President Joe Biden speaks about the nation’s COVID-19 response and the vaccination program at the White House on June 18, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
By Bob Ehrlich October 18, 2021 at 11:21am
Large segments of America can be found muttering to themselves these days. I am among this group of (primarily) Trump-voting private mutterers.
Our bottom-line concern is that the country (and culture) have gone completely off the rails; that our core institutions are not functioning in their customary manner; and that there is an unending series of delusory developments that has the world’s last best hope rocking back on its heels.
It’s not as though most of us are surprised about our recent calamities. We had a suspicion about what a newly energized contingent of true-believing progressives within America’s labor party could do if it were given all the keys to power. And now we know.
But this is not yet another column about the great philosophical divide between right and left that has transfixed both party establishments for decades. Rather, I write about the head-scratching policy calls that have drastically lowered the president’s approval numbers and placed a majority of our fellow Americans in a decidedly bad mood.
On second thought, maybe “head-scratching” is not the appropriate phrase here. You see, most of what has gone so wrong is the result of simply reversing whatever the Trump administration had said or done, regardless of cost or merit or consequences. Talk about a transformation!
And so, relative calm at the southern border was immediately ended with the termination of the Trump-negotiated “Remain in Mexico” policy. Chaos and lawlessness have been the result as new caravans of migrants (with more than a sprinkling of child sex offenders, drug traffickers and terrorists from around the world) form daily.
And so our long-sought-after (and only recently achieved) goal of energy independence was precipitously jettisoned in favor of increased fossil fuel imports from the Middle East. Our celebrated (low-emissions) natural gas revolution has been the primary victim. To boot, heating and gasoline price spikes are unavoidably increasingly familiar storylines even in the legacy media.
And so, the scheduled termination of unemployment benefits was extended despite the presence of millions of readily available private-sector jobs. The specter of underemployment is the predictable tangible result: “Help Wanted” signs are everywhere at our commercial establishments these days, while the restaurant and hospitality sectors have been especially hard hit.
And so a campaign of vaccine education and encouragement has been replaced by a federal mandate that is causing millions of Americans to choose between government coercion and personal conscience. Looming unemployment for countless of our most important workers (airplane pilots, nurses, public safety personnel) is the hard-to-comprehend but easy-to-predict result.
Does the Biden administration need to bring back Trump’s policies?
And so an imperfect but workable (incremental) withdrawal from Afghanistan — replete with behavioral benchmarks required of the Taliban — was tossed aside in favor of immediate and indiscriminate withdrawal that led to the deaths of thirteen U.S. military personnel and untold additional deaths and brutality perpetrated by a victorious army of seventh-century terrorists.
That the legacy media refuses to come clean about the continued confinement of American citizens in the country tells you all you need to know about the political leanings of the legacy media.
And so some of our most beautiful cities decided to sidestep traditional modes of law enforcement in favor of a “defund the police” narrative heavy on emotionalism but light on results. As expected, the major consequence of the far left’s flight to public safety fantasyland has been a dramatic uptick in violent crime rates — especially murders — in our inner-city neighborhoods.
But George Soros-sponsored “prosecutors” continue to double down on their lite-on-crime tactics. And the daily carnage from Chicago, Baltimore, Portland, New York and Seattle continues to merit unconnected one-day stories.
And so a newly authoritarian left increasingly rejects First Amendment freedoms in lieu of far more limited speech and free association rights, including threats to federalize investigations of parents organizing and participating in school board protests and even going so far as to mandate reporting of banking transactions of $600 or more.
What is so striking about all the carnage reflected herein is how gratuitous it all seems.
It is change for the sake of change, reflexively reversing Trump policies regardless of their effects, where our decision-makers have purposefully invited the caravans to our border, driven labor participation down, driven gasoline prices up, caused undue angst among millions of unvaccinated Americans, made our cities more dangerous and invited the federal government to intervene in the most local of decision-making bodies.
The looming specter of gargantuan tax and spending bills chock full of nanny-state provisions only makes a bad situation worse.
Remember when “mean tweets” were the supposed bane of our existence?
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