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Profiles in Cowardice – Part II

Profiles in Cowardice – Part II

Yesterday I presented my Profiles in Cowardice 8-5. If you haven’t read that piece, which includes an explanation of the Profiles, you should read it first.

Today we present Profiles in Cowardice 4-1.

4. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Like with Chicago’s Lightfoot, a reasonable person has to scratch his or her head and wonder, how did this overgrown buffoon get to be mayor of America’s largest city? It’s said that New York City has good water, so there must be another explanation. The answer lies with mindless Democratic Party loyalism and the mental frailty known as liberalism.

Back when I lived in New York I came to realize that most New Yorkers, despite the reverie in which some hold the city’s residents, aren’t terribly bright. But even New Yorkers were fed up with the widespread crime and dirt and deterioration that marked Gotham in the 1970s, when I lived in the city. It took a Rudy Giuiani twenty years later to get things sorted and return New York to the realm of habitability after three decades of decline and decay. But that wasn’t something de Blasio could tolerate, and in short order he plunged New York back into the chaos that preceded Giuliani. And then, in a single week at the end of May, he allowed the forces of anarchy and destruction near-free reign, finishing the job he started, and things have only gotten worse in the months since.

New Yorkers report that the homeless have taken over the subway system – the world’s largest mass transit system – child molesters have taken over formerly upscale hotels, and nude men wielding 2 x 4s roam the streets. Thugs knock over elderly people just because they can, violent criminals are released overnight on their own recognizance, only to return to the streets and commit more crimes, and whole blocks of formerly tony boutiques and shops are boarded up. Along with hundreds of other businesses, looters ransacked Macy’s flagship store on Herald Square (yes, Virginia, there is an idiot in Gracie Mansion), and the murder rate has soared to levels not seen in many years. Is it any wonder that so many people are leaving New York that moving trucks are double-parked as they load the furniture of those who have given up on life in New York ever returning to normal?

After urging people to go about their normal lives at the beginning of the coronavirus fiasco, de Blasio continues to keep the city locked-down, and the country’s most populous city remains a ghost of its former self.

In his latest act of cowardly moronicy, de Blasio has announced he will put all top city employees, including himself, on furlough to help ameliorate New York’s massive budgetary shortfalls. But New Yorkers must wonder, in de Blasio’s case, if they will be able to tell the difference.

3. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

If it seems that I’m picking on New York, it’s because it’s so easy to pick on. Cowardice seems to have taken over the state, beginning right at the top with the Empire State’s chief executive. Or Coward in Chief, if you will.

It’s hard to overplay Andrew Cuomo’s cowardice, even harder to overplay his utter, shameless dishonesty. A shell game conman in Brighton Beach would seem like the epitome of honesty and discretion compared with Cuomo.

While Cuomo made small rodent noises decrying the violence downstate in Gotham – more indicative of the antipathy he and de Blasio have for each other – he didn’t do anything about it. If that were his worst offense, Cuomo might have been spared receiving his own Profile in Cowardice. But Cuomo’s offenses are far greater than that.

This recipient of the white feather yowled about how he needed ventilators, needed hospital beds, needed PPE, needed just about everything to deal with the coronavirus pandemic coming to his state. Never mind that, as governor, Cuomo had taken no action to address a possible pandemic. While it’s a matter of some debate whether Cuomo was willfully remiss or was just doing what his predecessors had (or hadn’t) done to prepare, it’s not a matter of debate that Cuomo got everything he begged Trump for, and then some. In return for receiving every ventilator needed – New York wound up with so may ventilators it started sending them to other states – for getting a U.S. Navy hospital ship, which was hardly used, and a complete Army field hospital at the Javits Center which treated about 1,100 patients before being closed in May for lack of need, Cuomo now has come out and accused the President of having “caused” the coronavirus outbreak in New York. Do we want to talk about ignorance with impudence? One need go no further than Cuomo.

Let’s look at the numbers, Governor. The death rate in New York State stands at 1,703 per million population (it’s significantly higher than that in New York City, but let’s just look at the state of New York). The only higher death rate in all the world is across the river in New Jersey, another Democratic state, where it stands at 1,744 per million. Outside the U.S., the highest death rate is that of San Marino, with 1,237 deaths per million, followed by Peru with 935 deaths per million. The death rate for the U.S. overall stands at 607 per million – about a third of New York’s rate, and eleventh in the world.

If the half-dozen states with the highest death rates – all Democratically controlled states – were taken out of the equation, the U.S. death rate falls to about 362 per million, twentieth in the world, down between The Netherlands and Ireland. Now you probably don’t know that, if you get your news from the mass media, who would have you believe the U.S. is the worst case in the world, but those are the facts, if you’re still one of those increasingly rare people to whom facts matter. But we digress.

What you also might not know, and which secures Cuomo’s place among my Profiles in Cowardice, is that it was his order to send thousands of elderly COVID-19 patients into nursing homes, leading to thousands of excess deaths – estimated between 6,400 and as high as 12,000 or more – among nursing home and long-term care facility residents and staff, ostensibly to save space in hospitals, even as the Comfort hospital ship and the Javits Center field hospital went underutilized. Even as the policy was being questioned, Cuomo doubled down on his decision, despite having called nursing homes a “feeding frenzy” for the virus.

It was the single dumbest decision anyone could make if they wanted to kill people,” said one person whose elderly father had been in a nursing home where 50 people died, before dying of the ailment at home.

The DOJ is now investigating New York, along with three other states – New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan – whose Democratic governors followed similar policies as Cuomo’s.

Cuomo, more than perhaps any other governor in the country, has tried to present himself as the most effective counterweight to the coronavirus, and when you have a brother who is a CNN anchor providing you with journalistic oral gratification, you can try to get away with that. A look at the facts tells a different story, and Cuomo has earned his place on our list.

2. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

We’ve talked about Nancy “Let Them Eat Ice Cream” Pelosi before, and I’m sorry to have to inform you of this, we’ll probably have to talk about her again. Meanwhile, she has earned her place on our Profiles of Cowardice.

If you’re disturbed by hypocrisy, as I am, it’s hard to find a bigger hypocrite than Pelosi. You know when she says she’s praying for Donald Trump, the saints are rolling over in their graves, groaning. When she says she cares about the Constitution while tearing up the President’s speech right up there on the dais, the Founding Fathers are rolling their eyes. When she says she’s looking out for the ordinary people, you can just see her bankers rubbing their hands together as they count her many millions of dollars and her fellow millionaires who are Dem donors doing the same. And when she says she wants to get assistance to the millions of individuals and businesses suffering due to economic dislocation caused by coronavirus shut-downs, if it doesn’t include payoffs to Democractic causes and sacred cows, she’s not in any rush, so suck it up, suckers.

Ice Cream Nancy’s latest display of hypocrisy was another hair styling kerfuffle (what is it with politicians and their hair?) After publicly supporting closure of hair salons to keep from spreading coronavirus, Pelosi was caught on camera trotting maskless around a San Francisco hair salon, which had been closed to the public, so she could get her hair done. After all, she’s Nancy Pelosi, and you’re not. The graceful thing to do would have been to cop to what she did. Even Lori Lightfoot, in her own way, claimed responsibility for her hair salon hypocrisy. But Pelosi is too much of a coward to do that. Reminiscent of the words used by former Washington Mayor Marion Barry when he was caught red-handed snorting cocaine in a hotel room with a prostitute – “Bitch set me up!” – Pelosi used virtually those same words.

“I was set up,” she said.

No one put Pelosi in that stylist’s chair other than herself, any more than the police put Barry in that hotel room. Neither was set up, but both are cowardly liars. Meanwhile, the owner of the salon – it was not her but an independent stylist who let Pelosi in, but it was she who released the security video – has gotten so much hate directed at her that she has to permanently close her salon and leave San Francisco. Not a word of remorse, much less apology, from cowardly Pelosi. No, indeed. It’s Ice Cream Nancy who has demanded the apology from the salon owner.

But Pelosi earned her penultimate place on our list for something much more serious than her hypocrisy. As cities across the country burn, she has blocked every piece of law-and-order legislation that has been brought before the House. If it’s bad for Trump, Pelosi’s arch-nemesis, let ‘er burn. The irony is that Pelosi’s strategy might actually be working in Trump’s favor. It wouldn’t be the first time.

1. Joe Biden

And the winner of the top spot in our Profiles in Cowardice (envelope, please): Jell-O Joe Biden.

