Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Who Can Save Us Now?

Sebastian Gorka

Long before the rampant violence of the past few weeks, wherever I traveled the country to speak publicly, I unfailingly would be asked the same question: “How did we get here?”

How has the freest nation in human history—the only one founded on the principle that all men are created equal because they are made in God’s image—arrive at the point where more than two-thirds of the millennial generation would prefer to live in a socialist or communist America?

Before the looting and the riots of recent days, my answer was the same and it hasn’t changed since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police officers.

How did we get here?

Sadly, we arrived at this deeply disturbing point because of a decadeslong campaign by the left and cultural elites to transform our country. They have indoctrinated generations of Americans into hating their own country through education, media, and institutions that once believed in the American ideal.

Unfortunately, despite noble efforts by a small number of conservative culture warriors, we have too often been stymied by the Republican political establishment. These political leaders have failed us, and they did so in multiple ways over multiple decades.

When and where did it begin? It began after the failure of the rioters the last time our streets were on fire and police stations were being razed to the ground.

In 1968 and ’69, the radical left went all in. From the University of Berkeley campus to the streets of Chicago, groups such as the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground were using violence to effect political change in the name of “justice” and “equality.” But they failed.

Despite the killings and the bombings, America didn’t turn into a Maoist utopia. Chicago’s “Days of Rage” fizzled out and their uprising resulted in a damp squib.

But what did the “revolutionaries” do? Did they surrender their radical dreams, did they fold up their Che T-shirts and donate them to the thrift store? No, they learned from the proponents of a subtler revolution, studied the method of the members of the Frankfurt School, and adopted the works of thinkers and activists such as Saul Alinsky, the grandfather of “community organizers.”

They realized that a culture and a society as robust in its classic traditional values as America can resist all forms of violent frontal assault and that the only what to dismantle it is from the inside. Thus, hardcore anti-American radicals such as the Weather Underground’s Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, previously wanted by the FBI as domestic terrorists, made their way into our culture and wound up as college professors.

Yes, those who wished to destroy our nation were entrusted with shaping the minds of future generations. And this was allowed by establishment Republicans.

Nor was it just the college campuses that became centers for America-bashing indoctrination. Those who had failed to set the country ablaze set to work sabotaging the minds of our children in far subtler ways. And when fellow radical Howard Zinn wrote his 1980 book “A People’s History of the United States,” they had all the ammunition they needed.

Zinn was an unrepentant socialist, a man who saw the world through the Marxist lens of class struggle, with the population of the globe divided between victim groups—usually people of color—and the oppressor, exclusively white. And the worst imperialist oppressor of all? America, of course.

That was Zinn’s message and it suffused his book, which would have been fine had it stayed in the “class struggle” section of bookstores in San Francisco. But it didn’t.

Zinn’s America-hating screed would, thanks to the assiduous work of fellow travelers on school boards and in teachers unions across the country, become the most popular textbook of American history in our schools.

Consequently, for two generations, our children were taught that whatever the ill—poverty in Africa, environmental degradation of the Amazon, international terrorism—it was an imperialist America built on slavery that was invariably the root cause.

Labor camps in the Soviet Union? America’s fault because of our desire to “encircle” and destroy Russia. Communist China oppressing ethnic and religious minorities? America’s fault because we weren’t opening up trade relations rapidly enough with the dictators of Beijing. Religious oppression of the great people of Persia by the blood-soaked murderers of Iran’s Islamist regime? America’s fault because we shouldn’t have helped Iraq after the fall of the shah.

And on and on and on.

What did most of the Republican establishment do? Nothing. Of course, some brave souls said enough is enough and took their children back to school them at home.

But what did the party do collectively to stop the indoctrination of more than two generations in America’s schools and universities? Nothing. In fact, most of us kept writing those checks to our alma maters because, well, didn’t I have a good time in college?

