I fear for the future of our nation.
Yes, that’s a strong statement—probably the strongest statement you’ve ever known me to make. I make it because I want you to understand that I’m deadly serious in what I’m about to write.
I hope I’m wrong. I sincerely hope the issues I’m going to discuss today resolve themselves in the coming weeks and months. I hope I look back on this Commentary a year or two from now and wonder, “How could I have been so wrong? Was I really that pessimistic?”
And to that future self I want to answer, “Yes. As I write this in the summer of 2020, I sincerely fear for the future of our nation.”
As a teenager in the Nineteen Fifties, I was beginning to make the transition from the carefree life of a child to the responsibilities of adulthood. I sat on the fringes of groups and listened as my father discussed politics, economics, foreign policies, and other national issues with his friends, neighbors, and relatives.
In those days very few people were hard-line Democrats or Republicans. Most people looked at the specific candidates and made judgments based on the candidate’s policies and political record. On Election Day they would vote for Democrats for some positions and Republicans for others.
On October 30, 2008, Barak Obama said in a campaign speech, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America!” Five days later, on November 4, he was elected President of the U.S. To enable the transformation he promised, the voters also elected a sizable Democrat majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Over the next eight years, Obama and his cronies accomplished much of the transformation they wanted.
- They almost doubled the national debt, from a little more than $9 trillion to almost $18 trillion.
- They created or expanded many “redistribution of wealth” programs. By the time Obama left office, record numbers of Americans were receiving welfare, food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, and disability insurance. Many people even had cell phones (called “Obamaphones”) that were paid for by the federal government.
- They raised taxes on the top earners. They also increased the number of people who paid no taxes. By the time Obama left office, forty-seven percent of Americans paid no income tax.
- The national economy had gotten so bad that an estimated twenty million able-bodied workers had simply given up on finding a job. Obama said over and over that “America’s best days are behind us. Those jobs are never coming back. This is the new normal. Get used to it.”
- Admittedly, an imperial Presidency wasn’t a new thing. There had been others, beginning with Abraham Lincoln. But previous imperial Presidents were monitored and criticized by the press. Obama didn’t have that restraining influence, and so carried his imperialism to new heights. He created new laws (DACA and amnesty for illegal aliens), ordered certain laws to be ignored (the Defense of Marriage Act), and nullified other laws (the Obamacare employer mandate), all by Executive Order.
- Obama used Executive Orders to wage war on the fossil-fuel industry—coal, oil, and natural gas. By Executive Order, he banned drilling on almost all federal lands, onshore and offshore. He also banned construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada.
He ordered his Administration to spend tax money to promote the use of wind and solar power instead of power generated by fossil fuels. His Administration wasted more than a trillion dollars trying to shift the nation over to wind and solar power—without success.
He also ordered General Motors to develop an all-electric car, which was eventually marketed as the Chevrolet Volt.
But the most damaging thing he did (in my opinion, anyway) was to fracture the nation into special-interest groups. His policies set females against males. The young against the old. LGBTQ people against straight people. The haves against the have-nots. Labor against management. Blacks, Latinos, and Middle Easterners against whites and Asians. Muslims against Christians.
It was the Sun Tzu/Saul Alinsky tactic of “divide and conquer”—and it worked.
The days of my father, when twenty percent of the electorate was hard-line Republican, twenty percent was hard-line Democrat, and the other sixty percent were independents who based their vote on policies and political record, are gone. Even people who claim to be independents today—aren’t. It doesn’t take much questioning to determine that they are totally onboard with the policies of one party or the other.
What we’re dealing with today, and what I fear is going to tear the nation apart, is two of those factional oppositions—blacks versus whites, and young against old.
Blacks versus whites is easy to understand. It’s rooted in several centuries of slavery in this country. But I think it’s worth noting several realities.
- Slavery ended in 1863. Discrimination against blacks unquestionably continued in certain parts of the country until 1956, when the first of what is now a large body of Civil Rights laws were passed.
