I am writing this column upon returning home to California after five days in Florida. For the first time since my first trip to Los Angeles in 1974 and moving there two years later, I dreaded going to California.
That first trip, as a 25-year-old New Yorker, I experienced the palpable excitement looking at the American Airlines flight board at JFK airport and seeing “Los Angeles.” For most Americans, the very name “California” elicited excitement, wonder, even envy of Californians, and most of all … freedom. While America always represented freedom, within America, California exemplified freedom most of all.
Yet, here I am, sitting in a state where corruption reigns (one of the leading Democrats of the last half-century told me years ago that politicians in California are window dressing; the real power in California is wielded by unions) and where, for nine months, normal life has been shut down, schools have been closed and small businesses have been destroyed in unprecedented numbers.
During these last five days in Florida, a state governed by the pro-freedom party, I went anywhere I wanted. First and foremost, I could eat both inside and outside restaurants. At one of them, when I stood up to take photos of people dining, a patron who recognized me walked over and said, “I assume you’re just taking pictures of people eating in a restaurant.” That’s exactly what I was doing. I even took my two grandchildren to a bowling alley, which was filled with people enjoying themselves playing myriad arcade games as well as bowling.
None of that is allowed almost anywhere in California. It is becoming a police state, rooted in deception and irrationality.
Restaurants have been shut down (except for takeout orders), even for outdoor dining, for no scientific reason. After ordering Los Angeles county restaurants closed, the health authorities of Los Angeles county acknowledged in court that they had no evidence that outdoor dining was dangerous; they ordered restaurants closed, even to outdoor dining, solely in order to keep people home.
The left’s claim to “follow the science” is a lie. The left does not follow science; it follows scientists it agrees with and dismisses all other scientists as “anti-science.”
Science does not say that eating inside a restaurant at least six feet from other diners, let alone outside a restaurant, is potentially fatal, but eating inside an airplane inches from strangers is safe.
Science does not say mass protests during a pandemic (when people are constantly told to social distance) are a health benefit, but left-wing scientists say they are — when directed against racism. In June, Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, tweeted: “In this moment the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.” She cited )the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden:
“The threat to Covid control from protesting outside is tiny compared to the threat to Covid control created when governments act in ways that lose community trust. People can protest peacefully AND work together to stop Covid. Violence harms public health.”
Even The New York Times, in July, acknowledged the double standard:
“Public health experts decried the anti-lockdown protests as dangerous gatherings in a pandemic. Health experts seem less comfortable doing so now that the marches are against racism.”
Science does not say, “Men give birth” or, “Men menstruate.” But the left routinely argues that “science says” such things and that “science says” there are more than two sexes, many more.
The last time I felt I was leaving a free society and entering an unfree one was when I visited the communist countries of Eastern Europe. As a graduate student majoring in communism, during the Cold War, I would travel through the countries known as Soviet satellites: Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. In the middle of my trips, I would stop in Austria to breathe free air.
Never did I imagine I would ever experience anything analogous in America, the Land of the Free, the land of the Statue of Liberty and of the Liberty Bell. But I did yesterday, when leaving Florida and returning to California.
There is no question that America is becoming, if it hasn’t already become, two countries: one that values liberty, from small businesses being allowed to operate to people being allowed to say what they believe, and one that has contempt for liberty, from eating in restaurants to free speech.
I am asked almost daily by friends around the country and by callers to my national radio show whether I intend to stay in California. Were it not for all the close friends who live here and the synagogue I and a few friends founded, the answer would be no. But at a given point, I am sure that I will leave this Soviet satellite for a free state. The bigger and far more important question is: How long will the Soviet states of America and the free states of America remain the United States of America?
With this presidential election, American history is hanging in the balance, but not as in the past, where we perceived the implementation of unwanted policies if the wrong candidate should win. In this post-election scenario, a Biden administration is much worse than “unwanted” or “wrong-headed” policies. To this writer, we are facing a collapse of natural rights as depicted in the Bill of Rights, the curtailing of individual mobility — upward socio-economic mobility and literally restricted travel mobility (to protect the environment under Green New Deal restrictions). If we have a new administration, we are also facing forced vaccinations and curtailment of property rights on an unimagined scale.
Critical Race Theory will be required in curricula in colleges and high schools. Whites will be strongly pressured thereby to accept that there is endemic structural racism in our institutions, irrespective of what any individuals might think or feel, because of the inherent white privilege in American and Western civilization. There will be national gun policy, national nutrition policy, national electric and gas controls (not state regulatory agencies), and national gun confiscation (a few types of guns at first, then all guns). National health care (private doctors only for the very rich) will be pressed upon us. In foreign policy, there will be re-instatement of the dangerous Iran P5+1 deal, and that in turn will connect with a renewal of the two-state “solution” (that has already failed five times) and a gradual infusion of anti-Semitism masquerading as “fairness for the Palestinians.”
Education will become even more of a monolith. The charade of Common Core (setting standards of achievement and testing but pretending not to encroach on state control of education as required by the Tenth Amendment) will unabashedly override the Tenth Amendment, and nationwide teaching and curricular requirements will be put in place.
