We’ve seen it before. Many times before. The loss of a society, a culture, and millions of lives because we failed to heed the warnings of those who saw it coming. History does not lie, and, to paraphrase George Santayana’s famous line, if we do not learn from it, we are destined to repeat it.
But here we are at the beginning of a new year, facing an existential threat from an enemy determined to destroy American life as we have known it. They have let us know their intentions, and yet here we sit complacently and wait for it to happen.
The enemy is within us: in sanctuary cities whose laws favor illegal aliens over American citizens; in schools where children are forced to call “non-binary” classmates by the ‘appropriate’ pronouns or face punishment or suspension; in violent street demonstrations where the police stand down, even though innocent bystanders may be injured; in the assertions by people of color (which has come to include anyone who isn’t ‘white’) that only whites can be racist; in the loss of freedom of speech denied to those with a conservative point of view at liberal colleges; and most of all, in the Democrat party, which is devolving into the politics of the worst form of socialism, one that kills opportunity and puts the burdens of class and race warfare on the backs of the poor.
Having won a majority in Congress, the Democrats are intent on moving America back into the morass of increased regulations, higher taxes, welfare programs that destroy ambition, and debilitating laws. Their shrill voices have normalized rude, even obscene language to articulate their views, while they freely criticize the President’s sometimes inelegant communications on Twitter.
When newly seated Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) let loose with her hysterical rant on how she would impeach the President, whom she called an obscene epithet, she symbolized the new Democrat party, unfettered by either manners or civility. Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) couldn’t find the nerve to censure Tlaib’s foul attack on the President of the United States. Freedom of speech apparently is only for the progressive, liberal left.
As we lose the freedoms we treasure, one by one, we embrace the changes in the name of multiculturalism and diversity. We call our acceptance compassion. We call it political correctness. We call it humanitarian. And we welcome it into our lives, our communities, and our homes, until, little by little, we kiss our dwindling freedoms goodbye. Slowly. Inexorably.
History is clear enough if we take the time to pay attention – and learn. And this exercise in learning from history is essential, because our most dangerous enemy is – ourselves.
Mid-Term Elections Set the Stage
It was not much of a surprise when the political balance in Washington changed following the mid-term elections. Typically, the balance of power in Congress changes two years after the election of every new President. And the election of Donald J. Trump was particularly unsettling for the left. He broke the mold with his outspoken, unrestrained, and uncensored use of social media to vent his personal opinions, sometimes in the most un-presidential manner.
But the mid-term elections of 2018 were not like any others in our history. Never before had a vast segment of the population refused to accept the results of a Presidential election. Never before had it mobilized its considerable forces, including the far-reaching voice of the mainstream media, and used every device at its disposal to undermine and destroy the duly elected President and his administration.
Every effort was brought to bear to harass and destroy the President, despite the fact that President Trump brought historical levels of prosperity to America through:
- his tax cuts and deregulations, which stimulated industry and created millions of jobs,
- his attention to the economy which caused the GDP to rise from under 2% in early 2016 (the legacy of Obama, who called it the “new normal”) to 4.2% in 2018;
- his insistence and success in developing fair trade agreements with Mexico and Canada,
- his dogged efforts to equalize trade with China, and
- his breakthrough with North Korea that enabled the return of the remains of our long-lost soldiers from the Korean War, and may have opened the door to peace between North and South Korea after 68 years of war.
Yet the President’s accomplishments have been largely ignored or disparaged by the mainstream press and the political left.
Moreover, the rise of hate groups such as Antifa, Black Lives Matter (BLM), Students for Justice in Palestine (JSP), and a host of others, including anarchists and street gangs, changed the tone of the rhetoric as they came pouring out into the streets, translating their hatred and bigotry into verbal and physical abuse on everyone in their way. Ironically, they expressed their hatred and bigotry in the name of ‘fighting hatred and bigotry’, but the irony was apparently lost on Americans at large. Hatred and bigotry in the name of diversity is the new normal among those on the radical left.
