutchen’s version “societal engineering” both gloss over vital moral distinctions. Certain individual anomalies, in certain circumstances, may not be of particular benefit to society. A social engineer would say they should be swept away or thrown out like metal filings or used petri dishes. To dissent from an idea that society’s engineers have concluded serves the public good is to be out of step, out of touch, and subversive. Who can disagree with what “science” says? Teaching students the scientific method and qualitative analysis will not be enough to stop people from making wrong or corrupt decisions.

Why is there no recognition of the catastrophic impact social engineering has had on humanity in history? As the moral impetus for technological development and progress, social engineering requires technical initiatives and programs to be sold to the public as part of a social good. But progressives, under the auspices of social betterment, have exploited, maimed, and murdered people by the hundreds of millions. If technology is guided primarily by whatever people like Lutchen may deem “socially worthy,” what exactly is guiding it? Is it respect for the individual? Or, might we infer as the name suggests, that the individual is subordinate to the “societal” good?

Lutchen’s program is entering is entering its 11th year. The brochures tout great humanitarian achievements by his students, such Andrew Schiff’s ENG’ 12 patch for congenital heart defects made from a newborn’s own cells, are groundbreaking and laudable. What makes that good is that someone’s baby is saved, and that human potential for good is carried forward. A societal directive that is guided only by the scientific method can’t do that. For that matter, neither can a STEM degree or any college degree promoting social allegiance to “system-level thinking” over individual human worth. Lutchen’s statements suggest he denigrates the views of people who disagree with his view of society.

Reorienting higher education to make “societal citizens” who have “internalized the scientific method” and can “assess objectively” the challenges that threaten our quality of life only sounds laudable in a completely ahistorical context. To assert, however, that failure to adopt such a program means “Nothing short of the Earth itself may be at stake” is propaganda, pure and simple. We are not cogs in a “societal engineer’s” machine.

Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images

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Administrative State • Post • Progressivism

Food Labeling Follies

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California’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL) recently made it official: Your morning cup of coffee won’t give you cancer. Next week’s newsflash probably will be, swallowing an orange seed doesn’t cause a tree to grow in your stomach.

After more than a year of legal wrangling, OAL signed off on a proposed rule exempting coffee from Proposition 65, a decades-old voter-approved measure that requires warning labels on products that contain chemicals the state has deemed potentially carcinogenic. So that means cancer warning labels and the universally ignored coffee shop warnings can be removed at long last.

That’s good news for anyone who was actually worried. But this the whole silly struggle over coffee warnings highlights an explosion of exaggerated food fears, a bureaucracy run amok, and the baleful influence of trial lawyers who have generated over $500 million in settlement payments for Proposition 65 nuisance lawsuits (not including awards from cases that went to trial).

The public never faced a real risk of coffee related cancer, of course. But prodded by activists and lawyers, California’s Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) wildly overstated the risks of a natural substance called acrylamide that’s found in many cooked and roasted foods, including french fries, potato chips, bread, cookies, breakfast cereals—and coffee. It ignored the assessments of the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and more than 100 studies showing coffee is safe and instead followed the dubious lead of a little known and completely unaccountable international organization called the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

IARC, which is known to do the bidding of trial lawyers and which relied on questionable laboratory studies in animals, classified acrylamide as a “probable carcinogen.” In the real world, adults with the highest acrylamide exposure could consume 160 times as much as they now do and still not reach a level that toxicologists think would cause tumors in mice. Drowning in coffee, in short, is a greater risk than contracting cancer from it.

Consumers need useful, scientifically accurate, and truthful information about the possible health effects of the foods we eat, but this is not the way to get it. No one viewing this pseudo-controversy over coffee could conclude that Proposition 65 and OEHHA served the public well. In fact, as the Los Angeles Times predicted last year, the opposite is true. Millions of coffee drinkers simply ignored the warnings (and added what some trial lawyer would likely argue are dangerous levels of cream and sugar to boot).

Thus, we’ve reached the point where we need warnings about food warning labels, because they’ve become so confusing, complicated, and uninformative that the most rational course of action is to ignore them.

For more proof, look no further than the now ubiquitous “GMO-free” and “Non-GMO” label craze. The Non-GMO Project’s butterfly label alone is plastered on over 50,000 products in every grocery store in California and across America. Indeed, “GMO-free” label claims are actually worse than misguided and exaggerated Proposition 65 coffee warnings because they’re not only scientifically suspect but intentionally misleading.

“GMO-free” labels are found on products that have never had “genetically modified” counterparts. They’re even on products that couldn’t possibly come from “genetically modified organisms” because they don’t come from organisms at all, such as salt and water. They’re used to imply health and safety risks which, according to the judgment of more than 280 global health, safety, academic, scientific, and governmental organizations, including our FDA, don’t exist.

The FDA’s 2015 guidance made clear that such actions were violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act: “Another example of a statement in food labeling that may be false or misleading could be the statement ‘None of the ingredients in this food is genetically engineered’ on a food where some of the ingredients are incapable of being produced through genetic engineering (e.g., salt).”

The agency’s recently updated guidance once again makes it clear that the Non-GMO Project and many other GMO-free labels are “false and misleading” and violate long-standing truth-in-labeling laws.

Whatever information these labels claim to provide consumers, their purpose isn’t to protect anyone’s health or to provide useful information. Rather, according to the NonGMO Project’s Executive Director Megan Westgate, they’re intended to shrink the market for existing GMO ingredients and prevent new commercial biotech crops. Rent-seeking, pure and simple.

Food labels affect consumers’ choices, public health, and commerce.

Information-hungry consumers are the losers in this dysfunctional environment, and the government “watchdogs” aren’t helping. On one hand, California’s OEHHA, prodded by activists and trial lawyers, used the blunt instrument of Proposition 65 to concoct a nonexistent coffee cancer “risk.” On the other, the Non-GMO Project has been allowed to continue its deceptive “GMO-free” labels while the FDA looks the other way.

The public is thus whipsawed between overzealous laws that label almost everything as a risk, and the nonenforcement of laws designed to protect consumers from being bamboozled.

What we need instead is state and federal officials sitting down together over a cup of strong, safe java—possibly under the auspices of a group like the National Academy of Sciences—and talking seriously about how we can get back to honest, useful and meaningful food labels to which consumers will pay attention and from which they will benefit.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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America • Democrats • Post • Progressivism • The Left

The Great Excluded and Our Nationalist Future

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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

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Center for American Greatness • Cultural Marxism • Democrats • Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • The Left

‘Prog-Whistles’ and Safe Spaces

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The Left controls the three major platforms for messaging the American people—the arts; academia; and the old, new and social media. Yet, America remains a generally center-right country—and certainly has not become the “fundamentally transformed” backwater socialist collective President Obama once promised.

Oh, sure, he and his leftist minions never explicitly called for that; but that’s because words have no meaning, only utility, to the Left. The elasticity of content within their leftist lexicon is no longer matched by their phrasemongering’s efficacy. Succinctly, the country has decoded the Left’s “prog whistles”—and they don’t like what they hear.

In turn, what the Left hears is dissent and opposition to their ideology and aims; and, being the true owners of the moniker “stupid party,” the Left is doing its damnedest to silence it.

Sure, the censorial Leftist ignoramuses doth protest too much. Still . . .

Why else would the Left call its opponents every ad hominem “-ism” in their scurrilous arsenal on all their group-think blogs, broadcasts, and sundry other sites that cater to their free speech-averse caprice and further their crusade to destroy independent thought for the sake of their “greater good”⁠—i.e., an equitable collective of human misery?

Why else would the Left expropriate religious terms for its collectivist cult acolytes, thus diminishing their ability to reason by replacing it with unquestioning secular faith of the self-anointed?

Why else would the Left conjure up “deconstructionism,” where the plain meaning of an author’s words are ignored based upon the reader’s subjective interpretation?

Why else would the Left pimp “narrative” as anything other than what it is⁠—a device for the crafting of fictional works? To deny facts and truths that don’t support their historically failed proposals, the Left refutes the logical fallacy that the number of adherents to a proposition do not validate its truth.

Instead, the Left transmogrifies civic discourse into an exercise in character assassination, whereby a proposition’s verity and/or desirability is determined by which of the dueling subjective “narratives”⁠—“good” progressive versus “evil” conservative, both of which are crafted by the Left—“wins” by muscling its way by hook or by crook into roping 50 percent plus one of the public to agree (or at least acquiesce).

Why else would the Left reject the self-evident verity that every individual is unique and possessed of God-given dignity, intellect, talent, and rights which allow for their pursuit of happiness and potential; and instead subscribe and demand fealty to the racist dogma that the group into which a person is born should dictate what he thinks. Of course, if said thinking doesn’t toe the line of the Left’s group think, they will ominously predict a myriad of detrimental consequences for the dissenter.

Consider this chillingly lucid exposition of this insidious leftist dogma from an official of the federal government:

We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. 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. If you’re worried about being marginalized and stereotyped, please don’t even show up because we need you to represent that voice.

Yes, why would the Left progressively support the regression of American’s free speech by deeming words and opinions “violence”; supporting the violent neo-brownshirts of Antifa; preventing guest lecturers, speakers and faculty and cordoning off “safe spaces” to be free from challenging opinions on campus; doxxing and demanding the firing of non-leftists in both the public and private spheres; boycotting any and all platforms and their advertisers that allow for opinions not conforming to the Left’s collective delusions; chilling any speech they subjectively deem “offensive”; and on and on and on…?

Why doesn’t the Left welcome a vigorous, civil discourse and debate about the merits of its propositions and proposals?

