- - Tuesday, October 9, 2018


America’s political discourse has become highly inflamed, mainly due to the acceptance of verbal and physical violence as a standard tactic of the left. In another sense, however, it has become too polite, particularly in the partisan media, which refuses to point out the blatantly unsound and irrational policies of the increasingly influential progressive-socialist movement.

The two issues are deeply intertwined. The anger and vehemence of the left has risen in direct proportion to the complete collapse of any rational justification for their platform and the utter lack of any success of their ideas. For eight years, progressive approaches to problems both domestic and foreign produced little short of disaster. During that same time period, partisan abuse of the citizenry by federal agencies reached unprecedented proportions.

The Obama administration, based not on any historical background or factual reality, “Gave Peace a Chance.” The U.S. military was underfunded, and withdrawn from at least one key strategic location. All U.S. tanks were, without fanfare or much public disclosure, removed from Europe, until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made that foolish move so embarrassing some were returned. During a meeting in South Korea, the 44th president promised to essentially bow to Vladimir Putin’s demands on missile defense. His White House failed to lodge even a diplomatic protest when China’s navy invaded the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone.

The result was precisely what anyone who had ever cracked open a history book would have expected. Moscow and Beijing, seeing an opportunity, dramatically enhanced their militaries. Both, realizing that they had nothing to fear from Washington, engaged in the most aggressive actions of any great power since the conclusion of World War II. Pandering to Islamic extremists failed to either quell their misplaced hatred of America or their attacks on U.S. soil

The list of diplomatic failures during the Obama administration could go on and on, but despite the overwhelming evidence of disastrous results, an excessively friendly media refused to acknowledge reality.

Equally unfavorable results occurred in domestic issues, especially the economy. Rather than criticize the stagnation, lack of middle-class jobs, and increased dependence on assistance programs, the media told the public to accept the “new normal.” Despite a stated emphasis on improving the plight of minorities, blacks and Latinos suffered, particularly from competition for low-paying jobs and affordable housing with illegal immigrants. For the entire span of the Obama administration, seniors received historically low cost of living increases in social security.

There is no public policy area, no tale of success, no achievement that progressives can point to that would lead voters to the conclusion that voting for the political party that they now hold great sway over makes any sense. Hence, the politics of anger, violence and hysteria.

The historic low levels of black and Latino unemployment (jobless claims have reached a 48-year low), the booming economy, the overturning of bad trade deals, the elimination of invasive regulations and burdensome tax rates, the rejection of astoundingly bad international agreements such as the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Accord, the first steps toward a reduction of the North Korean nuclear threat are all significant accomplishments. They place Democratic leaders in an untenable position in their efforts to persuade the public to support their candidates.

Realizing that relying on facts and results would produce a losing hand, progressive leaders have resorted to a tactic of producing irrational hysteria in an attempt to win support from specific key voter segments. Unfounded allegations of racism and sexism have been produced, without fear that a largely partisan press would expose the charges as baseless. An ambitious and false attempt to portray the nation as being in turmoil highlights evening news shows.

The 2018 elections will reveal whether the tactic produces viable results.

Frank Vernuccio Jr. is editor in chief of the New York Analysis of Policy and Government.

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