If you’ve been watching Joe Biden over the past several months, you’ve seen a doddering old fool babbling nonsensically, almost entirely sequestered in his Wilmington basement. Propped up by his wife, Jill, and his faceless political handlers, an unprejudiced observer would call what is being done to Biden elder abuse, all in the cynical pursuit of political power. It’s painful listening and watching this man as he embarrasses himself on a daily basis. The few questions he answers are softball questions that have been scripted or pre-approved by his handlers. Without a teleprompter, he’s lost, even responding to these cream puff questions. He can barely get by with a teleprompter, mechanically reading statements prepared for him.

As a human being, not as a politician, I have sympathy for Biden. I’ve been around dementia and have seen its debilitating effects first hand, and Biden exhibits all the symptoms of it. It’s a difficult and frustrating stage that afflicts many older people. I can see old Uncle Joe having his Jell-O with other kindly elder folk at dinner in a rest-home dining room. Thus my name for him. What I can’t see is him at the helm of the nation in the Oval Office.

Biden, as we’ve previously documented in several postings on this site, has been mired in various corrupt deals and bad policies for much of his political career, most recently during his stint as Barack Obama’s Vice President. Biden’s corruption goes beyond enriching son Hunter, who leveraged his father’s position to fill his coffers and fortunes in Ukraine and China. As former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi ably laid out in detail at the Republican National Convention, Biden has spent a half century in politics enriching various members of his family, much like a crime family boss. It’s impossible to determine his position on any issue since, if you don’t like what it is today, wait a day or two, and it will change. He is the quintessential opportunist.

It’s pretty obvious that the Dem power brokers know Biden can’t possibly serve out a full term, if by chance he is elected President, and they have installed Kamala Harris – another malleable politician who will blow with whatever wind is beneficial to her – as his putative running mate, but who is the real candidate. Speaking in Tampa on Tuesday, in one of his rare trips out of his basement, a befuddled Biden let the cat out of the bag when he referred to the “Harris-Biden ticket.” Doing a verbal dance around the reality, Harris in a recent speech referred to “a Harris administration,” even if she tried to recover with a closing reference to the “Biden-Harris ticket.” Do you wonder who the real head of the ticket is?

It’s not Biden’s corruption, and certainly not his mental state, that earns him the top spot on our Profiles in Cowardice. No, it’s his willingness to put himself ahead of his country, his willingness to be used and manipulated politically, his willingness to do and say anything, just so he can be President of the United States, even with the full knowledge he is not up to the task. He has as much as acknowledged that fact himself, and that was months before his condition had deteriorated to its current degraded state.

If you were on an airliner and Joe Biden was the pilot, you’d get off that airplane. Joe Biden himself would. Yet, he wants to put himself at the controls of the country, be captain of the Free World. And for that, he deserves the top spot in our Profiles in Cowardice.

It wasn’t always like this in American politics. There was a time when those who would run for high office put their country, and not their own political or vain egotistical interests, first. If you’re of a certain age you might remember, as I do, a former Senator from Missouri named Thomas Eagleton. Eagleton was named to be George McGovern’s running mate in the race for President in 1972. And then it came out that Eagleton had suffered over the years from bouts of depression and previously had been hospitalized and given electoshock treatments. After some hemming and hawing and questions about his suitability to be the next in line to have his finger on the nuclear button, Eagleton stepped down.

Eagleton had performed well in all the positions he held, including Missouri AG, and he went on to serve two more terms in the Senate. I’d venture that Eagleton would run rings around Biden given their respective conditions at the time of their nominations. But while Eagleton set aside his political ambitions, Biden refuses to acknowledge what is openly apparent, allowing himself to be used as the figurehead in a political ploy that might well be the biggest act of fraud ever attempted in American political history.

I give you my nomination for the No. 1 spot on the Profiles of Cowardice, Jell-O Joe Biden.

May God (or the American electorate) save us.

Photo credits: White feather featured image, Max Braxmeier, Pixabay, used with permission. The following used under Fair Use: Bill de Blasio, Robert Miller, New York Post; Andrew Cuomo, AP Photo; Nancy Pelosi, greatamericandaily.com; Joe Biden, Kevin Lamarque, Reuters

Profiles in Cowardice

Profiles in Cowardice

 

In 1956, John F. Kennedy, while still a U.S. Senator, published a book titled Profiles in Courage. It presented the stories of eight former U.S. senators, mostly in antebellum America, who demonstrated courage in standing up for their beliefs in contrast to prevailing and more politically convenient views. If you are of a certain age, you may well have been assigned the book on a summer reading list. I’d like to think contemporary students still are being assigned the book, though a cursory look at the current knowledge base seems to end roughly around the debut of SpongeBob SquarePants, and even that falls under the rubric of Ancient History.

What we see all around us today is not courage, but rampant cowardice. The country is not threatened by strength but by the weakness exhibited across the board, from the so-called news media, to politicians ranging from minor to not-so-minor mayors to state governors and Congressional leadership, to the destructive rabble in the streets. It is this weakness that will be our undoing. And it is cowardice fostering and standing, for all to see, behind it.

There is so much cowardice in evidence at this time in our history – a time that demands courage and strength as few periods have – it’s hard to single out just eight manifestations of it for inclusion in this Profiles in Cowardice. You’d have to be imprisoned in a Uyghur internment camp in western China not to know that this all has to do with Trump as the radical left, the Democrats and their toadies in the media, and the other anti-Trumpers do their utmost to discredit him and undermine his re-election chances, the country be damned, but that is the orchestrated backdrop for the wave of cowardice we’re suffering under.

The list that follows is far from comprehensive. Like JFK, I could write a book on contemporary American cowardice. I selected a range of examples to illustrate how pervasive this cowardice is. It may not be comprehensive, but it gives some of the better examples of it. Today I’m giving you Profiles in Cowardice 8 – 5. Tomorrow you’ll get Profiles in Cowardice 4-1. Stay tuned and check back in.

8. The Mass Media and Social Media

In putting together this list, it was hard to assign rank order to the cowards, and in terms of impact on the country and our democracy, media cowardice and complicity with the other cowards bringing down the country might be the most dangerous manifestation of it of all. It is what allows lies to be told, coverups to be conducted, and creates a picture of things that is actually a negative image (in the photographic sense, i.e., inversed) of reality.

Looting, rioting, arson, and murder? “Fiery but mostly peaceful protests.”

A travel ban to try to stop entry of a deadly virus? “Xenophobic and racist.”

Historic peace breakthroughs in the Middle East? “Shameless.” And – do we even need to mention it? – “They’re not wearing masks.”

Possible treatments shown to be beneficial in treating the coronavirus? “False news”

I’d need more space than available to me to list all the examples of media cowardice.

The one mitigating factor is that surveys show most Americans are skeptical of what they hear and read in the media, and confidence in what passes for contemporary journalism has sunk almost as low as confidence in Congress, which would be a hard bar to clear but that is where the trend is headed.

It seems the pimple-faced wunderkind who keep the gates at Twitter and Facebook and other social media care more for the views of the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party than for free expression or the right of a free people in a democracy to make their views known, even unpopular views, and to make their own decisions about what is true or correct and what isn’t.

Thomas Jefferson said, “A properly functioning democracy depends on an informed electorate.” But what did Jefferson know? After all, he was a slave owner, right? Of course, unlike the cowards and toadies in much of our media organizations, he also had courage and spoke the truth.

7. Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and the Common Criminals Creating Chaos in the Streets

What kind of coward needs to hide behind a mask? The kind who make up Antifa, BLM, and the common criminals hiding among them and under their cover who are out to take and destroy, to loot, burn, and murder. Employing the tactics of fascism, Antifa pretends to oppose fascism. As blacks die at the hands of other blacks by the dozens and hundreds and thousands in Chicago and in other cities all across America, BLM pretends it is only the police who are the problem.

Based in Marxist ideology, these groups have as their sole objective the destruction of capitalism and our democratic system. Funded by a range of left-leaning donors, including George Soros and members of the Democratic nomenklatura, they move from city to city, staging “peaceful protests” that somehow seem to degrade into violent insurrection in case after case. And if you want to see who is behind those masks, the mug shots of arrested Antifa members in the image below will tell you: It’s almost entirely rich, white, indoctrinated, bored college kids. Like recently arrested members of the so-called New Afrikan Black Panther Party, a largely prison-based Maoist group terrorizing New York City, many are disaffected white kids playing revolutionary. Shades of the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army, of Patty Hearst fame, of the 1970s. Or Germany’s terrorist Baader-Meinhof Gang and Red Army Faction – from which Antifa grew – or the Red Brigades of Italy.