Or, more bluntly, why does the Left fear the First Amendment?

The truth is self-evident: the Left is intellectually bankrupt.

And they know it.

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Center for American Greatness • Post • Progressivism • The Courts • The Left

Answering the Left’s Campaign to Delegitimize the Courts

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Elie Mystal—an Above the Law windbag—mercifully has taken a break from comparing Republicans to Nazis and blogging cringey clickbait about seminude Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz to shriek instead about how President Trump and Senate Republicans are “pack[ing] the courts with ultraconservatives.”

In a rambling screed at The Nation, Mystal frets about some dark fruit that has been produced by President Trump’s “illegal reign,” namely, “far-right legal arsonists” have helped install, at last count, 123 “torture advocates, LGBTQ antagonists, rape apologists, Islamophobes, . . . Confederate-monument defenders [and] anti-abortion fundamentalists” to the federal bench—with more on the way.

Mystal’s rhetorical drive-by—the piece attacks all current Trump judges but focuses especially on the “worst of the worst,” ominously dubbed the “Seven Injustices”—is but the latest salvo in a months-long progressive campaign to delegitimize the federal courts, particularly the Supreme Court.

Because if progressives don’t own it, it’s illegitimate, of course.

As usual, the Right is blind to an emerging political and cultural trend and so is doing nothing to mobilize an effective political response. If history is any guide, if the Right ever does respond, it will be ineffectually —too little too late—and all that will remain is to write the think pieces lamenting how unfair it all is.

Failure to act now promises dire consequences: the nullification of a key success of the Trump Administration—confirming life-tenured, rule-of-law, textualist-originalist jurists to the federal judiciary—and the further erosion of the integrity of our constitutional republic.

Always Political
At the behest of their radical base, which is deeply disillusioned with Article III of the Constitution now that the courts are no longer reliable agents of History, many Democratic presidential candidates have offered various plans to “fix” the Supreme Court, and sundry pundits and intellectuals regularly concern-troll about the court’s legitimacy.

Here’s what is really going on: This is a political hatchet job to delegitimize the federal courts because they are not all-but-guaranteed to ratify the radical agenda of the progressive, social-justice Left: green fanaticism, Marxist deconstructionism (of late, that of sex and gender), multiculturalism, anti-Americanism through political correctness and social media-sponsored censorship, and socialism.

But the problem is not that politicians, pundits, and parts of the broader public are attacking the courts politically in an attempt to steer their rulings in a direction more palatable to their broader agenda; ’twas ever thus. The problem is the Right is sitting on its hands, apparently unaware that the progressives’ ferocious assault demands a response.

The courts are inescapably subject to politics because they are, by design, subject to the political branches—“advice and consent” on the front end and (theoretically) impeachment on the back end. And the members of those political branches, in turn, are accountable, ultimately, to the sovereign American people—from whom all legitimate government must derive its authority.

A few examples will suffice to show that the judiciary is not some pure haven of legal analysis and that judicial politics has been part of American political life since the Founding:

  • Congress has twice in our history passed jurisdiction-stripping legislation in response to judicial decisions that it disfavored: one revoking the Supreme Court’s appellate review of a habeas corpus decision in the aftermath of the Civil War (Ex parte McArdle) and a second restricting the power of inferior federal courts to issue injunctions in labor disputes (Lauf v. E.G. Shinner & Co.);
  • After Marbury v. Madison, the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans enacted legislation that prevented the Supreme Court from meeting for over a year and abolished the nationwide circuit court system set up by the Federalists during their last days in office (thus throwing Federalist-appointed judges out of office)—and the Supreme Court upheld that latter piece of legislation, even though it resulted in life-tenured judges’ losing their seats;
  • After the Supreme Court handed down its decision in McCulloch v. Maryland, Chief Justice John Marshall anonymously responded via out-of-court newspaper articles to the pointed, ideological attacks of two anonymous state-court judges, who had penned their own extrajudicial writings;
  • Part of the 1860 presidential campaign featured attacks on the Supreme Court (which had issued its disgraceful Dred Scott decision in 1857), and after Abraham Lincoln’s election, leading papers such as the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times supported plans to limit the independence of the judiciary;
  • Impeach Earl Warren” billboards dotted the landscape in the 1950s and ’60s in an attempt to pressure the Warren Court to back away from its nonoriginalist judicial activism, and, arguably, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s threatened 1937 court-packing plan was successful in pressuring the Supreme Court to lay supine before the implementation of the New Deal.

What we’re seeing from Democrats nowadays is just more of the same: a series of political attacks that must be met with a political response.

But that response will have to come from the political branches and right-leaning media, as well as those who generally support President Trump’s judicial nominees, because we cannot expect judges in today’s system to defend themselves. What Marshall did post-McCulloch was a highly unusual maneuver from an exceptionally gifted jurist and political operative, during a different era in history.

As Hamilton wrote in Federalist 78, “The judiciary . . . has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever.” Judges rely on public support and the protection of the political branches for their power and legitimacy; if we do nothing to defend Article III against this barrage, its power will be fatally undermined—and we will all be the worse for it.

The Founders were originalists, but the Progressive Era fomented a jurisprudential revolt in constitutional interpretation, a revolt that wrongly spurned the role of originalism, textualism, popular sovereignty, and the natural law in the interpretive enterprise. The courts as President Trump and Senate Republicans are molding them are good and worth defending to the hilt, and the Right should not be afraid to engage in full-throated political defense of them, even in the face of a Left that, in its delusional way of thinking, posits that the judiciary is its own exclusive property.

We’ve known for decades now that as the courts go, so goes the country—for better and for worse. It’s time we start acting like it.

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

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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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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Post • Progressivism • Technology • The Left

The Banality of Google’s Wokeness

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Although many people don’t see it or refuse to acknowledge it, we are living in a mangled version of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984.

There are technological and morally dubious (at best!) forces that control the flow of information we see and can release into the world. Facebook, Twitter, and Google—our current rendition of “The Big Three”—rightfully have been accused of censorship, as example after example comes to light.

Yet, even as more is revealed with each new example, nothing seems to be done to change the situation. The rest of the population—i.e., the users—are powerless to do anything about it because the structure of all social media companies allows rhem to operate under the guise of privatization. If the company is private, then logically it would follow that we have no right to criticize their company policies. Add to that the fact that their services, mainly, are free to users, and complaints are often met with dismissive charges of ingratitude.

And yet, users have no genuine choice because these are the platforms that amount to today’s public square. We have no choice because the primary way of disseminating and absorbing information and knowledge about public affairs is through a variety of online platforms. This is the perfect not-so-secret Trojan Horse that today’s “Big Three” have used to insert themselves into the private lives of others.

Given these facts, we may be tempted to think that behind the screen resides some maniacal Big Brother whose minions are working ’round the clock and plotting evil ways of controlling people, all the while sipping scotch, smoking cigars, and laughing at us. But as Hannah Arendt noted, evil is more often “banal” than interesting and in this case, censorship comes in many different forms, even within the company itself.

Last month, details of Google’s newsletter, “Yes, at Google,” leaked and revealed a series of itemized incidents of “microaggressions” and “micro-corrections.” Employees at Google are not yet required to report such occurrences nor are they forced to subscribe to the newsletter, the sole purpose of which is “to anonymously report complaints of inappropriate behavior by co-workers.” But its existence tells us something important about the culture and direction of the company.

You may wonder what Google means by “inappropriate,” but judging from the list of grievances, the world of microaggressions is a labyrinthine and very much real at Google. Some of them deal with day to day operations and work relations between employees, but they reveal much of the bigger problems at hand.

Google employees complain about the most dull and insignificant details of ordinary life and are essentially imprisoned in a cave, as they blindly follow some nebulous authority, which gives them directives about how to act, speak, and most absurdly, how to interact with others. Why are they following these directives? Why are they professing obedience to a “thing” they deem to be all-powerful who is not God?

In his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View, the American psychologist Stanley Milgram explored this very question. Milgram’s famous experiment, in which he tested the limits and possibilities of human free will became the basis for the book.

Milgram’s experiment consisted of “teachers,” who were instructed to deliver electric shocks to the “learner” when he gave the wrong answer to a question. The test was designed in such a way that the “learner” would never answer the question correctly because he was part of Milgram’s team. The instructor, or the experimenter, who monotonously and unemotionally delivered a directive to “keep going” was part of Milgram’s team as well. The objective was to find whether people will follow orders without any thought or reflection. The experiment was controversial because the experimenter created an appearance of a real electric shock, despite the fact that the equipment was disconnected from any possible electric source, and the shock wasn’t real at all. Of course, Milgram’s reputation as something of an eccentric made the experiment even more questionable.

Milgram primarily was interested in how one human being can follow orders from a perceived authority figure and not question the possible immorality of the order. What led Milgram to ponder such questions were the events of World War II but he also knew that the experiment’s purpose could extend beyond the study of the Holocaust. It can also serve as an impetus to ask questions as to why seemingly normal human beings, presumably in full possession of their individuality, end up being blind followers.

For Milgram, “obedience is the psychological mechanism that links individual action to political purpose. It is the dispositional cement that binds men to systems of authority.” Of course, there is such a thing as a “good” obedience—a sense in which we are following accepted rules of  society in order to prevent chaos and collapse. But the obedience that interested Milgram (and which is becoming more common today) can be summed up in the following question he posed: “How does a man behave when he is told by a legitimate authority to act against a third individual?” In other words, the soulless behavior of the mindless bureaucrat.

