Tag Archives: progressive politics

America’s Constitutional Government Targeted

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.

FASHIONABLE FACISM: HOW PROGRESSIVE POLITICS MAKES FASCISM TRENDY

No one should be surprised at the latest acts of mob tyranny and irrationality on America’s campuses, or the growing trend towards left-wing fascism throughout the Progressive movement.

For several decades, the concepts of American constitutional government have been mocked and degraded at U.S. universities. Widely used texts such as Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of America” have berated the entire American experience. Generations of college students have been falsely taught that their nation is evil. The Judeo-Christian ethic, which introduced civilization to the belief that each individual has value, is virtually banned from public schools.

Moderate and conservative-minded professors are not hired. Non-left wing students are harassed. University administrators prevent the expression of free speech by limiting contrary views to tiny so-called “free speech zones,” then limit even that outlet by alleging that even there, non-leftists views are punishable because they are “threatening” to progressive/fascist minded students. Not willing to tolerate objections to their socialist teachings, college progressive/fascists have invented the concept of “micro” aggressions to deter discussion about their totalitarian views.

Constitutional guarantees of free speech and free elections are, indeed, an impediment to the implementation of a “progressive” left wing agenda that rejects individual rights in favor of socialist policies that are disliked by a more traditionally-minded public that resents having the will of self-proclaimed academic “intellectuals” imposed upon it.

Campus Reform reports that “The University of Missouri Police Department sent an email to students Tuesday morning asking them to report ‘hateful and/or hurtful speech’ so that they may pursue disciplinary action. The email…instructs recipients to ‘call the police immediately’…if they witness such incidents, and to collect as much information as possible in order to help police identify the perpetrator(s).” So much for free speech!

The Federalist describes the literal shredding of the Constitution at Vassar: “A university administrator literally shredded a copy of the Constitution after an undercover activist posing as a student said that it was ‘triggering.’ ‘I realized the Constitution is kind of a trigger for me,’ the activist posting as a student told Vassar’s deputy equal opportunity czar. ‘Overall I just see it as a really oppressive document… Honestly can we just like destroy, is there like a shredder or something? Like I think it might be really therapeutic.’ [The Administrator] responded to the request by eagerly seeking out a shredder and feeding the Constitution through the metal tines herself while the traumatized co-ed stood by watching.”

The progressive/fascist movement that now dominates college campuses is radically different from the liberal activism of the past, symbolized by the “free speech” movement of the 1960’s at Berkley.

Some traditional journalistic liberal bastions are, belatedly and far too timidly, beginning to notice. New York Magazine , for instance, writes that “At the protest on Missouri’s campus… protesters surrounded and harassed Tim Tai, a photographer with the student newspaper, chanting, ‘Hey, hey, ho, ho, journalists have got to go.’ … Melissa Click, a professor of mass media working with the protest movement, calls out, ‘Help me get this reporter out of here. I need some muscle over here.’ It is possible — and, for many sympathizers on the left, convenient — to dismiss these sorts of incidents … Political correctness is a system of thought that denies the legitimacy of political pluralism on issues of race and gender… the academy is one of the few bastions of American life where the p.c. left can muster the strength to impose its political hegemony upon others. The phenomenon also exists in other nonacademic left-wing communities, many of them virtual ones centered on social media, and its defenders include professional left-wing intellectuals.”

The resentment of a free press was observable at “Occupy” demonstrations, when reporters were harassed and threatened by participants. It is evident in the demands by leftists that those who disagree with their theories on global warming be imprisoned.

The progressive/fascist movement is, dangerously, not restricted to college campuses. It is frightening to consider its assaults on the Bill of Rights.  Last year, Senator Schumer introduced legislation that would restrict use of the First Amendment in regards to paid political speech.

There are constant calls to eliminate the Second Amendment. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments, which guarantee that the enumeration of certain rights in the Constitution doesn’t limit other freedoms, and that specifically says that rights not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved to the people and the states, are totally ignored by progressive/fascists who see an ever larger and more powerful federal government as the answer to every problem the nation faces.

After ignoring the First, Second, Ninth and Tenth Amendments, not much is left of the Bill of Rights.

Throughout President Obama’s tenure in office, Administration supporters and the liberal media have gone to great pains to ignore or excuse away stunning acts of arrogance which, if done by moderates or conservatives would have resulted in anguished complaints of “imperial presidency” and “tyranny.”  Obama’s shocking comments that he “would not wait for Congress,” that he has “A pen and a phone” which he will use in lieu of Congressional action, were not just rhetoric. They defined his, and the left’s, growing disdain for individual freedom and the democratic process.

The President, with the approval of the progressive/fascists, has used executive orders in an unlawful manner.  He has labelled international treaties as “agreements” in order to avoid the rightful role of the Senate in approving them. He has misappropriated federal agencies, especially the IRS, to attack and silence political opponents. His Justice Department has been warped into a political hatchet. He has used the Environmental Protection Agency to usurp property rights. He has demoted military advisors who provide him with honest and respectful advice that he simply refuses to listen to, in much the same manner that he is absent from national security briefings.

Keep in mind that the full name of Hitler’s Nazi organization was the “National Socialist” party.

Progressive Mayors, Decaying Cities

New York City Mayor Michael de Blasio travels from the confines of the Big Apple and his duties as chief executive of America’s largest city to advocate for a nationwide progressive agenda.