It’s not just me who says these violent hooligans are cowards. None other than German historian Bettina Röhl, daughter of terrorist Ulrike Meinhof, says it.

Out of cowardice, it [Antifa] practices covering its [members’] faces and keeping their names secret,” says Röhl. Take off the masks, and this is what you find:

6. Incompetent, Spineless Democratic Mayors and Governors

The current wave of unrest in the country began in Minneapolis on May 25. Had the Democratic boy mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, taken a stand and put a stop to the violence that broke out in his city that day, much of the destruction and mayhem the country has suffered in the months since might have been avoided. But this spineless wonder decided to abandon the 3rd Precinct police station in the city to “de-escalate” the situation, sending a clear signal that violence and looting was acceptable. Police said that the mayor was “content to let the city be overrun,” and that’s exactly what happened. And continues to happen.

Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Tim Walz’s response was equally feckless, delaying for days sending in the National Guard, and then holding troops back from a full response to the violence. But when Walz, like the child who murders his parents and then pleads for mercy on the grounds he is an orphan, asked for $500 million – that’s half a billion dollars – in federal emergency relief to pay for the damage done to the city and the 1,500 buildings destroyed by the “peaceful” demonstrators, President Trump had the good sense to deny the request.

The violence quickly spread across the nation, from Atlanta to Los Angeles, from New York to Seattle, from Washington to Portland, from Chicago to Albuquerque, as city after city fell victim to the national tantrum released in Minneapolis. And one cowardly Democratic mayor and governor after another allowed the thugs and anarchists to take control of their cities, or major parts of them. There was the idiotic response of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who said the take over of a chunk of her city’s downtown area and a police precinct might turn into “a summer of love.” Love, until people began being killed. Equally cowardly, yellow-bellied Washington Governor Jay Inslee, more concerned about the polar bears than the people of his state, claimed ignorance of the whole affair. Ignorance with impudence.

And then there is the cowardly mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, who perhaps deserves a special award for his spineless ineptitude. Taking an award for her supporting role in this cowardice is Oregon Governor Kate Brown. If you’ve been held captive by drug cartels in Mexico the past several months, or you get your news from CNN or MSNBC or most of the other so-called national news outlets, you might have missed the fact that rioting has been going on in Stumptown continuously for (as of this writing) 116 days and nights, with just minimal response from city and state officials.

One thing that marks all these cowardly mayors – and if I didn’t name all of them, it’s because the list would be unduly long and unwieldy, not because they didn’t qualify to be named – is that, when they go down in the street to talk with the natives storming their cities, they are universally jeered and belittled. They’re lucky to get away with their lives. And those unruly natives have the audacity to terrorize even the residences of these boy and girl wonders. Old Ted Wheeler has had to abandon his condo to spare his neighbors from harm when the “peaceful protestors” came and vandalized and tried to burn down the building. If there is one lesson none of these inept officials ever learned it is that you can’t appease a bully.

The brilliant answer they and their equally cowardly and senseless city councils come up with is to defund the police. Okay for them, with their private security details, and then when the mobs come after them anyway they wonder where the police are.

Somehow all these Democrats must have pooled their meager brain cells and come up with the astounding conclusion that all the violence and unrest would be bad for the re-election prospects of the detested Red Man in the White House. Picture their surprise to learn that most Americans aren’t ready to turn the country over to the rabble and their strategy appears to be backfiring. Some of them are too dim-witted to even figure that out, though once released it’s damned hard to get the tiger back into the cage.

5. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Some mayors deserve to be singled out for their own Profile in Cowardice. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is one of them. Like the other mayors cited in these profiles, one has to wonder what kind of voters would put people like this in office. I understand that Democratic Party loyalty and the myths that hold them in thrall are powerful things, keeping people down on the Democratic Plantation. Still, you’d think people would see through the scam and at least not put people like Lightfoot into office. You’d think.

You might remember Lightfoot as the little martinet who defended getting her own hair done while ordering hairstyists and barbers to close their businesses across the city. She could get her hair done, but not you, because she’s mayor, and you’re not. After all, she has to be in the public limelight, she said. The rest of you can go to hell, bad hair and all.

That would have been disgraceful enough, and then when violence broke out in Chicago, with widespread looting and destruction across the (formerly) Magnificent Mile and other parts of the city, Lightfoot looked the other way and let it go on. Her own Democratic aldermen pleaded for assistance to protect residences and businesses and public safety, and she told them they were full of excrement. Lightfoot is another clear case of what I call ignorance with impudence.

Meanwhile, children, teens, and adults, mostly black, continue to be shot and murdered at record and near-record levels in Chicago. While people die, while residents are afraid to venture out on the street, as Chicagoans (and the city’s already tenuous tax base) flee, Lightfoot gets her hair done.

Do black lives matter? Not in Chicago, apparently.

Tomorrow: Profiles in Cowardice 4-1. Find out who is the biggest coward of all.

Photo credits: White feather featured image, Isaque Pereira, Pexels, used with permission. The following used under Fair Use: Fiery peace, CNN; Antifa, conservativenews.com; Antifa mug shots, unknown; Minneapolis burns, Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune/Getty Images; Lori Lightfoot, Rich Hein, Chicago Sun-Times

The Elephant in the Room: The Other America Roars Back

The Elephant in the Room: The Other America Roars Back

If you had any doubt that there really are two Americas, that doubt would have been shattered had you, like me, watched both the Democratic National Convention last week and the Republican National Convention this week. In stark contrast to the Dems’ dark and dystopian view of America, the GOP’s vision of the country was one of hope, progress, and unity. And while the DNC chose to present their view largely through a format of endless small video screens, much like a Zoom infomercial, reflecting the fear they would like to keep the country living in, the RNC chose a live, open, and dynamic format that, while different from a traditional convention, at least conveyed vivacity and unabashed spirit.

Honestly, as I said in my piece last week, I was expecting another largely virtual convention. That expectation went by the wayside from the very opening of the proceedings and was quickly forgotten. Dubbed “Land of Greatness” by the GOP, this was clearly, and refreshingly, an event with real people speaking to the country in real life, not a bunch of talking heads on screens and, in too many cases, in pre-recorded videos and speeches. Also refreshingly absent were the Hollywood elites that the Dems had chosen to emcee their convention.

It has been reported that President Trump used some of The Apprentice’s producers to help plan the RNC convention, and their influence and talent was clearly evident. Heretofore we were led to believe that the Democratic Party had the edge on using technology to its advantage, but if that was true in past years it’s no longer the case. And as the RNC convention demonstrated, technology or no technology, there is no substitute for people speaking directly and unfiltered to the audience.

From the opening speeches of the first night through the finale of Trump’s acceptance speech to a gathering of between 1,000 and 2,000 people on the South Lawn of the White House, followed by one of the most amazing fireworks displays over the National Mall that I’ve ever seen and a rousing operatic set by tenor Christopher Macchio, this convention walked all over the Dems’ Zoom display with big elephant feet. And while the Dems studiously avoided even one word of mention of the other elephants in the country, the months of violence and civil unrest rocking cities all across the nation, or how China was allowed to bleed away millions of American jobs, the Republicans took them head-on, portraying Democratic complicity in permitting both and how the country could look forward to more of the same were Joe Biden elected in November. Perhaps more even than the convention’s production values, this message may have resonated with voters. But we’ll get to that.

No More (Just) Mr. White Guy

Another myth dispelled throughout the most recent four nights is that the Republican Party is a party of old white men. While the Dems tried to make us believe that the country consists almost entirely of blacks and Hispanics, the Republicans demonstrated that people of all different backgrounds – white, black, Hispanic, Native American, men, women, old, young, natural born, and immigrant – can and do find a home in the GOP and, in case after case, to rise to positions of great authority within the party and the country. It was a direct refutation of the identity politics the Dems rely on and showed that people of drive and talent are welcomed and can thrive within the Republican Party based not on the color of their skin, but rather – in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., frequently cited during the convention – the quality of their character.