Milgram’s results in the experiment revealed that most of the subjects obeyed “the experimenter no matter how vehement the pleading of the person being shocked, no matter how painful the shocks seem to be, and no matter how much the victim pleads to be let out.”  Much of this depended on the experimenter’s politeness, which undoubtedly created a dissonance in the subject’s mind. If not strong enough, the subject will acquiesce and do as he or she is told.

Google’s newsletter, which was “softly” requested and in turn written by the “Woke Pod People,” should by no means be compared to the historical events that Milgram was trying to study through his experiment. But we should remember that any sort of bureaucracy that destroys the unique individuality of a person does, on some level, involve a hierarchy of directives, orders, and the mandatory act of following them completely.

Although this is supposed to be only an issue internal to Google, it does reveal a societal problem of obedience and collectivism. Is it really easier to be a collectivist rather than an individual person in full possession of one’s identity and choices? This indeed is “the Organization Man” of the 21st century! He’s got it all: fantastical notions of microaggressions, the “woke” factor, moralism without ethics, obedience to perceived authority, all intertwined with collectivist corporatism.

What we see in the example of Google’s euphemistically titled newsletter is precisely that some people are happy to be obedient followers. The fact that they feel like victims is only part of the whole picture. Another part is that those who issue anonymous reports on various so-called transgressions see themselves as “saviors” of the company’s mission, therefore the number of theoretical “likes” increases rapidly as does the feeling of somehow being special in the sea of otherwise nameless employees quietly typing their lives away into the pit of desperation.

Collectivism will always present itself as an existential and political problem. What makes it even more palpable and troubling, however, is its presence in America. Here it has grown and adapted to our cultural ethos, taking on a different form than in other countries. Here it’s not only a government seeking to take control over people’s lives, it is a combination of government institutions and private companies advancing their supposed freedom in the market. With their mixture of false ethics and unusual privatization practices, Google has taken on a form of a different kind of totalitarianism. We have to recognize it for what it is because that is the only way to fight its collectivist impositions.

Photo Credit: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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

20th-Century Progressive Politics Continues to Unfold

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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.

Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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

Shallow Politics and Deep Politics

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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

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

When ‘The Right Stuff’ Goes Wrong

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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

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Democrats • Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • The Left

The Democrats’ ‘Race Card’ Reign of Terror

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During World War II, while the Germans were attempting to complete their version of the European Union by pummeling the British from the air, a favorite weapon of theirs was the V-2 rocket.

It wasn’t a very accurate weapon. In fact, it wasn’t accurate at all. But to the Nazis, that was its charm.

The V-2 wasn’t meant to take out military installations with pinpoint precision while avoiding civilian casualties. Quite the opposite. It was meant to rain down terror indiscriminately on the civilian population, destroying morale and ultimately leaving the populace so weary and shell-shocked that, rather than fight on, they would choose to capitulate to a weaker enemy just to get on with their lives.

For the past many decades, the Democrats have employed a similar weapon with a similar purpose. It, too, is a singularly inaccurate weapon but, to the Democrats, that’s its charm. It, too, is meant not to achieve a strategic victory but to leave the civilian population so frightened and jittery every time they hear what could be a whistle coming from the sky, that they choose surrender in the big war just to get on with the smaller but essential battles of day-to-day existence.

Although this weapon can be and easily is adapted for various civilian populations, the Democrats’ version of the V-2 rocket usually goes by the name of the “race card.”

The race card is a weapon of terror. One can easily imagine someone like Osama Bin Laden, as he gave the final orders to bomb the World Trade Center, saying “if there’s some collateral damage for some others who do not share our view, well, so be it.” But those weren’t Bin Laden’s words; they were those of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

As with all terrorists, the value of the Democrats’ attack on, say, a teenager from Covington, Kentucky wearing the wrong hat, isn’t found in the success they achieve in destroying his life and visiting pain upon him and his family. To many, that’s just a perk.

The real value is found in the message the Democrats send in terrorizing this poor kid: anyone’s life can be destroyed in an instant over the smallest of things if you do not all capitulate now!

Far from this being simply some “right-wing fanatic’s” take on things, consider one of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, the de facto war manual of today’s Democratic Party. “Those who, for any combination of reasons, oppose the reformation, become an unwitting ally of the far political right,” Alinsky wrote.

The simple translation: it doesn’t matter who you are, what you say or do or why, if you do not share our views, you are aiding and abetting the most extreme of our enemies and thus make yourself a legitimate target for destruction.

But, while the Democrats employ Alinsky’s heartless rules, many of these Democrats—Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Clintons and Joe Biden, etc.—aren’t, in fact, radicals. They’re not, say, William Ayers who, not coincidentally, set off real terrorist bombs before changing tactics and simply setting off rhetorical ones. They don’t seek the destruction of Western Civilization and the creation of a Marxist utopia upon its ashes. They don’t even seek to change the status quo. They are the status quo.

These Democrats don’t use the tactics of the extremists in order to change the game. They employ them only to further rig the game to their advantage. Their “view” that everyone must share under threat of becoming “collateral damage” is nothing other than their belief that they must be reelected.

That these Status Quo Democrats aren’t ideological extremists is easily proven by perusing the policies the terrorists have supported and opposed over the course of the past thirty-plus years. Every one of them has, at one time or another, taken every conceivable position on every major issue, often in utter contradiction to the stance they’d sworn allegiance to only the day before.

Whether it’s gay marriage or border security, prison reform or the Iraq War, the horrors of crack cocaine or the racism that makes people say that crack cocaine is horrible, theirs is always the market-tested, poll-watched “convictions” which can change at any given moment depending on the direction of the blowing wind.

Ideologues don’t market-test their beliefs. They don’t check the polls to decide what are their convictions. They don’t engage in politically expedient compromises even if it results in their getting to bang the gavel and call themselves the Speaker of the House and steal another couple of million from the people. These Democrats aren’t ideologues, they are terrorist whores.

The political strategy is simple: on the one hand, they ensure their reelection by rendering the opposition so evil—so beyond the pale—that no matter how corrupt and failed their own policies, it’s still better than the Republicans who, according to Joe Biden, “wanna put y’all back in chains.”

It further ensures their continued reign of terror to seek power and corruption by leaving those who might stand up and speak in opposition to their reelection so terrified of the retribution the terrorists visit upon even a sweet kid in a red hat, that their hate-filled, self-serving narratives go unchallenged.

Of late, however, the Status Quo Democrats are finding that things have changed. The “new faces” of the Democratic party are not, as Pelosi seems to think, the protegés of the Status Quo Democrats. They are, in fact, heirs to the 1960s radicals for whom Alinsky wrote his rules.

To them, the market-testing, poll-watching, politically expedient compromises that the Status Quo Democrats engage in because their end-game is nothing other than reelection is seen by the new radicals as their having, for whatever combination of reasons, opposed their Marxist reformation. This makes them as much an ally of the far political right as any kid in a MAGA hat and subject to the same terror attacks the Democrats have so cynically and cavalierly used against Republicans for years.

Not surprisingly, then, the V-2s have begun to fall on the Status Quo Democrats as well.

Now Pelosi is a “sexist,” and Biden is a “racist,” and even the man they loved and the woman they were all with just three years ago, Bill and Hillary Clinton, get booed at Madison Square Garden, not for their corruption, malfeasance and failures, but because they betrayed the revolution by not terrorizing the population enough when they had the chance.

From now on, only the most radical extremists are safe from becoming collateral damage.

Editor’s note: Evan Sayet will be performing live at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, July 19, at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas. Visit the Freedom Fest website for more information.

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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

The New Face of the Democratic Party

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As the Left collectively melts down over Donald Trump’s tweets about the socialist “squad,” calling him every name in the book from racist to xenophobic, the fact is, the president just flipped everything on its head. From Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez having a very public spat to the entire Left and Democratic party reflexively defending the four socialists, Trump has made sure that the far-left Communist-loving progressive women are, in fact, the face of the Democratic Party.

And that’s a real problem for the Democrats.

While some continue to be distracted by style and skip substance with Trump, and others, like certain peacetime conservatives at legacy publications, become apologists for the anti-Semitic Ilhan Omar, many others still seem to be missing the entire point. However inartful Trump’s comments might be, it really does turn the questions around on them.

Why are they here? Of all the 195 countries in the world, why did you, Ilhan Omar, come here? And why are you proposing ideas that are deeply un-American, from coercive socialism to the loss of national sovereignty through open borders? Why are you and you gal pals proposing ideas that generations of Americans since our founding have rejected? What ideas on any level are you proposing that have anything to do with our constitutional republic or its perpetuation?

The answer, of course, is that none of Omar’s or her three colleagues’ ideas have anything to do with our traditions regarding the role of government. In fact, those who consistently propose ideas that are un-American, as they do, are rightly called un-American.

Every time Trump goads Democrats or the liberal media—but I repeat myself—they take the bait. Every. Single. Time. You would think at some point, after two-and-a-half years of this, Democrats would realize they’ve let Trump become their Pied Piper; he calls the tune and they dance to it.

But they don’t. What he has done this time is to put the four freshmen communists (let’s drop the “socialist” moniker and call them what they are) front and center. To “own Trump,” and because of intersectionality and the far left beliefs that have captured many of the Democratic activists and small-dollar donors, Democrats mindlessly have come to the defense of these women.

But to own Trump, Democrats also have to own everything these women stand for, including their refusal to disavow Antifa and al-Qaeda. What are the repercussions of this? Well, it allows Trump to do exactly what he’s wanted to: make 2020 a referendum on the competing worldviews of coercive socialism versus a free market, capitalistic approach, but also to show how un-American the Left truly is.