The Lost Art of Civil Conversation
The divisiveness that now characterizes American society has poisoned the airwaves, destroyed friendships, and created massive road-blocks that stall Washington’s ability to govern the nation. Democrats berate the President for failing to pass his promised agenda, but fail to acknowledge their own role in making this happen. Moderate Republicans fail to support their own President, making him even more vulnerable to the attacks from the Democrats. The left has turned politics into a blood sport, and threatens to destroy the American way of life with their passion to win at any cost.
Cordial discourse on controversial issues is no longer possible, because we have forgotten how to have civil conversations with those who disagree with us. Americans are hardly interested in hearing points of view that differ from their own, and demonize those whose opinions they oppose.
The trending interest in socialism is equally disturbing. Socialism is the antithesis of America’s vision of a representative republic, governed by We the People. In every country where socialism has been tried, it has failed and has either been replaced by democratic process, or has plunged the country into ruin. Cuba and, most recently, Venezuela are prime examples of this, right on our doorstep. Yet the tragic failure of Venezuela’s socialist government to provide even the barest necessities to its desperate, starving people is being systematically ignored by the trending Democrat efforts to install socialist programs in America.
The inability of the Socialist Democrats to learn from history, given their new power in Congress, spells disaster for the country, should their socialist programs succeed in gaining solid traction.
Is American Dystopia Our Future?
Today, America stands at a dangerous crossroads and the quality of our lives in the future depends on which path we follow now. During two hundred and forty-three years of leading the world into an age of democratic rule, ‘We the People’ were supported by a Constitution that ensured, under law, the freedoms of expression, religion, assembly, press, and so much more. And it was supported by a Congress that understood its value.
Although much of the world did not follow America’s lead into democratic governance, the founding fathers provided a beacon for many millions. Immigrants and asylum-seekers, escaping from dictatorships and socialist nightmares the world over, came to the United States, assimilated, and helped to make America the leader of what used to be called ‘the free world’.
The Enemy at the Gates
Today the government is partially shut down. While the President stayed in Washington over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays in order to be available for negotiations, presumptive Democrat House leader Nancy Pelosi flew to Hawaii for a vacation, making herself unavailable for discussions.
Trump’s team offered a compromise solution on his demand for a ‘wall’ on the southern border, less money and more flexibility regarding the nature of the proposed barrier, but it was summarily rejected by the Democrats. A spokesman for Senate Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Senator Schumer made clear to the vice president, in private after their Saturday meeting, that the offer would not pass the Senate” So the shut-down continued.
The level of intransigence on the part of the Democrats and their personal animosity against the President gives little room for optimism that any real bargain is possible.
America’s Future is on the Line
As we enter 2019, our proud history may be about to come to an ignominious end. The New Year 2019 may be the critical turning point that changes the course of American history and ultimately destroys the founding principles that made our nation great. If the Democrats are successful in imposing their newly-discovered socialist principles upon the American people, if they fail to secure our nation’s borders, if they impose new, oppressive taxes upon the American worker as they have in New York, Illinois, and California, then our future as a free nation and leader to the world will come to an end, as we slide into the dark abyss of socialism.
The ugly public discourse that is prevalent on the street and, more recently, in the halls of Congress, must end if we are to survive. We should not be divided by race or religion or gender. History has taught us lessons that we should heed, not destroy or deny. The social movement on the street and on college campuses, denying history, and calling for revenge against “the white man” needs to be redirected to more constructive ends.
The growing war against history and those who made it must end. Our history was not always one to be proud of, but Americans should understand that the beauty of our tarnished history is what we were able to overcome. Our role in leading the world away from the cruel evil of slavery is one to be proud of, and the recognition of the value of our differences is what we call progress. Most of all, it is only by remembering our history that we can avoid repeating it.
The courage that America has shown throughout its history has broken barriers that no other nation was able to accomplish. The current normalization of hate and disrespect is one that America now must lead the world in overcoming as well. If we are able to do this, America can continue to be a home for the free, and will be proudly able to fully support every American’s right to freedom – freedom from hate, freedom from oppression, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. But the battle for this starts here and now, and we are all in it.