Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Like last year’s Congress, the new 116th failed ignominiously to get Donald Trump convicted of their impeachment charge. Some federal court investigations into Trump’s businesses are still ongoing, but it’s likely, though not certain, that Trump will become less and less useful for distracting voters from the Democrats’ sharp turn to the left both on domestic and foreign policy.
If the Dems fail to hold on to power as they did in 2016, history will have a lot of suspects to investigate in order to explain their inability to attract voters without the bogey of Donald Trump and a fortuitous pandemic. But if they succeed, then we will have turned a dangerous corner on the road to dismantling the Constitution’s structure of ordered liberty and unalienable rights.
Start with Biden himself. We can pass over his obvious cognitive impairments and endless gaffes. He overcame those campaign-ending deficits because the party, with a compliant media, marketed him as an old-school centrist who could neutralize the toxic socialist Bernie Sanders. Upon election he indulged the dull clichés “working together,” “healing the wounds,” and “no blue America, no red America.” But the House negated that rhetoric with an even more preposterous article of impeachment that charged the president with “insurrection,” based mainly on creatively editing the footage of his speech at the Ellipse, and taking literally a “fight” metaphor that Trump’s lawyers used video clips to show numerous Democrats repeatedly using over the past four years.
So much for “healing.” But worse has been Biden’s flurry of executive orders that make down- payments on the Green New Deal disaster dear to the party’s socialist wing. On foreign policy, he has stacked his administration with old retreads from the “rules-based” global order that has failed serially since World War II, and which blew the opportunity presented when the Soviet Union imploded in 1991. This means returning to the creaking global diplomacy institutions that favor summits, conferences, photo-ops and empty threats. Hence Biden is undoing the necessary corrections made by Trump in order to make it clear to our rivals and allies alike that the U.S. is putting our own national security and interest ahead of the mythic “new world order.”
The UN’s Human Rights Council, for example, from which Trump pulled the U.S. in 2018, is the epitome of this failure. Its corruption and anti-Semitism are notorious, as is its habit of seating the worst offenders like current members China, Russia, Venezuela, and Cuba. Biden’s Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, on announcing our return, gave a great example of the fossilized, feckless idealism of the old “new world order”: “To address the council’s deficiencies and ensure it lives up to its mandate, the United States must be at the table using the full weight of our diplomatic leadership.”
But the current Council was created in 2006 to replace and correct the “deficiencies” of the old Human Rights Commission, including its corruption and anti-Semitism. But numerous attempts to correct the “deficiencies” of the Commission by creating the Human Rights Council failed miserably, which is why Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out. And now, 15 years later, Biden is going back to the old “new world order” playbook based on endless diplomatic babble substituting for meaningful action, and on the magical powers of the U.S.’s mere presence.
More dangerous is Biden letting Iran know that he’s ready to restore the disastrous nuclear deal Trump walked away from. Biden has sent propitiatory signals by taking Iran client Yemen off the state terrorist list, and restoring payments to the uber-corrupt Palestinian Authority, which for years has abused U.S. and UN money to fund terrorist groups and pay blood-money to jihadis who murder Israeli citizens. Biden has also cut off arms sales to Saudi Arabia, a long-time ally of the U.S. that has been moving closer to Israel in order to thwart Iran’s aggression. With Biden undercutting Trump’s achievements like the Abraham Accords, the opportunity for a multination alliance in the Middle East has been lost.
And of course, like all Democrats Biden has pledged to “strengthen” our alliances, by which the New World Order clerks mean the EU. No matter that the Eurocrats are cozying up to China by negotiating a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. Such an agreement, of course, will end up a tool for leveraging concessions from European corporations, undercutting this country’s efforts under Trump to hold China accountable for its long history of gaming every agreement it’s signed, and for its murderous secrecy over the coronavirus. Likewise with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Europe, which will make European countries dependent on a regime that has made clear its intent to weaken NATO and American influence, and that serially ignores EU verbal dudgeon over human rights abuses like China’s ongoing genocide of the Uighur minority,..
No wonder Xi, Khamenei, and Vlad danced a jig when Biden’s tainted victory was announced.