Most of the time, Ocasio-Cortez and Omar are walking in-kind contributions to the Trump re-election effort. Trump’s goal has been to make all of this the framework of the narrative, and then to harden the narrative. He threw out the hook and bait, the Democrats bit, and now he’s setting the hook.

He’s succeeding thanks to the mindlessness of Trump Derangement Syndrome but also because of the shallow, short term thinking and behavior of the Democrats. The Democrats have chosen or, perhaps one could argue, were actually compelled by the grassroots, to embrace the communist vipers. Problem is these movements, as history shows us with the Jacobins of the French Revolution, become all consuming fires, many times annihilating those who started the conflagration. Just ask Robspierre.

Nancy Pelosi and the establishment allowed, even embraced the toxic identity politics that Ocasio-Cortez now champions and uses as a flamethrower against all who oppose her. Combine the reality of that with the fact that Trump is succeeding in making Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, and Tlaib the face of the Democratic Party, and this is a win-win for Trump just over a year out from the 2020 elections.

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: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

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2016 Election • America • Donald Trump • Post • Progressivism • The Culture • The Left

It’s Guerrilla Warfare

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When my liberal friends and colleagues begin to explain to me why they imagine President Trump is appallingly vulgar and incompetent and venal, there is always a point in which their faces go blank. It happens when I say to them, “What about the Little Sisters of the Poor?” That stops them short. They don’t know the reference.

I could also mention Brendan Eich, Barronelle Stutzman, Amy Wax, or Bruce Gilley and get the same response. Liberals who are otherwise informed and well-educated are unfamiliar with those names. They followed the Robert Mueller investigation closely, they tally Trump’s misdeeds weekly, and they are anxious about 2020. But the episodes involving the individuals I cite don’t register with them.

They did with social and religious conservatives, though—deeply so. The Little Sisters of the Poor are a religious order that, among other things, runs facilities for the elderly. They objected to the contraception mandate in Obamacare—it’s contrary to Catholic doctrine—and ended up having to fight the Obama Administration all the way to the Supreme Court.

Brendan Eich was the renowned head of Mozilla who was hounded out of his post after it was discovered he donated $1,000 to Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The measure passed handily, putting Eich in the majority of California voters, and there was no evidence that Eich had ever discriminated against anyone in the workplace, but that didn’t save him.

Barronelle Stutzman is the florist who on religious grounds declined to do a same-sex wedding. That brought a complaint that led the State of Washington and the ACLU to file suit against her. The original complainant, it should be added, was a longtime client and acquaintance of Stutzman. She had sold him flowers for years, but she couldn’t agree to participate in the ceremony.

Amy Wax is a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who co-wrote an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer arguing that young people, especially the impoverished, would do well to follow old-fashioned bourgeois culture instead of the coarse, consumerist youth culture of today, including “rap culture.” Her dean proceeded to remove her from part of her teaching, while 33 colleagues signed a public letter denouncing her.

Bruce Gilley is the professor who drew the ire of thousands when he wrote an essay in a scholarly journal questioning “academic orthodoxy” that Western colonialism was a terrible thing. It was a provocative piece, but his aim of shaking the consensus backfired. More than 10,000 people signed a petition demanding the journal retract the article. The journal editor received “credible” threats of personal violence.

As these and many other incidents of anti-conservative targeting (Mark Regnerus, Jack Phillips . . .) were recounted on conservative radio and media, social and religious conservatives couldn’t help but see themselves as potential targets as well.

It’s been going on for years. The culture war waged against them starting in the mid-20th century has developed into a guerrilla war that uses lawsuits, Title IX complaints, boycotts, petitions, intimidation of companies that advertise on conservative shows, banning of conservatives from social media, and organized outrage at those who uphold American patriotism, Western Civilization, Catholic teaching, and any other belief that crosses progressive lines.

The impact has been heavy on the right, but these episodes haven’t reached the ears of white-collar liberals. Or, if they did, they didn’t stick. When I describe such cases to people on the Left, it’s as if I am talking about a scrap that took place in a bar across town. In their eyes, they amount, at most, to the occasional excess by a few zealots. Not a big deal.

Which leaves white-collar liberals exasperated and incredulous, helpless to understand why anyone with any intelligence and goodness could have voted for Donald Trump. The never-ending culture war has done exactly what it was supposed to do: discredit and demean social and religious conservative norms and beliefs. The new guerrilla war is doing exactly what it is supposed to do: expel a few conservatives from the workplace, the media, and the public square, and intimidate the rest—and to do it beneath the radar of white-collar liberals.

It is pointless for conservatives to try to explain to those across the aisle how dispirited and defeated they feel. Liberals aren’t interested. They don’t credit any notions of endangerment, either. They save those sympathies for historically-disadvantaged groups. Besides, liberals regard the sexual revolution and Roe v. Wade, same-sex marriage and open borders, intersectional awareness, and #MeToo as a triumph. If a few decent people lose their jobs or their business, if a hapless fellow becomes the object of a Twitter mob, if a baker has to hire lawyers to fend off a fanatical state civil rights commission, well, the omelet begins with a few cracked eggs. They don’t feel your pain!

Donald Trump did, and still does. In 2016, he promised he would make it stop. He brought the Little Sisters of the Poor up on stage and promised them that their “long ordeal will soon be over.” He pulled “gender identity” out of Title IX, which meant it could no longer be the basis of Title IX complaints. He threatened colleges with loss of federal funding if they violate First Amendment principles.

These actions were designed to halt leftist guerrilla warfare. This is a big reason why Donald Trump won. Would Jeb Bush have taken similar actions? Did John Kasich ever indicate in 2016 that he even recognized ongoing guerrilla tactics against individuals on the right?

Awhile ago, I spoke at a distinguished university in the northeast, where I aligned Donald Trump with an American tradition of Emersonian nonconformity, the solitary individual against a longstanding Establishment.

The audience didn’t buy it; questions were sharp-edged. But to one point there was no rejoinder: “Why did I support Mr. Trump?” I asked. “Because if Hillary had won, my church would have had to hire many, many lawyers, march into court every week, and close some institutions.” What followed was, precisely, that blank look.

“Huh?” the crowd seemed to say.

Yes, that’s exactly what would have happened. And if liberals don’t stop being so doggone obtuse about the experience of conservatives, it’s going to be four more years.

Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

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America • Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • Sports • The Culture • The Left

We All Wanted to Love the Women’s Soccer Team

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For the first time in my life, I did not root for an American team. Whatever the sport, I have always rooted American. But if those who called into my radio show were representative of my audience, many millions of Americans made the same sad choice.

It takes a lot for people like me not to root for an American team. But Megan Rapinoe, the foul-mouthed star of the team, and her fellow players made it possible.

The U.S. women’s soccer team disgraced itself. Either its members were cowed into submission by Rapinoe or they agreed (or, at least, never disagreed) with her attacks on the president, her reference to the White House as the “f—ing White House,” her refusal since 2016 to participate in the National Anthem, and her repeatedly shouting during the team’s parade in New York City, “New York, you’re the motherf—ing best!”

For example, Rapinoe said, “Every member of the team that I have talked to would not go” to the White House.

Rapinoe is a great soccer player. Other than that, she is unimpressive. She comes across as arrogant, a fool, and a lowlife.

Why a fool? Because she thinks she has something important to say to the American people and that we need to hear it because she is a great soccer player. She is not alone in this conceit. Tom Steyer and other billionaires think the same thing about themselves: that because they are better at making money than almost everybody, they must be wiser than almost everybody.

People who excel in one thing are tempted to think they are smart about everything, but that is almost never the case. There is no reason at all to assume that people who excel in anything (other than wisdom) are wiser than anybody else. And here’s the kicker (no pun intended): People who think they are wise because they excel at something unrelated to wisdom are fools.

And why is Rapinoe a lowlife? What would you label any adult who constantly used the F-word in public (especially during events when children are expected to be present or watching)? Or does being a star—like the foul-mouthed Robert De Niro—make you less of a lowlife?

The American women’s soccer team is unified in protesting on behalf of “equal pay for equal work.” They regard their team as a perfect example because its members receive less money than members of the U.S. men’s soccer team—despite the fact that the women have a much better record.

But there is a reason the male players earn more. Among other things—such as the women’s team’s vote for financial security in the form of guaranteed salaries rather than revenue share—men’s soccer generates far more money than women’s soccer.

According to the Los Angeles Times: FIFA’s “2018 financial report said it earned revenue of $5.357 billion from the men’s tournament in Russia. . . . Forbes estimated the Women’s World Cup will generate about $131 million for the four-year cycle ending in 2022.”

So, unless people should be paid according to gender (which they now are in Norway) rather than according to revenue and profits, male soccer players will earn more money than female soccer players.

There are only two ways to equitably ensure male and female players earn the same amount of money. One is to pool all the money earned by both teams and then distribute an equal amount to all the players, men and women. The other is to end sex-based teams: Men and women compete to play on one team (composed of both men and women), and any woman who makes the team is guaranteed the same income as any man on the team.

Until then, the women’s soccer team and the left want to have their cake and eat it, too. (Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, for example, tweeted this non sequitur: “Here’s an idea: If you win 13-0—the most goals for a single game in World Cup history—you should be paid at least equally to the men’s team.”) They want women to have their own soccer teams—because biology has made it impossible for almost any woman to successfully compete with men in sports—yet earn the same amount as men do.

But the reality is more people will watch men play soccer, just as more people watch major league baseball than minor league baseball—which is why major league baseball players earn more money than minor league players. But if we applied the equal-pay-for-equal-work principle to baseball, minor league and major league players would be paid the same amount.