Some of the people of color, both luminaries and the largely unheralded, who spoke during the convention, all of whom had nothing but words of praise for the President, include:

  • Legendary NFL star Herschel Walker
  • South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott
  • Candidate for Congress from Baltimore Kim Klacik
  • Maximo Alvarez, Cuban exile and founder of Sunshine Gasoline
  • Former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley
  • Democratic Georgia state legislator Vernon Jones
  • Norma Urrabazo, pastor and executive at the National Latina/Latino Commission
  • Myron Lizer, vice president of the Navajo Nation
  • Jon Ponder, former inmate and founder of HOPE for Prisoners, Inc.
  • Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez
  • Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
  • Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng
  • Burgess Owens, former NFL player and candidate for Congress from Utah
  • Civil rights activist Clarence Henderson
  • White House advisor Ja’Ron Smith
  • Marine Corps veteran Stacia Brightmom
  • Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes
  • Ann Dorn, widow of former police captain David Dorn, killed in St. Louis looting
  • HUD Secretary Ben Carson
  • Alice Johnson, former inmate whose sentence was commuted by President Trump

A recurrent theme was how the media portrayal of Trump as a racist and misogynist was false. Herschel Walker, speaking on the opening night, perhaps said it best.

It hurt my soul to hear the terrible names that people call Donald. The worst one is racist. I take it out as a personal insult that people would think I’ve had a 37-year friendship with a racist. People who think that don’t know what they’re talking about,” Walker said. “Growing up in the deep South, I’ve seen racism up close. I know what it is and it isn’t Donald Trump. Just because someone loves and respect the flag, our national anthem, and our country doesn’t mean they don’t care about social justice. I care about all of those things. So does Donald Trump. He shows how much he cares about social justice in the black community through his actions and his actions speaks louder than stickers or slogans on a jersey.”

Walker’s sentiments were echoed by Jon Ponder, a convicted bank robber released early from prison and who went on to found HOPE for Prisoners, Inc., an organization that helps former convicts get a new start in life. In one of several moments in which Trump himself appeared, the President signed a full pardon for Ponder right on camera. Looking on approvingly was Richard Beasley, the former FBI agent who had arrested Ponder and with whom he is now friends.

On the last night, Alice Marie Johnson, another former prisoner whose sentence had been commuted by the President after she spent more than two decades behind bars for a non-violent drug conviction that was her first offense, gave a moving presentation. She related how she had been sentenced to life in prison without parole, a product of the crime bill that Joe Biden had helped get passed in the 1990s.

I was once told that the only way I would be reunited with my family would be as a corpse,” Johnson said. “But through the grace of God and the love and compassion of President Donald John Trump, I stand before you tonight and I assure you, I am not a ghost. I am alive, I am whole and most importantly, I am free.”

Going one step further, the day after the convention Trump gave Johnson a full pardon.

Other speakers who gave moving and powerful accounts of their encounters with the President and how he supported them were Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was murdered in the Parkland high school massacre; Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington, Kentucky, teen who was ridiculed by the media mob simply for wearing a MAGA hat; pro-life advocate and former Planned Parenthood employee Abby Johnson; and Carl and Marsha Mueller, whose daughter, Kayla, was held captive, tortured, raped, and murdered by ISIS.

The Big Media Lie

If you had any doubt about the source for creating and maintaining the two separate Americas, the mass media quickly wiped out any question you might have had about that. Because I didn’t want the interruptions with talking heads that marked coverage of the DNC convention on Fox News, I watched all four nights of it on MSNBC, which normally I’ll avoid like the plague. On MSNBC, I was able to see the entire DNC convention uninterrupted. But that wasn’t to be the case for the RNC convention. Early on the first night, as Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who had defended their home and lives from a mob of Black Lives Matter protestors only to be charged with gun violations by the same prosecutor who refused to charge any of the looters or rioters in her jurisdiction, were telling their story, MSNBC cut in so Rachel Maddow could “explain the lies” told by the McCloskeys. Now wait a minute. I don’t need a despicable character and congenital liar like Rachel Maddow explaining anything to me, nor do I need the likes of former Missouri Senator and Democratic hack Claire McCaskell, called out of the hangar of washed-up politicians by Maddow, or the racist Don Lemon or the general idiot Chris Cuomo on CNN, telling me about what the McCloskeys actually experienced. I’ve seen it first-hand and to me it’s clear who the liars are, and it’s not the McCloskeys.

Despite the biggest and most shameless lies told during the DNC convention, never once did Maddow or the others on the leftist networks interrupt it or “explain” any of those lies. But they did it repeatedly during the Republican convention. While Fox News was still doing its talking heads thing, I searched for a source where I could watch the RNC convention without it being filtered through interpretations or distortions of either side of the political spectrum. And I found it on C-Span, where I was able to watch the rest of the convention in its entirety without interruption.

I am sure I was not alone in this. While overall viewership ratings were down slightly for the RNC versus the DNC (as it was in 2016, too), it was off markedly for MSNBC and CNN. Meanwhile, Fox News, during Sean Hannity’s segment, scored record viewership for any convention coverage ever – more than 7 million viewers on the first night, compared with 2 million on CNN and less than 1.6 million on MSNBC, and 8 million on the second night. But the real gainer was C-Span, where viewership for the RNC convention was a rocking six times that for the DNC convention. On the first night of the RNC, 440,000 viewers, myself among them, tuned in on C-Span, versus just 76,000 for the DNC in the equivalent time slot, and this pattern continued through the week. The DNC performance on social media, according to Nielson Media Research, was no better. I think this was an indictment of the kind of distorted coverage provided by the other networks, especially the ones on the left.

To me, it is encouraging that so many Americans still want to get their news unfiltered and can see through the lies told them by the likes of CNN and MSNBC. Allowed to do so, it’s clear that views can begin to change. The post-convention show on C-Span took calls from viewers all over the country, with separate call-in numbers for Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. It was no surprise that almost all the callers on the Republican line supported Trump. What was a surprise was how almost all the callers on the Democratic line said they were changing their support to Trump and, in some cases, changing their party affiliation to Republican after being life-long Democrats. Most of those on the Independent line also said they’d vote for Trump in November. Again, this pattern continued through the convention.

Probably the issue that was most cited by those shifting their support to Trump was the violence afflicting the country and the belief that the Dems were either unable or unwilling to do anything about it. It didn’t hurt that the worst of the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was going on during the convention, and people were fed up watching American cities being destroyed by mindless violence. Apparently this message started to get through to the Dem leadership, and even to the talking heads of CNN and MSNBC.

After nearly three months trying to convince viewers that all that was going on was “peaceful protesting,” Cuomo came out Tuesday, the second night of the RNC convention, and called anti-police rioting “a Rorschach test for where this country is,” adding, I think it probably represents the biggest threat to the Democratic cause.” And then Lemon, who previously had gone so far as to defend the rioting as a “mechanism for a restructure of our country or for some sort of change,” agreed with Cuomo’s Rorschach reference. And then he went on to reveal the real crux of the matter in his eyes: “The rioting has to stop. Chris, as you know and I know, it’s showing up in the polling. It’s showing up in focus groups. It is the only thing – it is the only thing right now that is sticking.”

So it’s not the loss of property, the loss of life, the destruction of livelihoods, the tearing down and burning of whole segments of American cities that is the problem. It’s that the poll numbers for Biden and “the Democratic cause” are going down. Got it?

Do you still doubt the key role the media play in creating and fostering the divisions the country is suffering through? The bigger question is, how can democracy even survive such bias and untruths?

Melania

Melania Trump, the largely unheralded First Lady, deserves a section of this posting all by herself. While all the adult Trump children – Donald Jr., Tiffany, Eric, and Ivanka – had speaking rolls during the convention, First Lady Melania’s presentation at the end of the second night was perhaps the most remarkable from a family member.

You didn’t have to wonder whether she used to be a model. That was apparent seeing the grace with which she carried herself coming down the long White House arcade to the podium. We get to see so little of this First Lady that it’s remarkable observing her beauty and composure, not to mention her striking wardrobe (it doesn’t hurt being married to a billionaire, but one can certainly see the attraction she held, and apparently still does, for the President).

Melania must be the most classicly feminine and cultured First Lady the country has had since Jacqueline Kennedy. Were Trump a Democrat and not a Republican, the media would be fawning all over her like a 15-year-old boy in heat, but instead she’s almost shut out, when not being actively derided. Part of that is probably the result of her own reticence to be the center of attention – we remember how at the beginning of the President’s term she preferred to stay in New York with son Barron – but the rest is pure prejudice.

It was striking to hear a First Lady speak with an accent. To me, it signified how open and welcoming this country is, to not only elect a black man to the country’s highest office, but now to have a foreign-born First Lady. And once she started speaking, it was clear the audience of about 100 people gathered in the Rose Garden, which she recently had renovated after many years without an updating, loved her. She seemed to have some difficulty with the teleprompters, holding her head in one direction or the other for a bit longer than seemed natural, but she spoke with confidence and expressed herself with a clarity that belied the fact that English is not her native language. If only Joe Biden could be as coherent.

