A response to Michael Anton.
The Left is not like Us
Progressives do not want the same things as most Americans.
My colleague at the National Association of Scholars, David Acevedo, recently explained that the academic left does not apply “double standards,” because they don’t share the standards they flout. Rather, he writes, their “behavior is perfectly consistent with its true standard: gain power, crush resistance, and destroy the West by any means necessary.”
Acevedo is on point for all radical leftists, not just the academic variety. Their policies intentionally destabilize national security, personal safety, prosperity, the nuclear family, and religion, and are designed to cede America’s leadership to the so-called rules-based international alliance.
Progressives pretend to live in a utopia in which the rules of economics, physics, psychology, and science are suspended as they pursue unrealistic, tactical goals. Radical left leaders understand this dichotomy. Just as they have conceded high gas prices would force the middle class to buy electric cars, they believe the other harms they cause will facilitate achieving their ultimate objectives.
The far left readily acknowledges its preference for a centrally directed government, trillions of dollars of additional spending, higher taxes, the “green new deal,” the end of fossil fuels, restorative justice, racial and gender balancing, open borders, an LGBTQ+ obsession, and shutting down conservative voices. Now that its leaders are becoming comfortable admitting to being socialists, and even “trained Marxists,” the mask is dropping on their true ambitions.
Building on The Communist Manifesto’s call for “abolition of the family,” BLM initially sought to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” Many local chapters of BLM call for abolition of capitalism. Oregon’s Department of Education characterizes its mission as “the restructuring and dismantling of systems and institutions that create the dichotomy of beneficiaries and the oppressed and marginalized.” An initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sees its mission as “dismantling white supremacy.” The American Medical Association calls for “disrupting and dismantling existing norms.” The main trade publication for architects complains that “racism is a metastasis that is baked into every kernel, from planning and zoning to multi- and single family housing and conversations about public and private space.”
“To love capitalism is to end up loving racism,” Ibram X. Kendi opines. Rather than be guided by the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution ,and the Federalist Papers, radical leftists are guided by “social justice,” and “redistributive justice” through which government, academia and corporations extort benefits for favored minorities from the privileged.
The left’s preoccupation with defunding police, and depriving them of both lethal and non-lethal tools, restorative justice, decarceration, eliminating cash bail, decriminalizing felonies, and refusing to prosecute lower level crimes, or seek sentencing enhancements, has caused violent crime to explode in major cities, up from five to 40 percent compared to the same period last year in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The misdirect that Covid, the war in Ukraine, or tax loopholes has caused this increase is legerdemain. Criminals understand this. In Los Angeles, for example, there is a rush to obtain plea deals before the possible recall of progressive district attorney George Gascon. About 75 George Soros-linked district attorneys control the jurisdictions of 72 million Americans. With turnover exceeding 75 percent in many of these offices, experienced prosecutors are leaving, further eroding law enforcement.
The Biden administration’s war on the fossil fuel industry has erased America’s energy advantage, threatened prosperity and energy shortages, and forced America to seek accommodations from others. Bowing to radical left policies, instead of strengthening America’s infrastructure, the administration bizarrely used the Defense Production Act for solar panels, sought oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, and has considered seeking oil from Iran.
The left is committed to open borders. Since Biden took office, most Trump-era restrictions on illegal immigration have been rescinded. Unenforced borders are an invitation to terrorism, and drugs, and are intended to change elections in the near-term, and erase America’s separate existence in the long-term.
Progressives, who vociferously advocate trillions of dollars of additional spending the U.S. cannot afford, this year pushed the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio to 134 percent, well above the World Bank’s 77 percent redline, contributing to record-breaking inflation, deficits and interest rate hikes that can hobble the economy. Elizabeth Warren advocates taxing unrealized gains, while other progressives more simply want to increase rates on upper incomes. Both would destabilize the economy and shift investments out of the United States.
The left’s obsession with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has, as its avowed goal, supplanting expertise, and merit with socially engineered outcomes based on race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. It is axiomatic that this will reduce productivity and prosperity, and provoke racial division. As Kendi concedes, DEI is intended to dismantle capitalism.
Polls show that most people support the rights of adults to make decisions about their bodies. But, after years of promoting the transgender and nonbinary ethos, including an all-out push by the Biden administration, recent Pew and Gallup polls found that just 0.6 percent to 0.7 percent of adult Americans identify as transgender, and another one percent as nonbinary, including pre-ops who might never transition. Gallup found that just 7.1 percent of U.S. adults identify as other than heterosexual.
Numerous recent polls commissioned by liberal Democrat organizations show that Americans reject the progressive effort to replace biological sex with the concept of “identification,” and favor banning the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity to children in kindergarten through third grade (see here and here). Progressives have abused about one million post-op transgenders as pretext to destroy girls’ sports and humiliate women as menstruating and birthing persons (it is unclear how these terms apply to post-menopausal women, or adoptive mothers). Transferring power over children to the state and destroying nuclear families and religion are long-standing Marxist objectives.
Whether it’s Homeland Security’s suspended Disinformation Board, forcing out non-compliant teachers, university professors, editors, Sharon Osbourne, or comedians, trying to fire Joe Rogan, or fining football coaches for questioning orthodoxy, the left is aggressively punishing those who do not adhere to its dogma.
The riots immediately after George Floyd’s death cost more than $2 billion in property damage and as many as 30 deaths. Those losses continue to grow. Yet, Democrats, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, refuse to condemn or prosecute left-wing protestors who violate federal law, and often encourage their protests. Just a few weeks after Garland commenced a counter-terrorism investigation of parents who disagree with liberal school boards, and as the Justice Department continued to lock up January 6 bystanders, Garland rejected guilty pleas offered by two left-wing lawyers accused of terrorism for distributing and using Molotov cocktails in Manhattan. He instead offered them a lenient plea to a lesser charge.
The progressive rebuttal is Donald Trump, January 6, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, and Donald Trump (again).
Progressives are winning the battle of ideas through their control of education, most entertainment, technology and media companies, and professional organizations, and the acquiescence of many institutional investors and public corporations. The occasional mainstream win in Virginia, San Francisco, or at the Supreme Court, will not change the trajectory. If anger over transitory vexations like Donald Trump and January 6, important though they may be, prevents centrists and traditional conservatives from recognizing the asymmetric significance of the alternatives, the siege on American values, freedoms, and leadership will inevitably prevail.
In less than 100 days, we can start changing course, but only if Trump supporters, anti-Trumpers and never-Trumpers channel their anger to achieve a productive result.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.