With their politicization of their victory, their expletive-filled speech and their publicly expressed contempt for half their fellow citizens, the women of the U.S. women’s soccer team succeeded in endearing themselves to America’s Left. But they earned the rest of the country’s disdain, which is sad. We really wanted to love the team.

What we have here is yet another example of perhaps the most important fact in the contemporary world: Everything the Left touches it ruins.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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America • Americanism • Cultural Marxism • Defense of the West • Democrats • Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • The Left

A Transformation of the American Regime?

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Almost all observers agree that America is profoundly divided. This intense polarization has been described by the Claremont Institute’s Angelo Codevilla as a “cold civil war.”

What is it all about?

First and foremost, this conflict is between those who unhesitatingly love America, its history, culture, principles, and people and those who believe that “the United States of America,” its past and present, is seriously flawed and, thus, in need of “fundamental transformation” as Barack Obama famously put it.

The former emphasizes the positive aspects of what was once proudly called the “American way of life,” while noting past failings. For the latter, any affirmation of America as it actually has existed for the past two and a half centuries is heavily qualified and accompanied by endless carping about the nation’s sins. At the same time, they insist they support American “ideals,” which they view as synonymous with the goals of a new “social justice” regime that places ethnic, racial, and gender groups at the center of political, economic, and cultural life.

Put otherwise, the conflict is between those who want to transmit the American regime to future generations and those who want to transform it fundamentally. Therefore, the conflict is not simply about policy disagreements over how best to achieve the shared goals of liberty, equality, and justice, but grave disagreements over the meaning of those three principles.

The argument over “first principles” has been brewing for decades. While many were busy luxuriating in “end of history” triumphalism, during the 1990s historians and civic educators essentially uprooted and revised the traditional story of America. Textbooks and curricula now referred to the American “peoples,” plural. The concept of American “peoples” portrayed a multicultural society in which new immigrants were not “assimilated” into a shared mainstream American culture but, instead, retained their own (and sometimes adversarial) cultures as separate “peoples.” This new framework is captured by the metaphor of a “mosaic” or “salad bowl” replacing the traditional concept of the “melting pot.”

We were told America was not “discovered” by European explorers, but was the result of “three worlds meeting.” Leading state curricula declared that the United States was not the product of Western Civilization and British constitutional heritage, but the “convergence” of three civilizations, the Amerindian native culture, European culture, and the civilization of Islamic West Africa. In the same vein, the recently revised AP (Advanced Placement) curriculum refers to the “three worlds meet” narrative as the “Atlantic World.”

Whereas traditional American history began with English colonists landing in Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, multiculturalist educators (who now dominate the profession) place the foundations of the history of the United States with hunters crossing the Bering Strait from Asia to North America thousands of years ago. Of course, American civilization is not the product of nomadic hunters from Siberia, but of English colonists who were part of a broader Western Civilization, and whose single most important text, after all, was the King James Bible.

At the same time that the story of America became the “convergence” of three civilizations and its related “Atlantic World,” the promotion of “diversity” and the trinity of race, ethnicity, and gender came to dominate education from K-12 to graduate school. What mattered was not equality of American citizenship but the racial, ethnic, and gender group to which one belonged.

Meanwhile, “global education” was all the rage as Americans were admonished to “think globally and act locally” and that “global problems” require “global solutions.” The practitioners of global education deliberately obfuscated the rights and responsibilities of national citizenship in a constitutional democracy such as the United States.

This new narrative, although historically inaccurate and antithetical to responsible American citizenship, served the political purposes of its proponents—the delegitimization of the concept of Western civilization and the deconstruction of the American way of life (or the “regime” in the Aristotelian sense) as it had been traditionally understood, with the ultimate goal of “fundamental transformation.”

Since, as the truism puts it, “politics is downstream from culture” the transformationist concepts that were developed decades ago have slowly and steadily spread to the mainstream media, major corporations, and finally elected officials and politicians.

The conflict between the transmission and transformation of the American regime continues to heat up. Around Independence Day, we saw the city council of Charlottesville, Virginia vote to cancel Thomas Jefferson’s birthday holiday; Nike recall the Betsy Ross flag sneakers; the San Francisco School board vote to cover up a painting of the life of George Washington; and in St Louis Park, Minnesota, the city council vote to abandon the traditional “Pledge of Allegiance” before its meetings.

As a way of clarifying the current conflict in contemporary America over transmitting or transforming the American regime, I have developed a chart of 36 dueling concepts pitting one against the other. The chart, examining the “regime conflict,” the “cold civil war” or the “culture war” (whatever term one wants to use) compressed into the table you see on this page.

Americanist forces are striking back. St Louis Park’s mayor, for example, wants the city council to restore the pledge. The Claremont Institute has launched a major project explaining that the most important issue facing our nation is the regime struggle between Americanism and multiculturalism (understood as synonymous with identity politics, political correctness, woke-ism, social justice warrior-ism, etc.). More broadly still, people are beginning to recognize that the multicultural Left has a large megaphone but little popular support.

Americanism is not a dirty word; it’s a good thing. We should be proud to say so—and say no to the fundamental transformation of our country.

Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images

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Center for American Greatness • Economy • Environment • Post • Progressivism • The Left

The Left’s Industrial Counter-Revolutionaries

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George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” He should have added that the ahistorical are also immune to irony, as in the case of the Left calling itself “progressive.”

In the continuing quest to note that the Left is not progressive but, in fact, regressive, let us cast our gaze back to early 19th century Great Britain during the infancy of the Industrial Revolution, say, between 1811 and 1816. At the time, many of the crown’s subjects were adamantly opposed to the emergent technological wonders because of their concomitant and unpleasant ramifications. These original industrial counter-revolutionaries were known as “Luddites” and their rejectionist movement was termed “Luddism.”

While Luddism had many sympathetic adherents in the arts and in the press—those who were chiefly concerned about the loss of a wholly romanticized bucolic England—the ranks of the Luddites were composed of textile workers whose foremost concern was the economic harm to themselves caused by the increased use of machinery in the production of goods. Rightly worried they and their skills would be rendered obsolete, Luddites expressed their displeasure in protests and by sabotaging the offending machines, in a futile effort to spare their jobs from the flood of economic progress that ultimately improved the lot of humanity.

Fast forward to the early 21st-century Left, wherein reside the ideological progeny of the Luddites: namely, the industrial counter-revolutionaries of the climate change cult.

True, there are distinctions between the 19th-century Luddites and the Left’s 21st-century industrial counter-revolutionaries. Unlike the original Luddites who were concerned about saving their jobs, today’s industrial counter-revolutionaries aren’t particularly concerned about workers’ jobs, airily promising those at risk of losing their “blue collar jobs” that “green collar jobs” will replace them—someday.

So, too, though there is some overlap, today’s industrial counter-revolutionaries should not be confused with Neo-Luddites, which is a philosophy encompassing “one or more of the following practices: passively abandoning the use of technology, harming those who produce technology harmful to the environment, advocating simple living, or sabotaging technology.”

No, the industrial counter-revolutionaries do not condemn all past, present, and emerging technologies—only those they deem culpable in contributing to human-made climate change, such as those powered by fossil fuels. Theirs is a long list of offending technologies, nevermind that these once unimaginable innovations have enhanced people’s quality of life and, yes, have saved lives.

Thus, what their cumulative objections and demands constitute is a rejection of the Industrial Revolution in favor of a romanticized—indeed, delusional—future unsullied by any of what they arbitrarily deem “climate-destroying” technologies. But this is not really a vision of the future; it is an embrace of the past prior to the Industrial Revolution.

Consider the industrial counter-revolutionaries’ “cure” for my hometown of Detroit.

Founded by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac in 1701, Detroit began as a farming and Great Lakes port town. By the 20th century, the “Motor City” was renowned as the city whose workers “put the world on wheels”; and, during World War I and World War II, as the “Arsenal of Democracy” after it shifted domestic manufacturing production to help win those wars.

Sadly, since that time, Detroit has experienced many difficult moments, including race riots, a mass exodus of population, the loss of manufacturing jobs and facilities, and other ills that finally culminated in bankruptcies of two of its “Big Three” automakers and, later, the city, itself.

While many across the political spectrum supported the people of Detroit and worked to find solutions for returning manufacturing jobs to the city, in particular, and America, as a whole, the Left’s industrial counter-revolutionaries were less sanguine about the city’s quest to return to its former manufacturing greatness. Detroit was viewed as the epitome of America’s Industrial Revolution—and everything the industrial counter-revolutionaries hated about it, however real or imagined.

So what was the industrial counter-revolutionaries’ “solution” to Detroit’s economic situation?

To turn the Arsenal of Democracy into an urban farm.

Leftist pundits hailed this proposal as a visionary “reimaging” of the Motor City. It wasn’t. It was a return to 1701.

So why was such idiocy entertained, let alone hailed by the climate change cult? Because this unhelpful and illusory “solution” would advance the industrial counter-revolutionaries unhelpful and illusory goal of replacing capitalism with a return to socialism’s “hunter-gatherer” economy, where the government hunts and gathers your money in order to give it to its cronies.

On the plus side, the new socialist government will protect you from the scourge of air conditioning, if not from America’s enemies who are not so cavalier about the fates of their arsenals, which have nothing to do with democracy.

Speaking of air conditioning, this calls to mind another distinction between 18th-century Luddites and their 21st-century heirs: the original Luddites didn’t luxuriate in the benefits of the Industrial Revolution’s technological advances during their hardscrabble lives. Not so today’s wealthier industrial counter-revolutionaries, who can take to their laptops on a private jet or yacht to bitch about someone else’s carbon footprint and call for the repeal of the Industrial Revolution.

