The New York Analysis of Policy and Government examines the changing nature of American politics in this two-part series.
The target of the vehement protests, over-the-top opposition, and hyperbolic media criticism of the Trump Administration, is not the current occupant of the Oval Office. It is, instead, the Constitutional practice of government.
Little discussed is the odd level of verbal violence against a President who is most certainly not an ideologue. His major policy thrusts, both as a candidate and as an elected leader, include:
- Replacing a health care policy which has demonstrably failed (the dirty little secret of the 2016 campaign was that no matter who got elected, Obamacare was going to have to drastically change.)
- Restoring a military that had been dangerously and very obviously depleted, at a time when adversaries across the globe had dramatically strengthened theirs.
- Encouraging American allies to pay a more equitable share of their own defense needs
- restoring middle-income job growth.
- reforming taxes and regulations so that more industry would remain within the U.S.
- Enforcing already existing immigration laws.
- Reducing regulations that hamper the creation or survival of businesses.
These could hardly be called arch-conservative. If anything, Donald Trump both campaigned and, in the brief period he has been in office, governed as a pragmatist. Lately, his criticism has been focused as much on conservatives in Congress as on Democrats.
Trump came to office in the aftermath of a demonstrably failed presidency.
Under Obama, The U.S. essentially divested itself of its role as the world’s dominant superpower, leading to greater threats across the globe. in Asia, China’s belligerence dramatically increased. in Eastern Europe, Russia engaged in the largest invasion since World War 2. Throughout the Islamic world, conditions deteriorated. ISIS rose to prominence due to Obama’s premature withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Libya descended into chaos following the still unexplained drive to oust Gaddafi. Iran’s power and influence expanded dramatically. The Taliban was positioned to make a major comeback in Afghanistan. Terrorist attacks became commonplace occurrences throughout the world.
At home, Obama’s policies and actions led to an economy mired in the doldrums, racial animosity at a level not seen in decades, and a near doubling of the national debt with nothing gained after all those dollars spent, as well as the worse job participation rate in decades. The national infrastructure continued to crumble.
Stunning scandals took place. Whole agencies of the government, especially the IRS, were unlawfully used for partisan purposes. An American ambassador was killed without any attempt to rescue him or to punish the perpetrators. The U.S. Secretary of State’s family personally profited from the sale of uranium, the basic ingredient of atomic bombs, to Russia.
It was reasonable to assume that in the aftermath of those eight difficult years, the public mood would have been at least willing to give the new leader at least a brief honeymoon. But long before Trump even took office, a level of unprecedented and near-hysterical opposition was promoted by much of the media, academia, some Democrat Party leaders, and the financiers of hard-left causes.
One explanation for the unusual and extreme alteration in the nature of American politics has been the takeover of the Democrat Party by untraditional forces. The party of Kennedy, Truman, indeed even FDR, no longer exists in a viable form. Those types of leaders have been replaced by extremists such as former Obama Labor Department SecretaryTom Perez, the new DNC Chair, and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair, and other individuals such as NYC Mayor Mike de Blasio.
Perez is an extremist who refused, while at the Department of Justice, to prosecute a clear-cut case of voter intimidation against those not identified as Obama voters. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Iain Murray, in a National Review article, notes that Perez’s “rewriting of U.S. labor law is probably the most fundamental attack on the free-enterprise system going on at present…If he has his way, we won’t just revert to the 1930s. We’ll do things that even Franklin Roosevelt couldn’t do, like eliminate vast numbers of independent-contractor jobs and unionize those that remain.”
Perez selected Keith Ellison as his deputy chair. Ellison was noted for his bizarre statements about the 9/11 attacks, suggesting that President Bush (43) used the terrorist assault to copy Adolph Hitler’s infamous Reichstag Fire strategy to destroy his opponents. Ellison has also been tied to anti-Semitic positions. His 2010 comments about Israel led to a demand by the Anti-Defamation League that he be disqualified from being appointed to federal office.
NYC Mayor de Blasio was an ardent supporter of Nicaragua’s Marxist Sandinista government in the 1980s. He describes himself as an advocate of “democratic socialism” and was executive director of the New York branch of the pro-socialist New Party.
As party leaders, they are not far from the worrisome example set by President Obama. Obama abused federal agencies for partisan purposes, stood U.S. foreign policy on its head, and took advice from individuals such as Bill Ayers, a founder of the internationally supported terrorist Weather Underground Organization.
Progressive politicians such as Perez, Ellison and de Blasio are at the forefront of replacing rational, peaceful political discourse with a new atmosphere that encourages continual street protests that erupt into violence, including those levied against college campus speakers that don’t agree with the prevailing left-wing orthodoxy.
The report concludes tomorrow.