The First Lady spoke of her immigrant roots.

Growing up as a young child in Slovenia, which was under Communist rule at the time, I always heard about an amazing place called America, a place that stands for freedom and opportunity,” she said. “As an immigrant and a very independent woman, I understand what a privilege it is to live here and to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that we have.”

Melania acknowledged the pain caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, saying, “”My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one, and my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering.” She also spoke of her work addressing the opioid epidemic, and her work with children both here and in Africa. She spoke to the mothers of the country about her “Be Best” campaign to encourage more civility in online discourse and the concerns they share about the use of social media by their children. And she addressed how her husband’s approach did not please everyone, but – garnering a laugh from the audience – she said, “Whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking.”

Melania also addressed the issues of racial justice confronting the country, and described how she saw the legacy of the slave trade first-hand upon arriving in Ghana.

“It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history,” she said, but went on to urge an end to the unrest, saying, “Stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice.”

It occurred to me that Trump and his re-election campaign would be advised to make greater use of Melania, getting her out front-and-center to help influence hearts and minds. But, of course, most in the media had nothing good to say about her speech, and then another washed-up member of the Hollywood elite, Bette Midler, tweeted, “#beBest is back! A UGE bore! She can speak several words in a few languages. Get that illegal alien off the stage!”

If that wasn’t bad enough, she went on to tweet, “Oh God. She still can’t speak English.”

Well, Miss M – the M surely stands for Moron – how good is your Slovenian? What ignorance. But there must still be some decency left in this country because there was an outpouring of tweets accusing Midler of xenophobia and racism, which of course were appropriate words to categorize the venom contained in her mindless tweets.

The Dems Have Nothing to Say

It seems all the Dems have to offer in response are the kinds of gripes one has come to expect from them. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech, given from Jerusalem where he is on a trip promoting relations in the region, was criticized as a Hatch Act violation. Never mind the substance of what he said, or the demonstrable positive influence he and this Administration has had in the Middle East, in stark contrast to the mess Trump’s and Pompeo’s predecessors helped create.

Further criticisms were offered of Trump’s pardon of Jon Ponder or his overseeing of a naturalization ceremony for five new American citizens. Not to mention – horror of horrors! – his use of the White House and the South Lawn for his acceptance speech and the closing festivities. Never mind that Obama, in eight years, couldn’t manage to achieve criminal justice reform, which Trump has, or deported more people from the country than has Trump.

And of course, the other big criticism: People at the White House events weren’t wearing masks or social distancing. That’s the best they can do. Now remember, their candidate has said he’d shut the country down and require everyone to wear masks, so why would we be surprised? Never mind that the scientific evidence is, at best, mixed whether masks offer any real benefit, and no criticism has been made of rioters not wearing masks. But anything to divide us, and any criticism of Republicans is fair, right?

Note also that the Republican Party paid for the fireworks and other features of the closing ceremonies and no tax dollars were expended on them, but that won’t be enough to stop Nancy Pelosi and her gang from mounting one more expensive and pointless investigation.

But you know what? The Dems have squandered so much of the taxpayers’ money, the nation’s reputation, and our patience, I really don’t give a damn whether Pompeo broke the Hatch Act or whether it was technically proper or not that Trump used the White House as a backdrop during the convention. If the President can stir a bit of patriotic feeling and even a bit of excitement in his activities, I say go at it. The only marvel to me is that he has survived four years of the relentless and feckless and, at base, illegal and treasonous attacks mounted by the Dems and the dogs in their partisan media.

While Biden supporters all breathed a big sigh of relief at the end of their convention that their candidate managed to get through 25 minutes reading off a teleprompter and was greeted by flashing headlights in a Wilmington parking lot, Trump went almost three times as long, 70 minutes, in his acceptance speech, and no one doubted that he could. And then, as Uncle Joe cowered in his basement, Trump was off the next day for a campaign rally in New Hampshire.

But it wasn’t acceptable to the nihilists that one of the two major parties could hold its convention unmolested. After the final refrains from Macchio and the applause had died down, those attending the closing ceremonies at the White House were greeted by taunts, assaults, and death threats from the violent leftists, anarchists, and general morons and useful idiots gathered in the streets outside the White House grounds.

Among those attacked and threatened by the violent mobs were Sen. Rand Paul and his wife, Kelley. Beset by about 100 Black Lives Matter activists – some of which Paul said appeared to have been brought in from outside the area – Paul credited the D.C. police with possibly saving his and his wife’s life.

I truly believe this with every fiber of my being,” Rand said, “had they gotten at us they would have gotten us to the ground, we might not have been killed, might just have been injured by being kicked in the head, or kicked in the stomach until we were senseless.”

The couple finally had to seek protection from the security detail assigned to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to escape the mob. Needless to say, there have been no denunciations of this mob violence on White House guests by Biden or any other Democrat.

This is what the country has come to, and why after two weeks of political blather I am slightly more hopeful that Donald Trump will be re-elected in November and we at least will have a chance, as slim as it might be, of being spared from the abyss.

Featured Image: GOP Elephant and Flag, from latinovations.com, used under Fair Use
Melania Trump: Brendan Smialowski, AFP-Getty Images, used under Fair Use

When Up Is Down and Down Is Up: The DNC Infomercial

When Up Is Down and Down Is Up: The DNC Infomercial

If, like me, you were one of the half dozen people suffering through the four-day infomercial otherwise known as the Democratic National Convention, you may have gotten a view of an America you don’t recognize. One in which up is down and down is up.

Okay, okay. There were more than a half-dozen people watching this thing. But, relatively speaking, not many more. Network ratings for the convention were 40 – 50 percent below what they were in 2016, and overall viewership was off about 30 percent. In a year when a significant part of the population is confined to their home and with political divisions running at the highest level in our lifetime, one might have expected at least as many people to tune in as last time. But no.

To be fair, due to concerns about the coronavirus thing, this was a virtual convention, just as the Republican National Conventional, soon to follow, will be, and as such it lacked a lot of the pzazz and pageantry of live political conventions. But even given that constraint, one has to wonder who was behind putting this thing together, as contrived and staged as it was. Described by many as an extended infomercial, it verged into tedium and too often suffered from annoying, if minor, technical glitches, but mostly it just felt stiff and distant. All that is aside from the boundless balderdash and shameless deceits foisted on the audience by the various Dem sacred cows who paraded across the screen for four nights. But we’ll get to that.

Things started off inauspiciously the first night with an opening video featuring a series of scenes from cities around the country. That might have been okay, but what jumped off the screen was that almost all the shots were taken under overcast skies. Who, I wondered, had screened and greenlighted that video? What quickly became apparent, though, was that those gray skies were emblematic of the kind of vision of America that this party has and which would underpin much of what would follow that night and over the next nights of the convention. Not a bright and vibrant country, not a country of sunshine and blue skies, but a country moldering under grim and colorless clouds. It could have been Siberia in winter and not America in mid-summer.

The next thing that didn’t bode well was the appearance of actress Eva Longoria as emcee for the night. I had to check my TV listings to be sure this was the DNC convention and not the Academy Awards. Nope, it was the DNC convention, but the choice to use Hollywood celebrities underscores how much the Democratic Party has become the party of the elites. In this case, the Hollywood elites, some of the biggest financial backers of Dem candidates.

Longoria was more interesting as a Desperate Housewife than as emcee of a political convention. Her low-energy presentation didn’t generate much excitement, not for this viewer, anyway, as the evening wore on. And neither did the other celebrities who emceed over the next three nights. On the second night, it was Tracee Ellis Ross, who I confess I had to look up since I didn’t have a clue who she was. The third night had Kerry Washington, whom at least I’d vaguely heard of but couldn’t place where. The last night, the one I was watching as I wrote this, put Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Seinfeld fame center stage. Dreyfus almost immediately distinguished herself by telling some sort of joke about Vice President Mike Pence that was as tasteless as it was senseless and unfunny. And it wasn’t the last tasteless and pointless joke of the night. Hey Julia, go back to being Elaine, and lose the stand-up.

The third thing that jumped out at the outset and which remained throughout the four nights was the racial make-up of the various people used for cameo appearances and coordinated applause on the dozens of video screens used to fill in the backdrop for the convention. I’m all for diversity, but looking at things through the eyes of the Dems, something like 80 to 90 percent of the American population is black, Hispanic, or Native American. That more than flips things on their head, given that about 13 percent of the population is black, 18 percent is Hispanic, and some small percent is Native American. And in the Dems’ world, there aren’t many Asians, who in fact make up about 6 percent of the population.