Which brings us to one more distinction between the original Luddites and today’s industrial counter-revolutionaries: hypocrisy, a vice rife throughout history.

Yet, despite such distinctions, what ideologically links an original Luddite and today’s “progressive” industrial counter-revolutionary and motivates their mutual regressive quest to return to a pre-industrial world is their fear of the future.

Nevertheless, perhaps I’m mistaken about the climate change cult’s industrial counter-revolutionaries. If so, after we don’t implement socialism in time and climate change kills us all in less than 12 years, then I’ll apologize.

But what I’ll never do is fear the future.

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: API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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Donald Trump • feminists • Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • Technology • The Left

Boycott Culture Is All the Left Has Left

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The boycott was once preserved for the most diabolical of political regimes. In decades of old, activists with an actual enemy to slay used the boycott to hasten the demise of the inhumane apartheid regime of South Africa.

Remarkably, those activists made history without Twitter or a single self-titillating hashtag.

This week, in clownish post-serious once-Great Britain, a family-owned sausage company flickered under the impotent flame of Twitter’s brightest sparks.

Boris Johnson’s folksy campaign visit to Heck Foods involved the likely next prime minister making and packing sausages. The point perhaps being to show that the man charged with finally dragging us from the European Union is listening to the people such a momentous decision most greatly would affect.

Of course, the sight of Boris performing probably the most innocuous of exercises shook the patrons of Twitter into a wholly predictable fit of fashionable rage.

One devotee of that digital asylum claimed they’d never eat Heck sausages again, and “hoped” (ever the emotion) that all “fair-minded” people would follow suit.

Radical conformists parroted the silly sentiment. All, unsurprisingly, having adorned their Twitter bios with demented and bunny-boiled declarations of love for the European Union that Boris is determined to leave.

To think that a cylinder of minced meat encased in a collagen skin so disturbs those convinced of their intellectual superiority, is more delicious a thought than the humble sausage itself. And from people who’ve probably never bought a Heck sausage.

For three years now, we who voted to leave the European Union have been branded with the “thick” stick. Our betters, you see, are still fighting the war of 2016. Like those Japanese soldiers, shambling around the jungle, decades after the war’s end.

They implore, with adolescent emotion, of a Britain only they recognize. And one they need to exist.

The Brexit vote, according to those on Twitter, unleashed the darkest forces, and mainstreamed fascism. White supremacy reigns. Or something.

Which is strange take. A report this week found that Chinese and Indian workers earn far more than native white Britons. A notion perhaps absurd in an apparently racist wonderland. Maybe, their famed industry, and ascetic commitment to education is the difference.

Couple that with the fact that white working-class British boys attain by some margin the lowest education of all groups. Or, in America, that Nigerian-Americans are quietly becoming the most successful ethnic group.

But facts matter little to the modern progressive. Another who prefers a terrorized reality is Megan Rapinoe. The women’s soccer world cup winner this week repeated her refusal to visit the White House. That was despite no invite being on the table.

Rapinoe sounded like the jilted lover propping up the end of the bar. In his poisoned state, he talks of nothing but his former love, capping that drowsy lament with: but, I don’t care about her, anyway.

Winning the highest prize in her sport was not sufficient for Rapinoe.

In a statement striking only for its dull suffocation of original thought, Rapinoe, herself involved in a same-sex relationship, seared the first president openly to be accepting of same-sex marriage.

“Your message is excluding people,” Rapinoe said. “You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of color, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.”

The monologue is typical of the attention-saturated progressive. Doubtless, its author is unduly convinced of its copy-and-paste profundity—a sad phenomenon latent in those “educated” with fifth-place medals for their unbending brilliance.

That brilliance convinced both Remainers and the anti-Trump “Resistance” of the coming post-democratic hellscapes that will abound if the oiks voted against their interests.

Inconveniently, Britain lacks the plagues of locusts. And President Trump seems content with putting Americans to work, and smoothing the excesses of the GOP’s Gordon Gekko wing.

Perhaps, this pathological adolescence serves a purpose. Progressives, after all, cannot afford progress. They love Trump’s “hate.” Oppression is a luxury item among history’s most privileged.

It’s just like The Handmaid’s Tale . . . or something. When, in reality, Trump’s America is as tolerant and open as the America before it.

And that is a notion which progressives cannot abide. Without confected enemies, their schtick renders itself meaningless. Both race and gender relations have irreversibly advanced since the 1960s. The only people who don’t want us to know that tend to call themselves progressive.

Boycott culture and grievance-farming is all they have left. A means to enforce the authoritarian whims of the Woke upon those peccable souls who refuse its election.

Indeed, there is one boycott worthy of a mention and, if adhered to would permanently enrich the human condition—the boycott of Twitter.

Imagine, if you will, a world in which sausages are free to adorn the necks of whomever they choose, regardless of that person’s political views. A world in which all sausages could freely associate with whomever they liked. And be eaten by whomever they liked. Without the threat of boycott by the spoilers of all that is meaty and pure—those “progressives” on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Darren Staples/AFP/Getty Images

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Center for American Greatness • feminists • Post • Progressivism • The Culture • The Left

Stop Putting Your Daughters on Birth Control

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Earlier in the summer, I was vacationing at the beach with a dear family friend. As we lounged in the sunroom listening to waves break in the distance one early afternoon, she brought up her 16-year-old daughter, Sally. A few weeks’ prior, Sally and her boyfriend of three years (we’ll call him Mike) had broken up. Mike had just spent his first year away at college. Sally generally tells her mother (who is a bit of a gossip) very little, but her mother had gathered through Sally’s sisters that Mike had been unfaithful.

Sally’s mom expressed the situation to me as a “shame,” because a few weeks before the breakup, Sally had requested the birth-control pills that her mother had long touted as a possibility for each of her daughters. Now, between sips of pinot grigio, she hoped aloud that her daughter wouldn’t “go crazy” and sleep with too many people to make Mike jealous.

Since the breakup, Sally has begun making darker and more suggestive choices in fashion, makeup, and social media posting. She’s always been sassy, but her attitude has become detached and bitter with an air of rebellion. Even a casual observer would be able to detect a thinly veiled resentment toward her parents.

“It’ll probably just pass,” her mother says. “Same thing happened to me in high school.”

Growing up in the Deep South, most of my good friends (whose parents were Christians, Republicans, and leaders in the community) began taking “the pill” at 14 years old, no questions asked. Chelsea got a pimple? The pill will fix it. Tori has bad cramps? Take the pill. Julia can’t regulate her mood or appetite? Sounds like a job for the pill. Never mind that the pill can make you break out, worsen bodily pain and mood swings, and make you gain weight—and often did all of those things at once.

At some point, the pill became a rite of passage, an irrational tradition to which all upstanding WASPs adhered and one they perpetuated whether because of inertia or fear. The explanation was rarely that the pubescent girl was actually having sex—in fact, most didn’t start with that until years after beginning the pill. But the understanding was that eventually she would. And this little magic trick not only would insulate her from the adult consequences of her adult decisions, but, perhaps primarily, insulate her Baby Boomer parents from the social shaming a teen pregnancy would generate in their circles.

You know you’re a woman in American society when you are handed a tastefully designed compact dispenser of little white and blue pills that, as a panacea for all of your ailments, nullifies your natural function as a woman. You know you’re a woman in American society when people stop treating you like a girl and start treating you like a man. I don’t recall any such rite of passage for the boys in my life.

The issue of birth control cuts to the core of the diabolical disorientation of the family in the Western world. When your daughter, sister, wife, or girlfriend swallows that pill, not only does she ingest all the artificial hormones that increasingly are linked to breast cancer and strokes later in life, she ingests our society’s judgment of her worth. Whether she takes it with explicitly naughty plans like those of Sally, or for the diversionary purposes of my teenage peers a decade ago, she always absorbs all of the presuppositions that the pill represents. As the soul is more sensitive than the body, these presuppositions are what cause the most damage.

They deserve a good dismantling.

That Fertility Is an Illness
With the exception of the new transsexual mutilation procedures, fertility and pregnancy might be the only natural, healthy functions of the human body that are treated as illnesses by the medical community at large. If we were to compare the state of fertility to any other healthy capacity of the human body, and then consider how a doctor might cancel that healthy capacity according to patient preference, we begin to see what is certainly a violation of the Hippocratic Oath.

Imagine treating someone’s ability to run by cutting off their legs or giving them an immobility pill for the years during which they are at their physical peak. Imagine then still calling oneself a “healer” in light of this.

The original Hippocratic Oath reads:

. . . I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein . . .

Even if we, like the American Medical Association, dispense with the crystal clear pro-life promise at its core, the Hippocratic Oath’s primary “do no harm” principle stands firmly in opposition to the mass dispensation of birth control to women and girls.

Birth control is inherently harmful in that it disrupts something that is good and performing according to its nature: fertility in women. There are, of course, the long-term harmful and well-documented secondary health effects that come after years of taking the pill. But fundamentally, the pill cancels the primary, unique, and healthy function of the female body. By taking what is objectively good and terminating it, even temporarily, the pill is injurious and ultimately unjust by its very nature. For women, for whom fertility is the harbinger of their greatest power (child formation), a cancellation of fertility attacks their very essence and being. In essence, it changes a woman.

The pill is an affront to creation and an attack on the divine feminine. The materialists among us, having a retarded, antispiritual view of the human person, might accept that without any qualms. But the rest of us must not abide.

