by Jeff Rendall
It is time for transformative change…towards limited government and more freedom
Out with the old, in with the new.
It doesn’t take a genius or a particularly clairvoyant soothsayer to predict lots of things will be different politically in the coming months in the aftermath (assuming there is one) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — or Wuhan, if you prefer — novel coronavirus pandemic. Like cleaning out the basement storeroom or that dusty spider-infested corner of everyone’s garage, politics has a way of renewing itself during times of great upheaval, and that’s exactly what we have here.
Unemployment statistics revealed April was the most devastating month ever for working (or more aptly, not-working) Americans. From the Washington Examiner, “The economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April, the Labor Department reported on Friday, as the coronavirus wreaked a historic amount of havoc on employment. The unemployment rate also skyrocketed to 14.7% in April, up from 4.4% in March.” As would be expected, the restaurant and hospitality industries were particularly devastated with near across-the-board job reductions and business downturns.
The tourism industry suffers not only from mandatory government-imposed lockdowns, but a worldwide fear of contagion that’s kept people out of airplanes, hotel rooms and places where large amounts of people gather (if it’s even “allowed” by the authorities). Some “experts” estimate it will be 2023 before travel business returns to “normal.” To put things in perspective, that’s over halfway into the next presidential term.
Partisan politics is hardly apart from the gathering storm. Under the category of “Never let a good crisis go to waste, “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rashad Robinson (president of the leftist group “Color of Change,” the nation’s largest online racial justice organization) wrote at the USA Today, “In this moment of crisis, we need a new kind of political leadership. The coronavirus pandemic that has brought unprecedented tragedy and devastation has also made clear our responsibility as a nation to push forward bold, transformative change…
“To truly conquer this crisis and emerge stronger and better than before, we need an agenda that provides security and stability for each of us, starting with the people whom our society has routinely excluded from prosperity and relief. And in this moment, when so many of us are experiencing unrivaled uncertainty, we all must take action. It is up to us to galvanize our friends, family members and communities to take action against the corporate opportunism and harmful austerity that threatens to leave behind those struggling the most… (emphasis added)”
Take action, take action, take action! Call Congress into session! Send all of the nation’s county supervisors, mayors and governors to Washington! (Oh wait, that would violate social distancing.) Call the New York Times! Get Rachel Maddow on the phone! Spread the word! Government now! More, more, more! Where’s that copy of the Constitution? Burn it!
There are lots of things at play here. First and most obvious, radical leftists like Pressley and Robinson apparently see an opening to drive their socialism bus through the gaping hole in people’s natural common sense defenses against nanny-state collectivist nonsense. In the best of times — i.e., up until a few months ago — citizens felt confident in their own abilities to earn a paycheck and provide for themselves and their families a pretty reasonable standard of living. For those who felt they were being left behind, there was a myriad of growth to supply a possible way out.
Then China unleashed the COVID-19 plague upon the world and now the leftist freedom-squelchers demand that we gotta trash everything from before and get some action!
Reality indicates even the poorest families have access to elementary necessities through government programs — food, shelter, healthcare, etc. And when was the last time you heard someone complain that they didn’t have enough to cover basic cable or a cell phone? It’s not like LBJ’s “Great Society” hasn’t dumped trillions into fighting poverty while destroying incentives to work, start businesses, get married, assume financial responsibility for children, etc.
Poor people have been the victims of big government statists, not beneficiaries of the largesse. Why are all inner-city school districts so fraught with crime, social maladies (drug use, teenage pregnancy, poor academic performance), bloated bureaucracy, stupid nonsensical politically correct policies and underachieving? Was the current political leadership in the White House responsible for decades of stagnation and deterioration?
Maybe Pressley and Robinson are right, though — it is time for transformative change, but away from top-down government generated “solutions” that only make problems worse. How about abolishing public school systems and in their place providing means for private academies that compete for students, vouchers to pay for them and an option for home schooling? Are big expensive liberal universities still needed? I don’t know the exact statistics, but public schools spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per student, money that could easily be placed in the hands of parents to determine how they want their children to be taught.
Teachers would simply shift to working for private institutions that would reward the best with salaries commensurate with their qualifications and achievements.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing?! When times are bad — i.e., now — opportunists like Pressley and Robinson fuel up their propaganda machines to foster divisions among different groups, stoking fear and apprehension of an untimely demise. The op-ed authors aren’t hiding their aims, using words and phrases like “new kind of political leadership,” “bold, transformative change,” and “harmful austerity” to make it appear that everything that’s being done by current leaders is insufficient and motivated by the tried-and-true Democrat calling cards of racism, corporatism and greed.