What wasn’t talked about

Before we discuss what was said at the convention, let’s talk about what wasn’t mentioned, not even a little, not even in passing: The violence, rioting, and crime that has been sweeping the country for nearly three months now. These things simply do not exist for the Dems, and somehow they think no one will notice their absence from the conversation (a favorite Dem word for talking about intractable issues).

It would be neither inaccurate nor an exaggeration to say that the coronavirus pandemic is the single best ally the Dems have. Fears of the virus are what led to cancellation of the live convention in Milwaukee. Given how the Democratic nomination process that led to the elevation of Joe Biden to the top spot was essentially hijacked by anonymous party power brokers, the riots going on in Portland and Seattle and other places would seem like boisterous frat parties compared to the violence that might have torn Milwaukee to shreds, in the mode of Chicago 1968, had the convention actually been held there.

The other thing the pandemic has done is to give Democratic governors the perfect excuse to close down their states, leading to massive economic disruption and helping to drive an economy, arguably the best in the country’s history pre-pandemic, into the ditch. The virus and the current economic downturn were often mentioned, ad nauseum, during the convention – albeit without much anchoring to facts – to the point that one could reasonably contend that Joe Biden has two running mates, the second one being the coronavirus.

What was talked about

Over the course of the four nights, some things became transparently clear, including that the Dems:

  • Are deathly afraid that low voter turn-out of party voters, especially on the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, will kill their chances in November
  • See slipping support among black and Hispanic voters as a mortal threat to electing Joe Biden as President
  • Realize how critical women voters are to winning in November
  • Don’t want you to know about the Faustian bargain party power brokers made to jury-rig Joe Biden at the head of the ticket in return for agreeing to the most radical left-wing programs espoused by Bernie and the so-called “progressive” (read “radical”) wing of the party
  • Think a bunch of weak-kneed has-been Republicans, dragged out to speak for a Dem candidacy, will move the needle with voters
  • Lack new ideas or programs a large segment of the electorate might get behind, but whatever is wrong with the country is all Donald Trump’s fault
  • Think if they tell big enough lies, which won’t be exposed or questioned by their lackeys in the liberal media, they can fool voters into voting for Dems in November

The irony is, they are probably onto something with most, if not all, of those points.

We heard over and over, especially on the fourth night, how people should text 30330 to work out their “voting plan,” whatever that is. We were told that so many times that no one could actually forget it, except of course Joe Biden, as he did at the end of the first Dem debate. And if anyone had any doubt about what voters the Dems were appealing to, that was dispelled by the overwhelming number of black and brown faces on all those video screens.

In a play for Bernie voters, old Bernie himself made the pitch for Joe Biden, but the programs and objectives outlined by him and the person who seconded Bernie’s nomination, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, were in direct contradiction to the positions Biden staked out during the Dem debates. Notably invisible were the daytime workshops and caucuses where the most radical participants aired their plans and programs for what should happen after November.

No one wanted to talk about things like defunding the police, which most black voters don’t support, preferring to call it by some blather like “re-imagining the police,” even as Dem city councils and mayors around the country are already defunding and emasculating the police.

Biden, we were repeatedly told, had a plan for dealing with his second running mate, the coronvirus pandemic, but that plan sounded remarkably like what the Trump Administration has actually done and smacked of puffery more than substance. This as the candidate cowers in his Wilmington basement, kept on a short leash by his handlers. Meanwhile, demonstrating the very essence of ignorance with impudence, New York Gov. Mario Cuomo had nothing good to say about Trump, even after Trump had provided him with everything he had asked for and previously earned his praise as New York, under Cuomo’s oversight, rose to the top echelon of the world in mishandling the pandemic.

It was equally – what is the correct word? Amusing? Infuriating? Mind-boggling? – to hear Bill Clinton talk about bringing dignity to the Oval Office, or Barack Obama talk of scandal or being up to the job, or Michelle Obama (whose address had been prerecorded from the Obama’s $11.75 million estate on Martha’s Vineyard) talk about how much she loved America. Not unexpectedly, Hillary Clinton still can’t get over the fact that she lost to Donald Trump in 2016, nor was it a surprise that John Kerry would have the temerity to say that it is Trump and not himself and Obama and Biden who is soft on terrorism. Shameless is not just the name of a Showtime television series but can be applied to the top luminaries of the Democratic Party, given the breathtaking breadth and depth of their dishonesty and hypocrisy.

While no one wanted to talk about how Biden’s family profited from his position in generating enormous profits in China and Ukraine and other places, we heard how nice he was to train conductors and elevator operators, what a sweet guy he is, and how loyal he is to his family and friends. But none of that relates to how good or competent a president he would make, or his lackluster record stretching over 36 years in the Senate or eight years as Vice President, and least of all his current mental condition and ability to even serve in the world’s most demanding position. As reported by Politico, despite the words of praise Obama heaped on his former VP Wednesday night, the 44th president was slow to endorse Biden and told another Democrat, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.”

The real candidate

What the Dem power brokers would rather you not know is who their real candidate is, and that is their pick for Vice President, Biden’s first running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California. There is too much to say about the ploy they’re trying to pull in this piece, but even the most uncurious voter has to wonder about the pick of someone who was so unpopular in the primary contest that she dropped out of the race two months before the first caucus or primary election was held. Harris may have been unpopular to the full range of Dem voters, just as she has been a less-than-popular figure in her home state of California, but as the most liberal member of the Senate – designated by GovTrack.us as more liberal than self-proclaimed Socialist Bernie himself – she was an obvious choice for the far left power brokers of the party.

To put a term to it, Harris is what is called a stalking horse candidate. Biden may be at the head of the ticket, but once in office – if he makes it that far – and it becomes apparent he’s not up to governing, Harris will be the one who runs the show. While the party poobahs do their best to keep Biden sequestered in his Wilmington basement, it will be Harris out doing the campaigning and, if voters buy into the ploy, running the White House and the government after Jan. 20. If the Dems manage to keep control of the House and succeed in taking back the Senate, the way will be clear for imposing the most radical agenda on the country. That’s the plan, anyway.

Think me cynical if you wish, but more than ever before in U.S. history we have two empty vessels put forth by one party to be President and Vice President, and it is the party power brokers, the radical “progressives” pulling the strings, who will be in control should their plan succeed. Even a cursory look reveals how both Biden and Harris lack core values and change their positions on just about any issue quicker than Arturo Brachetti could change his clothes. They are the perfect vehicles for a takeover of American politics such as the country has never previously seen.

If you were impressed by the four nights of the DNC’s infomercial, just wait for the four years, and beyond, they have in store for you.

Featured Image: Alex Martinez, Unsplash. Used with permission.

When They Come for Your Eyeglasses: Cultural Revolution in America

When They Come for Your Eyeglasses: Cultural Revolution in America

If you know anything about the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror in Cambodia in the 1970s, you understand the reference in the title of this posting. People who wore eyeglasses were deemed to be bourgeois and therefore needed to be killed. So did anyone who had an education. Or spoke another language. Or owned a car. Or lived in a city. Or existed at all. A word that has stayed with me for decades, reading the words of one survivor, speaking of what became of all his family members in the killing fields of Cambodia, was the Khmer word slap.

Slap. Slap. Slap.

Dead. Dead. Dead.”

What happened in Cambodia, where estimates put the number of those murdered by the Khmer Rouge, or who died of starvation, disease, or exhaustion in the rural work camps to which they were exiled, at anywhere from 1 million to 3 million – no one really knows, though generally 2 million is the accepted number – is sadly not the exception to what happens when cultural revolutions reach their logical conclusion. No matter what their original motivations or justifications, they almost universally end in the wholesale slaughter of anyone not deemed sufficiently ideologically pure to those who wind up as the self-appointed leaders of the revolution.

Mobs of the French Revolution. Source unknown.

There were the tens of thousands who lost their heads to the Jacobins’ guillotines, or otherwise died, in the Reign of Terror – that one gets capitalized – of the French Revolution. Liberté, égalité, fraternité, which sound like pretty good things to aim for, turned into repression, imprisonment, and death for many, both those on the wrong side of the cultural and political divide and just ordinary innocents who got in the way of the murderous tide.

Dead in the streets during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. Source unknown.