That Sex Is Merely a Matter of Science (and Science Rules)
The idea that fertility should be medicated comes from a more fundamental assumption that sex itself is a matter exclusively of science, and that a scientific view of the world, demystified of any objective, transcendent meaning, is the only valid worldview. By this way of thinking, the meaningful consequences of sex are limited to that which is measurable: the reproductive result.

When we regard it merely as a scientific matter, we anesthetize sex, scraping it clean of any emotional or spiritual bearing. The meaningful contributions of each participant in the act are limited to their sperm and egg cells. It becomes no different from any other animal act.

Science by its nature and by the scientific method atomizes the focus of its study. In order to understand things through science, we must break them apart and see them as sums of their parts—no more, no less. But when we start to view human beings this way, we lose sight of their essence. We lose sight of the whole,which is greater than the sum of its parts.

As such, a human being becomes as infinitely atomizable, malleable, and fungible as any one of his components. Of course, this is also the stance that the surgeons mutilating the genitals of people with gender dysphoria assume. A medical practice which views the human being as a whole person, one which would take the Hippocratic oath seriously, would not engage in such exploitation.

But this scientific worldview is mostly just a political cudgel—the same variety that the environmentalists take up for the sake of their cause. People do not actually live according to this trope that they spout. Most people act as if they believe that the human being is more than random bits and pieces thrown together. Most implicitly reject the scientific materialist worldview in their personal lives and would not deny that sexual contact is meaningful in a metaphysical way. But because we prefer to be free from judgment about that meaning, we prefer to pretend that there really is none. So at the regime level, this assumption becomes an organizing principle, and then it doesn’t matter how people approach the act individually. The new nihilism asserts itself and moves to infect who and whatever it can.

That Young People Are Incapable of Virtue
Boomers assume that because they were unable or unwilling to control their own urges and achieve for the sake of virtue, it is therefore beyond their children and grandchildren. This is projection from the generation that, in their teens, squandered the stable social systems into which they were born. These greedy self-adulators who robbed future generations of social capital and real capital by their risky behaviors and insatiable desire to be cool, cannot conceptualize that young people could be anything greater than the degenerate pleasure-seekers they once were and still aspire to be.

So rather than instructing Sally that her virginity was something to be cherished and reserved for the bonds of marriage, my friend, whom I love, operated on the assumption that virginity was something to be lost, helplessly, like a feather in the wind. When she handed her daughter the little brown bag of Lo Loestrin Fe, she handed her the keys to a door she never should have opened. But the priority for Sally’s mom wasn’t that Sally not go through that door; it was that Sally avoid the potentially embarrassing consequences of going through that door.

Ultimately, Sally can’t avoid the fact that she lost something important to her. But because her parents passively avoided a deep and difficult conversation about chastity, instead opting for a shallow and dishonest conversation about how to cheat fate, she does not have the language to understand where she went wrong. She lacks the wisdom to understand her pain. And this kind of pain, the pain of loss, makes women act out in ways that suggest they are searching for something to fill a void. Temporary comforts. Sally’s mother is right to worry.

The reason kids aren’t virtuous isn’t because they aren’t capable of virtue. It’s because they aren’t taught to be virtuous and aren’t expected to be—because the boomers assume they aren’t capable and resent it when they are.

Giving your daughter birth control because you believe she has no command over her behavior robs her of the opportunity to be strong. To annihilate the visible consequences of vice is to excuse vice, which is to arrest the spiritual development of young people. To arrest their development is to prevent them from knowing themselves, and to spark a vicious cycle of decadence and ignorance that may damage them for life.

That Babies, If Unwanted, Can and Should Be Avoided
This final presupposition, that unwanted babies should be avoided, is the most obvious conduit to abortion of them all. This belief system is encapsulated well by Abby Johnson’s term: “contraceptive mindset,” the precursor and a necessary companion to an infanticidal regime.

If one’s operating principle is that babies should be avoided when they are unwanted, then it’s not a far leap between preventing pregnancy and terminating pregnancy. The pill annihilates potential life. Abortion annihilates manifest life. So long as life is regarded as fundamentally optional in this way, abortion is never a bridge too far. There are no brakes.

And you’ll notice, abortion advocates talk about fetuses as if they were potential lives, not existing ones. They cover themselves with the language of contraception because it appeals to more people. It is a slippery slope. Deviants love to keep that slope lubricated.

“As long as you’re not killing anyone, be as sterile as you desire,” is not a sufficient political comeback to the abortion proposition. Abortion activists know this; they rely on the otherwise anti-abortion majority to remain bogged down by this contraceptive mentality, because that mentality forces them to compromise.

But this issue is one in which compromise is neither desirable nor possible. Moreover, to accept the terms of the contraceptive mentality is to concede that children are a net negative commodity. Birth control is an implicit attack on the beauty of life itself. By accepting the contraceptive mindset, one accepts the notion that reproduction is something less than a gift and a blessing. The acceptance of abortion logically follows.

Just Stop
Beyond the pill’s health effects (which are numerous) and its demographic results (which doom us), parents must begin to consider the demoralizing effects of internalizing the rejection of natural law. For many women, the pill is the gateway drug to Prozac. Many will cite a chemical imbalance as the sole reason for any mental health issue, but I suspect that the behaviors borne of trying to function in a consequence-free world have more to do with it.

Moms and Dads: You may avoid the economic and social inconvenience of an unexpected grandchild for those four short years of high school by succumbing to the siren song of the pill, but the doors you open for your daughter by doing so are far from morally neutral. They lead to paths well worn by the damned. Someone always pays the piper in the end.

The best you’ll get for your complacency is spiritual malaise. The worst you’ll get is a dead kid. If you love your daughter, stop giving her birth control.

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.

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America • Education • History • Post • Progressivism • The Left

Up Against the Wall with Washington

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Why didn’t Sir Isaac Newton, the famed English mathematician, physicist, and astronomer, invent the automobile? 

Newton was a clever guy. He came up with calculus, and all it took was an apple dropping onto his noggin to give him his epiphany about gravity. He plotted the movement of planets and comets on paper using a quill pen, not even a ballpoint. Why couldn’t he think up an internal combustion engine and have mankind tooling around in snazzy convertibles by, say, 1673? He lived until 1727, so he would have had time to invent seat belts, air bags and, just for fun, tail fins. 

But, he didn’t. He was absolutely ignorant about automotives. There are guys who flunked high school auto shop who know more about cars than he ever did. So, should we expunge all mention of his genius from our history books? 

No. Newton was doing the best he could with what he had. And we accept that. A lot of other stuff had to be invented before anyone could go cruising Main Street on a Saturday night.

Everyone seems fine with scientific progress taking incremental steps over time. We may be amused by the brick-like cell phones that the early adopters hauled out with a flourish to envious eyes just a few decades ago, but we aren’t angry with their creators. Not even a Betamax or an Edsel offends our sensibilities. We are aware that technology can take wrong turns. 

We also accept that technical progress can be slow. In the early 20th century, Buck Rogers-type science fiction suggested that we’d soon have robots to walk Fido and atomic rockets would zip us to Mars for family holidays, but Fido still needs a human to go walkies on frosty December mornings and there aren’t any Martian hotels boasting rooms with scenic views of that planet’s ruddy mountains. 

We may be disappointed, but we don’t get mad. We understand that improving the world can be difficult and slow. 

Unfortunately, some don’t extend this understanding to more human forms of progress. They expect the world instantly to transform into the utopia of their desires and declare anyone who isn’t up to date on the latest iteration of the scheme an evil monster. This attitude is a particular characteristic of today’s progressives, who wield political correctness like a flaming sword. Not satisfied with hacking away at living opponents, they seek to destroy enemies they find in history who failed to change the world centuries ago in a way that meets their approval today. 

That’s what is happening at San Francisco’s George Washington High School. Recently, the San Francisco Board of Education voted unanimously to spend an estimated $600,000 not on books or classroom improvements, but instead to destroy murals painted in the 1930s on the walls of that high school.

Titled “The Life of George Washington,” the murals were painted by Victor Arnautoff, a Russian-born artist and Communist who, though no fan of Washington or of America in general (he would spend the last years of his life in the USSR, in fact) was willing to take a check to the work. Indeed, Uncle Sam’s Works Progress Administration, an effort by the Roosevelt Administration to employ artists during the Great Depression, paid artists like Arnautoff to decorate public buildings, which they did more or less according to their own ideas. 

Arnautoff’s mural shows scenes from Washington’s life. The school board claims they are racist because a dead Native American is shown in one part and slaves are depicted doing menial work in other parts. The images are mild. The corpse shows no wounds, and the slaves aren’t being abused as they too often were in reality. 

Arnautoff was illustrating the negative side of our first president’s life while also showing his accomplishments. Washington had waged war on Native Americans and was a plantation owner who used slave labor. Ironically, rather than accepting this nuanced depiction (offered by a Communist, no less!), the woke board decided that the images were too traumatic for the school’s students to see. That students had seen them for about eight decades without much complaint had no effect on the board’s decision.

While American high school students are more and more ill-educated, it is unlikely that any are unaware that Native Americans were harshly displaced when Europeans arrived in the New World or that Africans were enslaved here. Indeed, in the classrooms of George Washington High School you can be certain that lectures have been delivered upon these topics, homework assigned from textbooks containing this information, probably illustrated with images similar or more lurid than the murals, and tests administered with poor grades dispensed to those who didn’t absorb what they had been taught. 

Will these teaching materials be similarly censored or the lessons abandoned as racist and traumatic? Of course not. It’s obvious that the intent of the destruction isn’t to shield students from harm. It is to reduce the status of Washington by further associating him with the racism their lesson plans surely already lay at his feet. The San Francisco School Board is very progressive and an important part of the progressive effort to transform America is branding Old America as requiring transformation. To that purpose, heroes like Washington must be shown to be defective, which renders anything they created or honoring of them also defective.