What did establishment Republicans do as Alinskyite tactics were deployed across the other key elements of our culture? From taxpayer-funded NPR’s becoming a literal mouthpiece for the Democrat Party, daily parroting left-wing talking points, to Hollywood’s shifting from being the maker of incredible pro-liberty and pro-America movies such as “Casablanca,” “Sergeant York,” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” to being a mill for conservative-bashing agitprop films by Oliver Stone, Sean Penn, and Michael Moore?

What did the establishment do as the subtly biased news media of the Cronkite years devolved into a rabid, festering pile of leftist propaganda that would side openly with rioters, call white men the greatest danger to America, and label the incumbent president a Kremlin asset for four years straight?

What did each of us do to take back our republic? Did we even really understand what the late great Andrew Breitbart taught us when he warned us that “politics is downstream from culture?”

Conservatives have the facts on our side; indeed, we have the truth on our side. But does that matter? Commentator and radio host Ben Shapiro has built a career on the commonsense motto: “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” (Actually, facts don’t care about anything).

But so what? We live in an age when young Americans are so emotionally driven that they are actually proud to be called “snowflakes,” ready to melt if challenged.

Facts matter, but only so much if you can’t emotionally connect with the audience you wish to win over. Those who aren’t looting Saks Fifth Avenue or stores that sell Nike shoes but actually are marching for George Floyd believe America is systematically racist and feel that they are being virtuous by chanting “No Justice, No Peace!” and “Defund the Police!”

As conservatives, we have to win them over to our side with arguments that resonate as much as those empty yet radical slogans do. Our Founding Fathers knew how to do that, the men who pledged not only their possessions and their lives to justice and peace, but also their “sacred honor” to our nascent republic.

Is the conservative movement ready to do that? Do we have the tools necessary to win over the disaffected and the apolitical before the extremists win?

The window is short, my friends. We can do this, but we must get serious now.

The left has only division and anarchy to offer. Conservatives have answers that work.



Uruguay’s Freer Approach Has Severely Limited the Pandemic While Protecting the Economy

We are not talking enough about Uruguay. That small South American country boasts impressive results in its handling of the coronavirus. It is also signaling that it wants to prosper and that it understands more freedom might be the way to go about it.

Under president Luis Lacalle Pou, Uruguay has suffered a very low number of deaths from coronavirus (23 as of June 15) and the number of confirmed cases (848) is small. At no point did the government decree a national quarantine, preferring instead to let individual responsibility, guided by accurate and transparent information that originated from a team of scientists and experts, do the trick.

Rather than shut down the economy (80 percent of it kept going) and send the police or the military to arrest people, as was done in some other countries, the authorities, in coordination with civil society, put an emphasis on testing (proportionally, they are only behind South Korea in the number of tests as a percentage of confirmed cases) and briefly isolating those who had Covid-19. The external borders were shut, but the internal borders were kept open.

Uruguay’s government made it clear it would not fund its fiscal response to the trying circumstances through money-printing, large debts or higher taxation, but through reductions in public spending, particularly the money paid to politicians. There was pressure from within the governing coalition and the powerful left-wing opposition known as Frente Amplio (Broad Front) to engage in huge fiscal profligacy and make businesses pay for it, but President Lacalle explained that it was from private enterprise and capital that the economy would come back and that strangling businesses with regulations and more taxes would hinder that effort.

Wasting little time, Uruguay has announced a campaign to attract foreigners by making it much easier for them to become a fiscal resident of their country. Those who take up residence in Uruguay will not pay taxes for five years, after which time they will not have to pay a wealth tax on their foreign holdings and will only pay an income tax of 12 percent on the gains obtained from those assets. The fear in neighboring Argentina, where a demagogic government is destroying an economy that was already in dire straits, is that 44 million Argentines—the entire population—will settle across the border. (Uruguay has a population of only 3.4 million.)

When President Lacalle took office less than four months ago, the odds did not point in the best direction. He inherited a significant fiscal deficit and an economy that was barely growing. He governs with the help of a broad coalition that includes a range of ideas and interests, and whose backbone is made up of two traditional parties that have not shed all of their old ways. On top of that, the left, which held power for fifteen years before Lacalle defeated them, did much better than expected in the runoff election and continues to exert enormous pressure on the political system.