- Slavery ended 157 years ago. That means that no black person living today was a slave. Very few black families can even trace their family history back to a great- or great-great-grandparent who was a slave.
- By the same token, no white person living today owned slaves. Very few white families can even trace their family history back to a great- or great-great-grandparent who owned slaves.
Despite those realities, the current generation of blacks has been convinced by their “leadership” (e.g., Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the NAACP) that equality isn’t enough. They deserve retribution. They need to punish today’s generation of white people for what some long-ago ancestor may. . .may, mind you. . .have gone thru.
The young versus old conflict is a little more complicated, but in the end is just as easy to understand. It’s rooted in the fact that fifty years ago, two generations, we allowed the liberals to take control of our educational system. They taught our children that capitalism was evil, because it concentrated most of the wealth in the hands of an undeserving few, while leaving the majority to struggle for survival.
They taught our children that socialism was a better system, because it was based on “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
They taught our children that successful people had gained their success and their wealth by exploiting the working classes, particularly the minorities.
Now these two factions have discovered that they share a common goal—to bring down the current societal structure that is mainly made up of older white people. There’s the commonality.
As a result, over the past five years we’ve had a series in incidents in New York City; Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; Cleveland, Ohio; and St. Louis, Missouri. The first incident, in July of 2015, was relatively mild. Mobs gathered, there were a few confrontations with the police, and a limited amount of property destruction and looting.
The second incident, just a month later in August of 2015, was a little more violent. Bricks were thrown at policemen. There was extensive property destruction and looting. A few stores were burned.
Each incident got a little more violent. Much destruction of property (such as burning police cars and breaking store windows), looting, burning buildings, and violence against both policemen and civilians who opposed them.
Now we’re dealing with the George Floyd incident. The crime is unquestionable—it was captured as a video on someone’s phone. Mr. Floyd was choked to death by a Minneapolis policeman as a group of policemen were trying to arrest him.
The excuse for the ensuing riots was “to protest police brutality against black people.” But the citizens of Minneapolis didn’t “peaceably assemble,” as the Constitution granted them the right to do. They rioted. They attacked policemen with rocks, bricks, and baseball bats. They overturned cars and set them on fire. They broke into stores and stole money, drugs, and big-screen TVs. They set fire to buildings.
The riots in Minneapolis touched off similar riots in other cities—New York City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. I probably failed to name a few. They occurred all over the country.
As has probably been inevitable since the first riot in July of 2015, the riot in Seattle devolved into outright anarchy. Demonstrators seized six blocks in downtown Seattle and threatened the Seattle police with death if they try to enter.
The same anarchy is being threatened by rioters in Minneapolis and Atlanta.
There was another ominous development. In Miami, the riot spread into the nearby affluent (and mostly white) suburb of Coral Gables. There, the rioters broke into houses, beat the occupants, stole whatever they could carry, and set fire to a few cars and houses.
The situation in Seattle constitutes a classic no-win situation. If the police go in, some of them will be shot and possibly killed. The other policemen will retaliate by opening fire on the rioters. It will turn into open warfare.
The same scenario will ensue if Prez Trump sends in the military, which he can do by invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807.
But the alternative is to allow the occupiers to continue to hold a piece of a major American city. No good can come of that, either. A year from now we’ll have occupied territories in every major American city, and probably a good many smaller towns and cities as well.
Even if the occupiers choose to surrender their territory peacefully, this won’t be the last time this happens. I guarantee you there are plans afoot right now to seize parts of other cities, large and small.
What we’re talking about, folks, is civil war. A part of me says it’s inevitable. A Scottish historian once determined that, on average, democracies last about two hundred years. That’s how long it takes for the leaders to decide that they’re entitled to all the power and money.
The only thing to do then is to throw out the existing government and start over. That’s what our forebears did in 1776—244 years ago. There are more and more people today who think it may be time to do it again. I’m starting to agree with them.