As outlined in the Huffington Post, his priorities are:

  1. Raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
  2. Reform the National Labor Relations Act to enhance workers’ rights.
  3. Pass comprehensive immigration reform.
  4. Oppose trade deals that “move power to corporations at the expense of American jobs, workers’ rights, and the environment.”
  5. Pass national paid sick leave
  6. Pass national paid family leave.
  7. Make pre-K, after-school programs and child care universal
  8. Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  9. Allow students to refinance student loan debt.
  10. Close the carried interest loophole.She has said she wants to close it.
  11. End tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas
  12. Implement the “Buffett Rule” so millionaires pay their fair share.
  13. Closing the CEO tax loophole that allows corporations to take advantage of “performance pay” write-offs.

Noticeably absent in that list are key topics that should be the concern of a big city mayor, such as combating local crime, reducing unemployment, and easing traffic, all significant problems that should command his attention.

Murders in New York City are up 20% in 2015, according to the New York City Police Department.  

The City’s 7.2% unemployment rate far exceeds the national level of 5.5%.

Two-thirds of student test-takers in grades 3–8 didn’t meet state standards on the English language arts (ELA) and math tests,

New York ranks among the worst U.S. cities in traffic congestion .

And then there is the issue of taxes.  In addition to New York State’s already high taxes, the city itself imposes a personal income tax. As noted in Forbes,  “Very few other U.S. cities assess individual income taxes and/or business income taxes. (Pennsylvania and Ohio have local school taxes on earned income but the rates are fairly low, except in Philadelphia.) Many investment advisers and professionals moved their residences and businesses to Connecticut where the top tax rate is 6.5%, saving 10% of their highest-marginal income.” If you own an unincorporated business, there is a special tax on that, too.

Some of the Mayor’s national ideas are harmful to his constituents. Allowing more illegal immigrants into the nation at time of high unemployment places downward pressure on wages. Increasing the minimum wage encourages companies to move their operations overseas.

Emphasizing spending on “progressive” issues at the expense of basic services such as having a sufficient number of police on patrol threatens to make municipalities unsafe. The residents of cities run by “progressive” mayors are noticing.

Joel Gilbert, who researched cities run by progressives, described what he found in a WND interview: “In my journey through America …I met a lot of people living in horrible conditions, particularly African Americans, who I was surprised to learn were now staunch conservatives as a result of living in progressive-controlled cities like Detroit, Chicago and Newark,” Gilbert said…After 60 years of progressive politics in their cities, they understood very clearly that they had not been progressing but rather regressing all this time, and they were mad.”

Indeed, a recent Quinnipiac poll notes that de Blasio’s overall approval ratings have dropped to 44%, a particularly low number considering his landslide victory in the last election.

Here is a breakdown of the ten cities with populations above 250,000 that have borne the brunt of long-term rule by progressives, as outlined by Frontpage:

St. Louis’s poverty rate is 26 percent overall; Newark, New Jersey’s poverty rate is 26.1; The residents of Cincinnati, OH are afflicted by a poverty rate of 27.4 percent overall; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 28 percent of city residents overall live in poverty; Milwaukee, Wisconsin sports a poverty rate of 29.9 percent overall; In Buffalo, New York, 29.9 percent of residents overall are living below the poverty level; El Paso, Texas, one-in-four live in poverty;  In Cleveland, Ohio, 36 percent of its residents live in poverty; And then, there is Detroit, Michigan, in a class by itself, with 36.2 percent of residents living in poverty; Camden, New Jersey rounds out the top ten, with a poverty rate of 42.5 percent.

The National Review notes that American cities “are by and large …monopolies generally dominated by the so-called progressive wing of the [Democrat] party. The results have been catastrophic, and not only in poor black cities such as Baltimore and Detroit. Money can paper over some of the defects of progressivism in rich, white cities such as Portland and San Francisco, but those are pretty awful places to be non-white and non-rich, too: Blacks make up barely 9 percent of the population in San Francisco, but they represent 40 percent of those arrested for murder, and they are arrested for drug offenses at ten times their share of the population.”

Abusing environmental concerns

The concerns  about faulty statistics used to support the more extreme claims of hard-core environmentalists have been confirmed yet again.

In August of 2012, statistics supplied by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) alleged that July of that year was the warmest month on record. A number of observers doubted that fact, and recently NOAA was forced to retract its statement. It turns out that the real title holder is July of 1936, long before the advent of SUVs and conspicuous energy consumption.

The change should come as no surprise. From stories about polar bear drownings to refusing to acknowledge warming trends long before the industrial revolution, proponents of extreme environmental policies have repeatedly used incorrect, falsified, and misleading data. Overlooking key facts, such as the growth of Antarctic ice, has also become a habit.

President Obama’s frequent pronouncements that there is no serious debate about human-made climate change has been completely refuted by vast numbers of leading scientists who thoroughly disagree.

Bjorn Lomberg, author of a book entitled the Skeptical Environmentalist, believes that the inflated concerns and incorrect information provided by extremists do more to hurt the cause of preserving the planet’s ecosystem than help it.  He points to absurd claims about pesticides, atmospheric pollution, man made global warming, and other alleged threats that are sacred cows to the extremists.

The fact is, there is a hidden agenda behind many environmental claims.  While many believers are sincere in their concern, “Progressive” politicians have abused those concerns to advance a hard-left agenda of increased centralized control over the economy and private property rights.