To top it all, only days after he took office, Lacalle had to deal, as had everyone else around the world, with the worst pandemic in generations. It is admirable that he was able to keep his cool throughout this crisis and, more importantly, that the crisis has only strengthened his resolve to put common sense back at the center of Uruguay’s politics and economy.

Uruguay was a highly developed country in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There is no reason why it cannot become Latin America’s great success story in Latin America in the way Portugal has become Europe’s shining star in recent years. Having so many times been disappointed by promising governments, I will keep my fingers firmly crossed for them.



Racism: Symbolism vs. Substance

Which party is the party of racism today? Which party offers real solutions to real problems?  And which party offers symbolism over substance? “While Democrats have long postured as defenders of black Americans, a closer look at their actions shows there’s a lot of the symbolism but very little of the substance.”

When black entrepreneurs are having their businesses destroyed by rioters and looters, what do Democrats do?  They do their best to divert attention away from the fact that the problems faced by black Americans in our major cities have been caused by Democrat politicians who have run these cities for decades and decades. They don’t want to talk about that, and they make no attempt to solve the problems. Instead, like Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, they offer symbolism over substance.  They divert attention away from the problems they have caused.  They do this by talking about taking down statues, changing the names of streets, changing the names of military bases, or removing statues from the United States Capitol.  They do this knowing full well that not one of these things will in any way help the plight of black Americans struggling to escape poverty. But because they have the support of the news media, they are able to divert attention away from these calamities they have caused. 

They don’t want black Americans to ever know that it is Democrat politicians who pour millions of tax dollars into Planned Parenthood that targets black babies for abortion. They don’t want African Americans to realize that it is Democrats who stand in the school house door blocking high performance choice schools for black children. This is perhaps their most heinous sin of all, keeping a poor black child from the one thing that will help him escape poverty, a good education.

Democrats also don’t want you to know that they are the ones in these big cities that create beauty salon, barber shop, and taxi monopolies that exclude or set impossibly high barriers of entry for black entrepreneurs.

They don’t want black Americans to know that they are the ones who seek to drive up the cost of energy, thus making it extremely hard to escape poverty. Democrats fear that black Americans will learn it is Democrat policies in these big cities that deny law-abiding black Americans their constitutional right of self-defense. And they certainly don’t want black Americans to know that Democrats are responsible for flooding the job market with illegal aliens who take jobs from black Americans and drive down their wages.

Our question is: If the Democrats really, truly care about black Americans, why do they support Planned Parenthood, block good schools for black children, drive up the cost of energy through support for a pie-in-the-sky “Green New Deal”, deny Second Amendment rights, and allow illegal immigrants to take black jobs and drive down their wages?

Excuse us, but when the Democrats do these things and know the consequences, isn’t that racism?  How else can you define it?  And when you use the power of government to do these things, isn’t that systemic racism?  By any fair and honest measurement, today’s Democratic Party is the home of racism in America today. 

Little has been done by Democratic presidents to help black Americans.  For eight years President Obama talked about prison reform, but President Trump did it in his first term.  Not only did Donald Trump sign prison reform into law, he combined that with job training and jobs for newly released non-violent and non-sexual black felons. 

Additionally, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress dramatically cut taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, appointed judges who believe in the Constitution, slashed regulations, and reduced taxes making it possible for black entrepreneurship to grow by 400% between 2017 and 2018.

Even more significantly, Donald Trump implemented economic policies that created the lowest black unemployment in recorded history. He created enterprise zones that brought job opportunities closer to where black Americans live. He pushed hard against the Democrat opposition to putting top notch choice schools in black communities. And he dramatically expanded support for historic black colleges and universities (HBCUs).  As pastor Darrell Scott said of Trump, he is “the most pro-black president that we've had in our lifetime.”

From Ralph Northam and Nancy Pelosi, all black Americans get is symbolism.  From Donald Trump black Americans get results, real substance. In the election this fall, black Americans will have an opportunity to choose. What will it be? Symbolism or substance?



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement


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