The Red Terror of the Bolshevik Revolution executed somewhere north of a quarter million people, but by the time the Russian Civil War had run its course the dead totaled at least 1.5 million, not counting the 3 million people who died of typhus just in the chaos of 1920 alone or the tens of millions who died in subsequent decades under the Soviets, into whom the Bolsheviks transformed.

And then there was Chairman Mao’s decade-long Cultural Revolution which wracked China from 1966 until 1976. Like all the other big social spasms there is no agreement on the number of dead and a million or two is considered a rounding error. But by China’s own official numbers, nearly 2 million people died and another 125 million people were persecuted or “struggled against” in brutal harassing, and often fatal, “struggle sessions” in which their cultural impurities were challenged by the Red Guards and their peers, colleagues, students, tenants, and even their own children. If all those who died as a result of the revolutionary insanity promulgated by Mao over the decades are included, estimates run as high as 80 million.

Cultural Revolution “Struggle Session,” 1966. From Flickr. Used under Fair Use.

While America’s incipient cultural revolution hasn’t yet taken a death toll approaching history’s worst, the numbers already are beginning to mount. When I first began writing this piece, just five weeks into the domestic unrest, more than 25 people – many black, whose lives ostensibly matter enough to have stirred the uprising – had been killed and an untold number injured in the demonstrations and associated violence sweeping the nation since the death of George Floyd on May 26. Through a holiday weekend and a couple of other days, and the toll continues to mount of the civilians killed in the “peaceful” protesting. On the receiving end of much of the violence, hundreds of police – nearly 300, some critically, in New York City alone during the early days of the unrest – and other law enforcement officers have been injured and at least one, in Oakland, Calif., killed.

Revolution American Style: Looters helping themselves to the politically correct garb at the Nike on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, in view of Rockefeller Center. Looters had already cleaned out Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square and numerous other stores and boutiques and businesses, big and small, throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Queens — four of the city’s five boroughs. Only Staten Island was spared.

And then there are the rising murder rates following calls, and actual actions, to defund or abolish the police: In New York, shootings are up 44% and murders up 23%, over last year. In Chicago, already an urban killing field, shootings are up 45% and murders up 34%. In the 24 hours from May 31 to June 1, the city experienced its most violent day in 60 years, with 18 murders. Philadelphia has seen a 57% increase in shootings and 24% increase in murders. In Milwaukee, homicides are up 95%. And in Los Angeles, in the first week of June alone, murders were up 250% from the previous week. Other serious crimes, such as assault, burglary, and arson, also are on the rise across the nation.

As the violence continues to mount it’s impossible to stay current with the numbers, but the ones cited give an indication of where things are headed. In the past weekend alone, gunfire claimed the lives of at least six children around the country: An 8-year-old girl, sitting in her mom’s car, in Atlanta. An 11-year-old boy, grandson of the founder of the DC chapter of the Guardian Angels, in Washington, D.C. A 7-year-old girl playing outside her grandma’s house and a 14-year-old boy in a crowd watching fireworks, both in separate incidents in Chicago. A 6-year-old boy in San Francisco. An 8-year-old boy in Hoover, Ala. All were just doing ordinary things when criminals running amok killed them.

Think it can’t happen here? Think again.

If you’re paying any attention at all, and haven’t been taken in by the apologist blather of the liberal media, you’ve been watching the wanton destruction of whole swaths of numerous American cities. You’ve seen the looting, arson, and defacement of both public and private property. You’ve seen the takeover and occupation of key parts of cities like Seattle, Washington, and New York. You’ve seen innocent people being beaten, dragged from vehicles, threatened with death, and killed. And you’ve seen the mindless toppling and destruction of numerous statues and monuments, all at the hands of the mob.

Chinese Red Guards raise their fists in ideological purity in 1966. Universal History Archive, UIG via Getty Images. Used under Fair Use.

Looking at the range of historic figures attacked by mobs all across the land, one must assume that the mob leaders and their sycophantic followers are true morons who know nothing about history, nor about the underpinnings of the country, nor even about the abolitionist movement and the emancipation of slaves. Nor does their ignorance seem to matter to them. Suddenly every historic figure ranging from George Washington to Christopher Columbus, from Teddy Roosevelt to Thomas Jefferson, from Andrew Jackson to Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator himself, has been targeted for erasure from the national record, without sanction of any democratic process.

Demonstrators in New York City. Pexels. Used with permission.

This is a hallmark of cultural revolution, wherever it occurs, wiping out history and declaring a new Year Zero, the starting point of the revolution. It is disturbing to watch the inflamed furor of the crowds in the streets of America and their drive to destroy all remnants of history, in essence declaring a new Year Zero, and then to compare it with the inflamed furor of the crowds of Mao’s Cultural Revolution or the boy-soldiers of the Cambodian terror, or that of any of the many social spasms that have torn apart other countries and societies. This should give pause to anyone with even the vaguest appreciation for history or fear of the dark places where cultural revolutions lead.

Young girl in 1967 China holds up a copy of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. Ulstein Bild via Getty Images. Used under Fair Use.

 

 

 

 

 

Young boy in 2020 Washington records it all on his cell phone. Photo by Gayatri Malhotra. Used under Fair Use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the Cultural Revolution’s mandate to “destroy the Four Olds,” man smashes an old statue in 1967. Ullstein Bild via Getty Images. Used under Fair Use.
U.S. Park Police survey the damage and secure the scene after protestors unsuccessfully attempted to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson. the seventh president of the country, near the White House. Getty Images. Used under Fair Use.

The Origins of the Chaos

There is no mistaking the strongly leftist, anti-American nature of the rhetoric and actions of the mob. Or how it has used the same tactics of other cultural revolutions — intimidation, public shaming, and violence – to force compliance with its demands or the expungement and cancellation of anyone who resists coming into line.

Comparisons have been drawn between what is happening now and the revolutionary wave that swept the country a half-century ago. As riots, mob violence, bombings, and assassinations – as well as peaceful demonstrations – swept the country then, the same intolerance in evidence today was in evidence then.

The denizens of the People’s Republic of CHAZ/CHOP/Whatever mill about in front of the abandoned East Precinct of the Seattle Police. Getty Images. Used under Fair Use.

I won’t pretend that there weren’t leftist and anti-American professors in my undergraduate time during the cultural upheaval that ran through America in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But it seems in the intervening decades their presence has become pervasive on campuses across the country, exerting a powerful influence on generations of students. In a country where freedom of expression is enshrined in the first amendment to its Constitution, we’ve arrived at a stage on many of our college campuses where any divergence from political correctness and the accepted party line is repressed, blocked, decried, and only the orthodoxy of the left is tolerated.

Red Guards, better dressed, more neatly kempt, and better behaved than the Seattle occupiers, march in Waxi in 1967. Bettmann/Getty Images. Used under Fair Use.

The revered liberal U.S. senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, already in that earlier era of unrest saw the anti-American underpinnings of the movement.

“To a degree that no one could have anticipated even three or four years ago, the educated elite of the American middle class have come to detest their society, and their detestation is rapidly diffusing to youth in general,” Moynihan wrote in a series of memos to President Richard Nixon in 1969 and 1970. “The effects of this profound movement of opinion will be with us for generations.“

Seattle burns. The acronym “ACAB” can be seen at many scenes of violence around the country and (so clever) it stands for “All Cops Are Bastards.” I wonder what acronym would express the essence of arsonists? Photo by joshwho.net. Used under Fair Use.

Moynihan saw the growth of nihilism arising out of the educated and upper classes, imposing their ideological purity on the society, and once more we see it now in the allegedly educated and upper classes on the frontlines of ongoing attacks on the nation’s historical monuments and other cultural icons.

“Nihilist movements typically have led to political regimes of the most oppressive and reactionary qualities,” Moynihan wrote. “I know there is an authoritarian Left in this country, and I fear it.”

Phnom Penh burns in 1975. Residents flee the city as the Khmer Rouge move in to occupy it and terrorize, exile, and murder the population. Photo by Claude Juvenal, AFP via Getty Images. Used under Fair Use.

Moynihan made one other prescient observation: “It would be difficult to overestimate the degree to which young well-educated blacks detest white America.”

Given the roles played by Antifa and Black Lives Matter in agitating the current unrest, and given the far-left roots and agendas of both groups in pushing for social upheaval, we need not be surprised by the anti-American nature of much of what we’ve witnessed in this country since the death of George Floyd. Over recent decades we’ve grown accustomed to seeing Antifa and other anarchist and far-left groups disrupt international financial meetings, like the G-8, but we’ve been less used to seeing them at other times and places. Since May 26 they have become a commonplace on American streets as Antifa and Antifa-backed activists employ the brown-shirt techniques of fascism in their purported quest to oppose what they call fascism, which encompasses both democratically elected government and capitalism.