Forget Joe Biden. If the radicals are correct, maybe Americans should turn over the reins of government to Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to steer the pay wagon. Those guys would certainly bring change — millions more out of work, government by the politically compromised, etc. A utopian paradise awaits… unless you’re not a minority, value your Second Amendment rights, are pro-life and enjoy freedom.
And for what? As if the current system and culture itself is responsible for government officials (primarily in heavily populated cities and blue states) ordering people to stay away from each other, not go to work and sequester themselves until some all-seeing, all-knowing elected monarch decrees that it’s okay to try and return to normal. Just last week California Gov. Gavin Newsom said his state would not go back to full operation until a vaccine is developed for the CCP virus.
Such pronouncements defy common sense but soften people’s minds towards accepting more government and rule by experts and elites. The Golden State has suffered about 2800 deaths (out of a state population of 40+ million) and 70,000 cases (around a million tests). Seasonal flu deaths (10-year average) for California are estimated at 4701. We don’t need “transformative change” because of the coronavirus; it’s already here in the form of liberal petty tyrants who’ve seized on their unlawful authority to wreck people’s lives and (unfortunate) willingness to submit.
Let not your heart be troubled — the table shakers, truth tellers and citizen activists are coming!
Like weeds growing in your driveway cracks, leftists plan to get loud in the coming months. Pressley and Robinson continued, “That’s why we’ve come together, a congresswoman from one of the most diverse and vibrant districts in Massachusetts and the president of the nation’s largest online civil rights organization, to convene a group of table shakers, truth tellers and citizen activists committed to implementing an agenda that meets this moment not only at the federal level, but also in state legislative chambers, county commissions and city councils.”
Thanks for letting us know that the goon squad is on its way to march beside the bootlickers and goodie-grabbers ! As soon as we see someone shaking a table in a committee hearing we’ll immediately recognize that it’s a card-carrying member of the leftist strike force and deal with them accordingly. As far as “truth tellers” goes, which set of facts are they planning to use — or is it enough to act really, really mad, shout a lot and point fingers at Republican non-conformists?
Chances aren’t great that the “citizen activists” will convince conservative legislatures to follow their new “transformative change” directives, but they’ll sure make a lot of noise. A new direction is inevitable, but here’s thinking it will be more towards restoring and improving upon the freedoms people have been deprived of in recent times.
There simply isn’t money to fund all the left’s fantastical giveaway programs. If Pressley and Robinson are to be believed, there will be a push to provide universal basic income, similar to what candidate Andrew Yang proposed during the Democrat primary race. Such measures sound good (to the lazy, entitled class) in theory but… where’s the money gonna come from? Uncle Sam’s already tapped out and this is before Congress battles over “relief” for state and local governments, etc.
Voters are more likely to side with those who advocate slowing down and reversing the march towards socialism. A colleague recently commented that this year’s election will be determined by who gets the votes from those put out of business by the government’s unwise and hasty edicts. If that’s the case, Democrats better start packing.
Transformative change is on its way alright. But it might not look quite like what Pressley and Robinson envision it.
Not everything Democrats want involves “transformative change”
Democrats have been talking a lot lately about using the nation’s focus on the coronavirus conundrum as an excuse to fix stuff that didn’t need fixing or raining down slush money to favored constituencies such as the “green energy” industry. But not everything they’re pushing would bring change. They want to save some of their old pals, too. Susan Ferrechio reported at The Washington Examiner, “Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, told reporters she’ll include a $25 billion bailout of the Postal Service in a massive economic aid package that is likely to top $1 trillion.
“’We have to fight for the Postal Service,’ Pelosi said [last] week. ‘And people across the country are all tweeting and writing to me and stuff like that, saying we really — protect our post office.’
“The post office bailout proposal is similar to a plan House Democrats proposed earlier this year. It was ultimately excluded from the $2.2 trillion spending bill passed by Congress on March 27.”
Really, Nancy? People all over the country are telling you they want the Postal Service bailed out? Mail processing and delivery is yet another operation that’s been bested by private companies who do it better, faster and cheaper than the slow-to-react government monolith.
Technology is at least as responsible for the post office’s problems as inefficiency. And package delivery companies are doing banner business during the pandemic. It only makes sense — if you really need something, everyone orders it online and it shows up at your door, delivered by a masked man or woman with a smile (because they’re busy) beneath the covering.
A change would involve the USPS adapting with the times, not begging for a handout to cover their non-competitive rear-ends.
Few would argue with the need to bring about change in the upcoming months and years, but it can’t be because politicians claim the system is badly flawed. The economy was doing well a few months ago and with more freedom and some rational government moves, we might see that “out with the old and in with the new” is a good thing.
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Jeff Rendall is a senior contributor at ConservativeHQ.
Photo “Shutdown Protesters” by Lorie Shaull. CC BY-SA 2.0.