Americans are optimists - for good reason. Our ancestors came here looking for a better life, most found one. We have long led the world economically and militarily, fueled by innovation and a culture and legal system which place high value on the rights of the individual. We are forward looking, recognizing our systemic shortcomings and wanting better for our children. We remain a preferred international destination for legal and illegal migrants. The last few years have been tough.
We have gone through a very difficult time: nearly 600,000 deaths from Covid 19; four years of intense political opposition and unceasing media criticism of the president; and two years of racist mania promoted by the New York Times 1619 Project and the murder of George Floyd. Depression seems reasonable, particularly with an elderly Democratic president controlled by leftist handlers who would greatly expand the role of government at the cost of crippling debt.
But, let's reach back for some of that "Happy Days Are Here Again" optimism which fueled FDR during the Great Depression. Some clouds are beginning to part.
Covid 19 - which derailed President Trump's record economy and cost him re-election:
- 50 % of the adult US population has been fully vaccinated. We have had 592,000 deaths, but the daily number of infections has declined 90% from its January peak, and most of us can safely go about normal lives. We are entering a mopping up phase with a rapidly opening economy and attention turning to kids, anti-vaxxers, and the outside world.
- A balanced assessment would say that Donald Trump should have supported mask wearing, that he destroyed the potential value of daily press conferences by arguing with petty reporters, and that he should have stayed out of the hydroxychloroquine debate. More importantly, his Project Warp Speed delivered break-through vaccines in months when the normal procedures would have taken 5 to 10 years, and he blasting through the bureaucracy to deliver therapeutics in startlingly rapid times. Biden inherited a winning hand, with nearly 1,000,000 vaccine doses being administered daily and equipment in good supply when he took office. He hasn't screwed it up.
- There will be much further analysis, but the New York Times has joined Trump and Republican governors in challenging the efficacy of wearing masks outdoors in the absence of prolonged contact, and credence is growing for the claim that the virus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan (which was partially indirectly funded by Dr. Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectuous Diseases.) The country was not well served by Fauci's "no masks necessary" / "masks necessary" / "double mask" political messaging.
Anti - Trumpism:
- Donald Trump's four years as president were the most divisive since the Civil War. Much he brought on himself with his New York real estate developer bombast, but forcefulness was needed to transform the Republican Party from an agent of the Chamber of Commerce to an advocate for working Americans. From before he became president, Trump's removal from office became the central focus of Nancy Pelosi's Democratic leadership - particularly Adam Schiff's Intelligence Committee and Jerrold Nadler's Judiciary Committee. The vitriol behind the two impeachment attempts spilled over to Supreme Court nomination hearings which were managed to maliciously destroy the reputations of totally qualified jurists.
- Democrats want a third bite at the apple with their call for a "bipartisan investigation" of the horrendous January 6 melee at the capitol. Republican leadership sees only downside, and can apparently block the effort with a Senate filibuster. Better to let the fires of Pelosi's hatred die down.
- For now, Trump is on the sidelines, where he will likely remain at least through the 2022 elections - banned by the social media on the Left, and apparently unable to organize his own version of Twitter or Facebook. (Click here to sample and sign up for the "From the Desk of Donald J Trump" blog.) Republicans have rightly taken anti-Trumper Liz Cheney out of the GOP's messaging leadership role, and replaced her with Elise Stefanik, the young, Harvard -educated candidate recruitment and fundraising heroine of the 2020 Congressional election cycle.
Earplugs are no longer needed.
- After a civil war to end slavery, Reconstruction, the 1954 Brown v the Topeka Board of Education decision, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the two-time election of an African American president, the New York Times has convinced many that we are irredeemably racist, and that we need to teach our children "critical race theory" - that racism is a social construct, and that it is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies and society in general. Martin Luther King was so "yesterday" when his "I Have a Dream" speech talked of a day when "people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Forget individual responsibility and actions, the color of a person's skin is all that matters.
- In time - probably before the 2022 Congressional elections - we will get to the point of "OK, so what should good hearted citizens do about the remaining inequalities in our society?" Skyrocketing violent crime in "woke" cities with George Soros-supported District Attorneys will drive ordinary folks - Black and white - to politicians who understand that the first job of government is to protect the people. Education (including charter schools) and the Black family structure are central elements of any answer.
Back to the optimism theme: What is interesting is that the Democrats are on the negative side of each of these subjects, in some cases as a knee-jerk reaction to anything that Trump was for. Add the gloomy overhang of "global warming" where we are supposed to give away our energy independence without any clear plan as to what this will accomplish in the absence of Chinese, Indian, or Russian participation - or, actually, even with it. It is rapidly becoming easier to be on the positive side.
This week's bonus - a powerful five minute video from Dennis Prager of Prager U, highlighting the differences beteween traditional Liberals and the Left. If you are not familiar with Prager U, you might spend some time exploring the site.
Bill Bowen - 5/27/2021