Ivan Alekseevich Vladimirov (1869–1947), Vandalism of the Revolutionaries, a scene in one of the rooms of the Winter Palace in December 1918 [sic; 1917], 1918. Gouache and watercolor over pencil. Ivan Alekseevich Vladimirov Paintings, Hoover Institution Archives. Used under Fair Use.
Taking a higher profile in the current unrest is Black Lives Matter, a loose amalgam of individuals and groups operating under a roughly common theme which claims to put black lives foremost. But it doesn’t take much scratching below the surface to see the violent and leftist tendencies within the movement when BLM actions have included calling for the killing of police (which we have to assume includes both white and black and also other lives), supports defunding the police since the group claims the police don’t keep us safe, and it has nothing to say on the topic of black-on-black violence, the biggest source of snuffing out black lives. One is free to see what BLM thinks right on its web site, though keep in mind that it speaks for just one element of the BLM movement. Meanwhile, funding pours into both Antifa and BLM from a panoply of Democratic, liberal, and radical donors, not the least of which is George Soros and his Open Society Foundations, and a raft of mainstream foundations and corporations.

Where’s the police when you need them?”

Panty raid on 16th St. Man in pink bra and panties attacks D.C. Delegate Eleanore Holmes Norton and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell in District’s BHAZ. Image from Twitter video. Used under Fair Use.

That’s an actual quote caught on camera – you can’t make this stuff up – of Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s non-voting delegate to the House, probably thinking no one would hear it. Amid all the “defund the police” hoopla, that was what Holmes Norton muttered when a protester in the police-free “Black House Autonomous Zone” (BHAZ), a man dressed in a pink bra and panties, ran up to whack her and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell as they walked down 16th Street Northwest in the nation’s capital. The pair’s private security detail quickly hauled the man off. After all, who needs police when you have your own security?

I have a broader question, though. Where is anyone protecting the rights of ordinary citizens as their homes, businesses, and very lives have been threatened and in many cases destroyed by violence and looting over the past six weeks? Given that the first duty of elected officials is to look after the safety and well-being of the citizens who put them in office, this is not a frivolous question. While some mayors and governors have done their duty in seeking to control the looting, arson, and vandalism, others, with apparent impunity, have been deliberately derelict in their duty.

Perhaps the most egregious example of dereliction is Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Washington State’s inept Gov. Jay Inslee. When ostensible protestors took over several blocks of the central part of her city, forcing police to abandon the East Precinct station and submitting residents and business owners to harassment and obstruction, Durkan — undoubtedly thinking she was being cute — lamely told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that CHAZ (short for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, which later morphed into Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, or CHOP) could turn into “a summer of love.” Meanwhile, after pretending he didn’t know anything about the occupation in his state’s largest city, Inslee showed his utter ignorance by calling the occupation “largely peaceful” and “fundamentally American.” It took the murder of two black teenage boys, the wounding of others, and a litany of assaults, rapes, robberies, and acts of destruction of property to finally prompt the so-called powers that be to clear the area.

Horace Lorenzo Anderson Sr., left, father of 19-year-old who was killed in Seattle’s CHOP zone, speaking with Fox News’s Sean Hannity. Andre Taylor, right, is a community activist and founder of Not This Time. Image by Fox News. Used under Fair Use.

Adding indecency to incompetence and malfeasance, neither Durkan, nor anyone else in her administration, bothered to inform the father of the first 19-year-old victim that his son had been killed, much less express remorse, and the man wasn’t even allowed to see his son’s body for days. This all came out in a poignant interview with the father on Sean Hannity’s nighttime TV show on Fox News, an interview well worth watching if you care to see the depths of depravity to which your elected officials can sink in the pursuit of political expediency.

Unlike in countries like Cambodia or China, the power of the purse can be a powerful inducement to action in this country, and one only hopes that the lawsuits filed by aggrieved citizens bankrupt the city of Seattle and the state of Washington, as well as other jurisdictions where officials failed to act to protect their citizens. And the examples are legion, from Minneapolis to New York, from Chicago to Los Angeles, from Portland to Washington, and many other places.

A statue of Christopher Columbus winds up destroyed and under water in Richmond. Image by Parker Michels-Boyce, AFP via Getty Images. Used under Fair Use.

On a national scale, one wonders what has become of the supposed scions of law and order in the House and Senate. Not unexpectedly, the Dems have wrapped themselves in the cloak of the cultural revolution, but with a few exceptions it’s been worse than silence coming from the Republican side of the aisle. Some Republicans have even bowed to the coercion of the mob, with such supposed conservative stalwarts as John Cornyn of Texas sponsoring a bill to make Juneteenth — a day few in the country had even heard of before this year — a national holiday, with two other alleged conservative senators, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and James Langford of Oklahoma, taking things one step further and adding an amendment to Cornyn’s bill that would have abolished Columbus Day. The latter two tried to obfuscate the reason for their amendment by expressing fiscal concerns, something that doesn’t otherwise seem to trouble Congress as it repeatedly runs up record deficits. Given backlash against their proposal, Johnson and Langford subsequently withdrew it, but not until their spineless complicity had been exposed. And yet another Republican senator, Mike Braun of Indiana, introduced a bill to limit the qualified immunity of police, something the mob has called for, although the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on a number of occasions that qualified police immunity is a necessity. In response, Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson suggested that perhaps Braun should give up his immunity as a member of Congress. So far he hasn’t done so.

The mob turns out to see heads roll in the French Revolution. Source unknown.

At times sounding like a lone voice calling for order, President Trump has decried the violence since it began, carrying that message over the weeks of the disorder and making it a focus of his Independence Day address at Mount Rushmore Friday night. Utilizing the power of executive orders Trump blocked the further destruction of federal statues and monuments and has at least slowed, if not stopped, the renaming of military installations around the country. But even he has been stymied in getting local officials to put a stop to the violence and lawlessness afflicting their cities and states. While threatening to implement the Insurrection Act of 1807 and send federal troops to establish order in beleaguered cities, he has held back from actually doing so, ostensibly because those local and state officials didn’t ask for the help. But that is little comfort to the victims of the violence and I, for one, would have preferred to see more action and less talking about it.

Cultural Revolution posters in Beijing, February 1967. Look similar to what has appeared on American streets in 2020? Jean Vincent, AFP via Getty Images. Used under Fair Use.

It’s fairly transparent how the forces aligned against Trump have used the violence and disorder to further marshal opposition to him. As one after another of their schemes to overturn the results of the 2016 election has failed, this — combined with their attempts to keep the economy shut down — might be their last best hope to block Trump’s reelection in November. If enough Americans, they think, buy into the theory that Trump either failed to stop or actually encouraged the violence, or buy into the baseless accusation that he is a racist, or are discouraged enough to just stay home, they might have a chance. Their candidate by default, Joe Biden, has largely remained in his Wilmington basement as the furor swirled above ground level. If you have any illusions what a vote for him might entail, just consider how the most radical elements of the Democratic Party now hold sway over the party, and do a little simple arithmetic to see what chits they hold for parlaying Biden into position as putative nominee. It’s unlikely Biden would be able to govern for long given the visible advanced stage of his mental decline, so the person he picks as his running mate — whom he already has said will be a black woman, in true identity-politics style — is likely to be the party’s real choice. How radical will she be? Given the radicalism of forces within the party who will hold the real power and pull the strings, it almost doesn’t matter.

As the new Know Nothings of 2020 toss Columbus into the harbor and seek to fundamentally transform the country (a phrase used by his former boss and recently picked up by Biden, never mind that it contradicts what he told his rich donors a year ago, that’s just standard operating procedure for him), the future of the country hangs in the balance. What the demonstrators and looters and their supporters can’t accomplish in the streets, the party’s true power brokers — I’ve called them the new plantation masters — hope to leverage into electoral victory in November. Voters might take a hint from the sadly overturned statue of Junipero Serra, below, and stop before they take the country over a cliff from which recovery might well be impossible.

Remember, when they come for your eyeglasses, it will be too late.

Statue of Spanish missionary Junipero Serra seems to beg for its life as it lies in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Source unknown, freerepublic.com. Used under Fair Use.

Featured image: Skulls and bones of victims of the Khmer Rouge. Source: History.com. Used under Fair Use.