Here at home, Biden has taken the first steps in restoring the regulatory and tax disincentives, that kept the economy in the doldrums during his tenure on Barack Obama’s team. Biden’s proposed “Modernizing Regulatory Review Plan” will reform nothing, but just create what Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute calls a “a new architecture for never-ending regulations.” Higher corporate and personal taxes are being proposed, another disincentive to investment and growth. The $1.9 trillion coronavirus “relief” includes a farrago of pork for pet causes, and $350 billion in unrestricted money for blue states that have run their economies into near bankruptcy by catering to the demands of their public employee unions. Marketed as a “stimulus,” this bill includes progressive “woke” causes like promoting Advancing Racial Equities against “entrenched disparities,” which Hoover Fellow Shelby Steele calls “a term that has no meaning but it gives . . . blacks power and prestige.”
In reality this budget-busting “stimulus” and “relief” bill is more likely to reprise the failure of Obama’s near-trillion dollar “stimulus” in 2009.
And don’t forget other bad economic ideas, like the $15 federal minimum wage, which will kill entry-level, low-skill jobs; and the plan to forgive much of the $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, a proposal that will favor doctors and lawyers who can easily afford to pay off their debt. All these proposals point to an economy much like Barack Obama’s––sluggish and slow-growing, just at a time when businesses are opening, people are starting to go back to work, and the economy, despite the lingering lock-downs, is showing signs of renewal. Throw in a spending binge on “renewal energy” and other Green New Deal lunacy, and you can expect energy prices to climb to California levels, creating another drag on an economy ready to expand if the government just gets out of the way, as it did during the Trump administration.
Finally, Biden in just a month has unleashed the politically correct “woke” legions to impose their unscientific, preposterous, and illiberal policies. He has opened up girls’ sports and locker-rooms to “trans-girls,” biological males with numerous physical advantages over biological girls. He has restored training in “critical race theory” for government workers, making sure this racialist propaganda becomes increasingly normalized. He’s also removed some of Trump’s policies for keeping our border safe. He’s stopped construction of the wall, and halted deportations. So of course, mobs of Latin American migrants are gathering for an invasion of el Norte.
If Biden sticks to this early left-leaning program, most Americans are not going to be happy come November 2022. We could see the same dynamic at work that helped the Republicans flip the house in 2010. Moreover, despite the media’s pronouncement of Republican doom, there are numerous factors in the Republicans’ favor. Trump may be diminished for now, but Trumpism, the populist concern for working class interests and its neglect at the hands of progressive globalist elites, brought Trump 74 million votes. Moreover, Trump made gains among blacks and Latinos, many of whom don’t care for the politically correct identity politics group-think that scorns their faiths and traditional mores.
Nor are the Trump constituency and others happy about the hypocritical “cancel culture” that increasingly looks and sounds like a high-tech version of the Committee of Public Safety during the French Revolution, or the show-trials of Lenin and Stalin. Most Americans like their First Amendment freedoms of worship and speech, and resent the “woke” thugs wantonly trashing people’s reputations and careers. They bristle at talk of “deprogramming” American just for holding beliefs contrary to the “woke” commissars’. This tyranny has worsened over the last four years, and shows no sign of abating. A couple more years, and it might ignite a backlash expressed at the polls.
The last election showed some promising signs. In the House, Republicans flipped a net of twelve seats, leaving the Dems with a nine-seat margin. Republicans lost control of the Senate, but that chamber is evenly split. This means winning one or both houses in 2022 is very possible. Particularly given the charisma-gap of Joe Biden. He is a factotum, not a leader. He doesn’t inspire or galvanize people, even his own voters, for whom his only appeal is that he is not Donald Trump. That’s not a viable foundation for the continuing loyalty enjoyed by Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton.
Finally, the arrogance of the “woke” cadres and Democrat pols will likely cause them to overreach, as happened with Obama in 2008 when he muscled the Rube-Goldberg Obamacare legislation into law, and went on a “stimulus” spending, tax, and regulatory binge when the economy was just emerging from a recession. All he achieved was the birth of the Tea Party movement, which was instrumental in winning the House for Republicans in 2010.
If the Republicans can show some steel, stop their whining about Donald Trump, and fight like hell against the progressive attack on our Constitutional order, they can reprise the neutering of Obama for the last six years of his administration.
If they can’t, then the Dems’ overreach will relentlessly move closer to the purpose of all hubris––tyranny.