Washington is considered very flawed by progressive standards. During the Revolution, he fought Native Americans. That Native Americans had, however, sided with the British and were therefore fair game like any red coat escapes scrutiny. 

Also escaping mention is that Washington did make war on Native Americans as president; he far preferred to make peace. He entertained multiple Native American delegations and forged treaties that were beneficial to both sides. The Creek, in particular, did well from his efforts. Unfortunately, Washington’s approach—avoiding war, purchasing lands, negotiating treaties, and making efforts to assimilate Native Americans into America’s growing nation—didn’t continue after he left office.

Washington’s relationship with slavery was less advanced. His slaves were freed upon his death, but that was less of a sacrifice than freeing them when he was alive would have been. Still, it is likely they appreciated the gesture and we should remember that slavery was considered an inevitable if unfortunate part of the world in which Washington lived. Indeed, it was common around the world and had been throughout history. It would take a horrific civil war to end it in the United States. 

To suggest that Washington, or anyone else, could have ended slavery earlier without tearing apart the infant country is foolish. Lincoln and a massive Union army barely managed to free the slaves and hold the Union together in the 1860s.

This brings us back to Newton and the incremental nature of progress. He once said of his accomplishments, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Newton used mathematics that can be traced back to clay tablets in ancient Mesopotamia. Newton added his own great advancements, and others have followed. 

The same is true of progress in freedom. America’s Founders built our nation upon work that can be traced to Roman law and England’s Magna Carta. Washington, like Newton in science, made great contributions that built on earlier efforts to increase recognition of human dignity and freedom. First, he won the nearly impossible fight against Britain that allowed America to form the first modern republic. Then, he refused to be made a king. He became a wise president and left office after two terms in a peaceful transfer of power that many nations would come to envy. 

With respect to racial relations, Washington did not take America all the way to where it is today or to where some might wish it to be, but any honest thinker must admit that his were heroic accomplishments that were fundamental to building a country that could arrive there. Without them America and all the good its ideals and actions have accomplished would not have happened. Like Newton, we should be grateful that we have had the shoulders of giants such as Washington to stand upon.

Right now, new forms of tyranny that would astound George Orwell are clamping down on great masses of humanity and freedom is in jeopardy as never before. We are witnessing the creation of computerized totalitarian states where Big Brother augmented by artificial intelligence seeks to monitor every moment of their drone citizens’ lives. 

Even in nations that have long enjoyed freedom, forces are at work seeking to curtail rights that were once thought fundamental and secure. If the San Francisco School Board is truly interested in creating a better world, they should be defending what Washington and our other national heroes helped incrementally to build and asking how those advancements might protect against this burgeoning turn toward tyranny, instead of obsessively picking at past failings.

People are imperfect and nations are imperfect, but virtue should be respected and not scorned as inadequate to the smug prejudices of those who sit in freedom and safety on a school board two and a half centuries away from any danger of being hanged by George III.

Photo Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

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America • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Donald Trump • Featured Article • Progressivism • The Left

Tired, Irrelevant Democratic Candidates Point To Trump Reelection

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It is easier to notice the drift of American political public opinion after being away from it in England for six weeks. It is obvious that President Trump is steadily gaining ground. The human wave of kooks and retreads seeking the Democratic nomination have been shooting furiously inside their 360-degree firing squad and some of the 1 percent group will have to be carried out soon to make it a tighter circle. (The most irritating loudmouth of all of them, Representative Eric Swallwell of California, had the honor of being the first to fold on Monday.)

The Democrats’ major problems are that almost all the president’s policies are working. The collapse of the Russian collusion fraud has created an eerie silence as the country awaits possible indictments of the Democrats responsible for that outrage; and the Democrats themselves are completely unfeasible.

All the economic news is positive: 83 percent of taxpayers have had their taxes reduced and those who have not are the citizens of chronic Democratic states where the state governments have been so incompetent they have laid on higher state income taxes that the administration no longer will deduct from federal taxes. Why should the residents of other states pay for the profligacy and incompetence of the Andrew Cuomos and Jerry Browns of the big blue states? One hundred percent of taxpayers in states where Trump has a reasonable chance to win have lower taxes. There are now more than 1.5 million additional Americans jobs to be filled than there are unemployed people.

Just six weeks ago, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) was promising a blizzard of subpoenas to “get to the bottom of” what Special Counsel Robert Mueller and others had spent years investigating. (If Mueller testifies before Nadler’s committee, it will be the greatest administration self-inflicted wound since the Nixon tapes.) Six weeks ago, there were still echoes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the crisis at the border was phony and manufactured as well as war-cries demanding the courts stop Trump’s construction of his southern border wall. While I was overseas, the House “reluctantly” approved the spending on the wall.

The frenzied attack on this presidency replaced the customary honeymoon, and the Republicans in Congress, almost as shell-shocked as the Democrats at the Trump victory, initially did nothing to assist the administration. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), 2008 presidential nominee John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) all once abetted the Democrats, but the assault has now diminished to a pathetic little squeak about Trump’s suitability as president.

His opponents are now reduced to fluttering like ancient dowagers and complaining that he is too ungentlemanly and uncouth to be president. What might they have thought of Jackson, William H. Harrison, Franklin Pierce, Ulysses S. Grant, Warren Harding, or Lyndon Johnson?

This is all the Democrats have left: snobbery, the moronic pretensions of a party whose leaders politicized the intelligence and national police agencies to try to undo an election, and many of whose contenders abuse public credulity by comparing resisting the will-o’-the-wisp of climate change with the invasion of Normandy (Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey), and announcing the scientific unanimity of certainty about imminent planet-threatening global warming (Beto O’Rourke or Texas).

The Democratic field is a teeming, heaving mass of back-biting mountebanks. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is not an American Indian, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has worn out his schtick, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a facile novelty, unqualified by any traditional criterion to be president. (I do not for these purposes consider his sexual orientation to be relevant.)

Most of the Democratic candidates are self-burdened with championship of open borders with the right to free health care for people illegally in the country, as well as their right to vote regardless of citizenship; entirely socialized medicine; more than a doubling of the maximum personal income tax rates; vast reparations to African-Americans and native people; a terroristic green policy; forgiveness of $1 trillion of student loans; and legalized infanticide—the post-birth extinction of the lives of fully born and separated children under unspecified conditions.

The Democrats have departed this planet as we know it; the forces of sanity and respect for that party’s history are clinging desperately to the water-logged raft of Joe Biden as he tacks to the left, scattering malapropisms like Casey Stengel on steroids. The former vice president looks like a refuge for the truly desperate. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has the greatest presence, physically and as a speaker, but she is the helpless carrier and spout of Californian faddish inanities. (She asked General James Mattis at his confirmation hearings as defense secretary what the Pentagon would do about climate change.)

This is all the Democrats are left with: a group of radical nonentities that constitute a monotone Götterdämmerung: the self-immolation not only of the America of Norman Rockwell and Walt Disney, but also of Bill Clinton and even of candidate Barack Obama.

Donald Trump’s systematic assault on post-Reagan bipartisan Washington has divided the country fairly closely between early subscribers and converts, and horrified resisters. But the correlation of political forces has shifted steadily toward the president from his much mocked campaign launch four years ago to the present, and is now a well-established trajectory. The president has already announced that the federal government would withhold grants from universities that do not uphold freedom of speech on the campuses. The sanctuary cities will be next; the mayors of the nation’s largest cities ordering the police not to cooperate with national immigration laws. The decrepit bipartisan Washington that Trump attacked could only be purified and resurrected in stages. The Democrats are now almost irrelevant to this process.

The erosion of per capita GDP growth and of economic growth generally have been reversed, and for the first time in this century the purchasing power of  working and middle-class families is growing. The flatlined new normal of yesteryear will be hung around the necks of the Democrats like a toilet seat. The U.S. economy continues to grow at a little over 3 percent, and all the basic ingredients are in place for a continuation through the election. The stock market value increases, repatriation of large amounts of overseas corporate profit, and the replacement of foreign by local energy sources have all added an immense amount of demand for production and investment within the economy. The attempt to maintain an illicit flow of unskilled Democratic worker-voters and exploitees of avaricious Republican businessmen is failing almost as spectacularly as the largely illegal quest to find an impeachable offense. Trump’s approval rating has risen almost three points in the time of my absence, and even now, making no allowance for the anti-Trump biases of most polls, is sufficient to reelect him.

Trump now commits few serious gaffes, providing lean times to the armies of media complainants about his verbal infelicities. He is a more fluent speaker and has more gravitas at the podium than many of his predecessors, including Presidents Ford, Carter, and both Bushes. His personal conduct has become very presentable without losing his talents as an entertaining and effective campaigner.

In the world, China, Iran, and North Korea will all have to give way under American economic pressure, and Trump will facilitate the revival of fair trade and nuclear nonproliferation by not trying to humiliate his interlocutors. He is not seeking regime change and is offering economic advantages and in the case of Korea, denuclearization of the whole peninsula. Patient and steady pressure, precisely what his opponents professed to believe him incapable of applying, will succeed where his post-Reagan predecessors were swindled and outmaneuvered by all three of these powers. The country supports every major point of his program. This is not clear in the polls because he is following Napoleon’s advice not to interrupt your enemy while he is in the act of making a mistake.

By Election Day 2020, the country will notice. Of course, the Democrats will nominate someone, but barring a disaster of Old Testament proportions, their nominee will not win.

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Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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