by Jeffery Rendall
What makes a radical?
The word itself has many implications and connotations. The dictionary indicates “radical” (when used as a noun) means, “a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social reform; a member of a political party or part of a party pursuing such aims.”
In the past, being labeled a “radical” was often seen as a bad thing, though today’s Democrats appear quite smitten with the designation. You could argue the party became radicalized during the 1960’s Vietnam era – or even prior to that – but there’s no questioning today’s Democrats’ dedication to all things “fundamental change.”
Last week’s party-line vote on the incredibly destructive and unconstitutional H.R. 1 proved it (again). Not content to merely restrict free speech rights, the proposal, if it were to actually become law (and survive numerous court challenges), would radicalize the way Americans treat political speech and voting. H.R. 1 would even extend the franchise to illegal aliens in local elections. States would see many of their police powers to oversee elections wrested away and placed in the hands of federal bureaucrats. It’s truly scary to envision the far-reaching scope of contemporary Democrat radicalism.
Naturally, the party’s emerging leadership ascribes to the burn-it-down and build it back – as socialism – line of thought. Jay Cost wrote at National Review, “Bernie Sanders is not part of [the Democrat] tradition and does not see himself as belonging to it, either. Although he caucuses with Democrats in Congress, he sees himself as a democratic socialist. His ideology is not the same as that held by early-20th-century progressives, who wanted to control the means of production. But it’s close enough, in that the confiscatory tax rates Sanders supports would give the state most of the benefits from private enterprise. His domestic agenda is not intended to stabilize our capitalist system and make it fairer; instead, he explicitly seeks to disrupt it.
“… Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal bears little substantive resemblance to the New Deal, which sought to coordinate the existing forces in society to alleviate the Great Depression for the good of all. Ocasio-Cortez’s plan would totally upend society as we have known it…
“[Sanders and AOC] seem intent on disrupting life for every American, in fundamental ways. This is radicalism, and it has never been politically successful in the United States.”
As usual for him, Cost’s article offers plenty of historical evidence suggesting establishment Democrat Party politics once steered away from the most radical leftist elements in American society, instead orienting themselves towards curbing the excesses of capitalism (or at least so they claimed). It’s true, Democrats in Harry Truman’s mold advocated for more “supportive” government involvement but didn’t hope to take over the entire economy in one grand redistributionist swoop like you see today.
Heck, as Rush Limbaugh’s noted on his radio program many, many times, John F. Kennedy was a huge proponent of tax rate cuts to spur economic growth, employing reasoning that could’ve just as easily originated from Ronald Reagan as Ted Kennedy’s older brother. JFK’s common sense views find few — if any — collaborators in today’s “punish the rich” Democrat faction but it’s nice to recall when both major parties were patriotic and kept the best interests of the country in mind, even if their respective approaches to issues were diametrically opposed.
Back then Republicans and Democrats could at least sit at the same table and remain civil while they debated the merits of “radical” new policies such as the national highway system. Traditionalists and libertarians hated the idea, but now practically everyone agrees America’s tremendous post-war economic boom was spurred through such big dreams. In other words, in the old days, political rivals might’ve sat on opposite ends of a rowboat but still pulled in the same direction.
Not now. Democrat radicals aren’t interested in toning down their transformational hypotheses, much less abandoning them. Sanders was once considered an oddity in American politics (if not the Democrat party) but his views reflect the core of Democrat voters these days. Bill Clinton famously declared “The era of big government is over,” and his colleagues smiled, nodded and applauded along with skeptical conservatives and Republicans who knew better.
Thanks in large part to Sanders, it’s now standard and accepted Democrat thought to view climate change as the greatest threat to global quality-of-life and peace, healthcare as the universal “right” of every living, breathing human being (regardless of citizenship status or contribution to the system) and social justice concepts such as racial and gender equity trump essential individual rights of speech, association and expression.
And whenever leftist newbie Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is greeted with questions regarding the feasibility of her radical proposals she attacks her opponents (including those in her own party) and swears we need to trash thousands of years of human experience because our forefathers were wrong and she’s right. There’s a definite lack of respect for the evolution of human civilization among this group – they believe they’re enlightened with special knowledge that science and scholarly study refused to yield in generations past. It’s arrogant and insulting.
To these fools President Donald Trump became the face of the unreformed past, a symbol of the wealthy successful elite oppressing commoners through institutionalized racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. Trump’s championing of the average working man during his campaign was distorted by his enemies as a tool to deny “justice” to those wronged by tradition and the “way it’s always been.” Radicals labeled such thinking backwards.
Religion suffered too, especially if you’re Christian or Jewish. These new transformational leftists demonized Israel and championed radicalized anti-Semitic cultural figures such as Lewis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright.
It’s okay to bash Jews as long as you’re a radical and a leftist (usually one and the same). Democrats won’t name names either – and then they make excuses and accuse Republicans of purely political motivations for conservatives’ principled defense of Israel.
Democrats are out of control. In Sanders’ case, what began as an “anyone but her” alternative to Hillary Clinton in 2016 (among Democrats) morphed into a full-fledged and empowered media-fueled movement with organized followers and well-funded candidates. The Democrat party of 2019 looks very different than 1995 or even 2015. Radicals took over, pushed the establishment to the left and they’re never going back.
Where will it end? Hard to say, but it won’t be pretty. Former liberals see what’s happened and wish their friends would “get woke”. In a piece titled “Liberal Jews Better Wake Up Before It’s Too Late,” Roger L. Simon wrote at PJ Media, “Now we are living in another world of rising anti-Semitism, which some, for their own convenience or perhaps a misbegotten nostalgia, like to ascribe equally or even disproportionally to the right, when it is clear the new anti-Semitism, from our college campuses to the streets of Paris, is coming largely from Islamic terrorists and their sympathizers augmented and multiplied by the left. It is further enhanced by social and ethnic groups enraged — with the encouragement of the Democratic Party – by identity politics.
“In the world of intersectionality, someone must be the low man or woman on the totem pole of blame and evil…
“Since the 1920s or so, Jews have been voting Democratic at roughly a 70-30 ratio. Many jokes have been told about this but what it comes down to is slavish conformity, a kind of culturally-induced group virtue signaling made rigid over decades. Jewish children are told to vote Democratic almost as uniformly as Muslim children are informed about the dubious animal lineage of Jews. It’s idiotic on both counts…”
Twenty-three Republicans voted against the Democrats’ watered-down bigotry condemning resolution that purposely omitted a specific reference to anti-Semite Rep. Ilhan Omar. Good for them. Why support toothless politically correct nonsense? Are Democrats scared of their own voters?
If the definition of “radical” is “a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social reform; a member of a political party or part of a party pursuing such aims”, it definitely describes today’s Democrats. The Bernie and AOC-led opposition is for real — and playing for keeps.