The centrality of natural rights in our way of life has already begun to unravel. The rights advocated by the Leftocrats are not rights at all, but preferential laws that advance the lives of some of our citizens at the expense of others under the false rubric of “advancing equality.” Also, environmental rights means controls over so many areas of our lives that we, in essence, become controlled mannequins, supposedly for our own good. And “Palestinian rights” in the Middle East is just thinly disguised anti-Semitism.
rights defined and listed in our Constitution are natural rights. These are “natural” in the sense that they are God-given to the individual. Just as God gave us nature by creating it, in similar manner, God gave us rights as individuals as part of our “natural” inheritance. These rights are thus protected against encroachments by government. Natural rights cannot be removed by passage of law because our Founders understood that law forces us to acknowledge and respect individual rights that exist independent of and prior to law itself. Governments can prevent certain behaviors and promote others, but government cannot withdraw our natural rights. To do so is tyranny. There are no specific “protected classes” under natural rights because all citizens are a protected class against encroachment and oppression by government. A government that fails to recognize that is inherently tyrannical.
However, the Leftocratic Platform of 2020 seeks to implement a host of “rights.” This listing is to place a natural rights aura around the various rights enumerated as though they have a high dignity that resonates with our Bill of Rights. Actually, they are saying rights in addition to natural rights accrue to certain protected classes of persons within our society.
Here is a sample from the Leftocrat platform of the perverse thinking about rights that actually not only fails to protect our rights, but diminishes existing natural rights: “Democrats are committed to standing up to racism and bigotry in our laws, in our culture, in our politics, and in our society, and recognize that race-neutral [gender-neutral is also included] policies are not sufficient to rectify race-based [gender-based] disparities.”
The selfish, sycophantic authors of the above words know they are advancing a purely demagogic, vote-seeking — not a principled —agenda. They recognize in the above quotation that there are race-neutral policies now in place that under a natural rights understanding are the only legitimate policies.
My grandparents came from Russia, where there were laws restricting where they could live, what occupations they could engage in, and how far they could advance in the areas of employment in which they were allowed to participate. In the USA, when they arrived, there were still individual employers who did not want to hire them because of race. There were still places that would not sell them real estate. But the natural rights philosophy of the country, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc., etc. was rights-neutral and sufficient to make the transition possible. This was not because they were white or straight, but because they could enjoy the liberty inherent in the American way of life. This liberty is what the Leftocrats seek to dilute or destroy.
Did they need special treatment to prove that America is really a place that accepts and welcomes people? Should subsidized housing in better neighborhoods have been provided to make their transition easier? Should they have been guaranteed a minimum income? Should they have been told they had automatic admission to college and free tuition? What about my father, who as a young man dropped out of school after 8th grade (free public high schools 9–12 existed even in the 1920s) because his mother had died and he was no longer motivated to achieve? He went to work before there were labor laws and put in 70- to 80-hour work weeks for years to put a roof over his head, buy food, enjoy an occasional movie or book, or take a girl out for a soda.
What about my grandfather who emigrated here and had six kids? Is it up to the government to make it up to me as a second-generation citizen that as a young worker and parent, he had so many trials and struggles? Should the government say to me that because your grandfather was discriminated against in hiring, because he had poor English and few skills, and your father had to work so many excessively long hours for minimal survival, society should make that up to me? Should I be compensated in some way for the struggles of my grandparents or my own struggles? Frankly, such a proposition is idiotic. I am grateful to my grandparents and parents for their fortitude and endurance. I am grateful for their love. I am grateful that the U.S. allowed my grandparents to emigrate to this special country.
The Leftocratic platform is not progressive and enlightened. It is a poorly written, boring, and wicked program projecting tyranny.
Undergirding the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution is a set of philosophical principles that are under assault by Progressives. These founding principles, derived mostly from the Federalist Papers, provide the lens through which we read and understand the Constitution. Without this lens, the meaning of the Constitution and American law becomes putty in the hands of every special interest group.
Progressivism seeks to replace the founding principles with a new set of doctrines based on the tenets of social justice — a system which elevate the rights of “protected classes” (non-whites, LGBTQ, women, etc.) by subordinating the rest of society. This so-called “just society” is not the kinder, gentler America that Progressives promise, but a dystopia where the rights of the many are trampled, dissenters are punished, and government has nearly unlimited power and scope. The examples that follow are selected from my recent eBook, The War on America’s Founding Principles: How Progressives Are Dismantling America One Plank at a Time.
Inalienable Rights. The assault on America’s Founding Principles begins by dismantling the inalienable rights upon which our nation is built. An attack on these rights, which are endowed by God rather than the state, is an attack on our entire constitutional system. The first inalienable right, according to the Declaration of Independence, is the right to life — the right to exist. Legalized abortion on demand, which Progressives promote with fanatical zeal, is a complete rejection of this inalienable right. Progressives have further embraced this rejection by elevating abortion access to a fundamental human right and insisting that the government fund abortions. Ironically, this renders government, which is charged with protecting inalienable rights, complicit in violating the inalienable rights of the most powerless members of our society.
Liberty. American liberties include freedom of religion; freedom of speech (and, yes, that includes hate speech); freedom of the press; and the right to bear arms. The principle of liberty restrains government power, preventing it from unduly interfering with or denying our divinely endowed freedoms. Except where authorized by citizens through the Constitution, government does not have the authority to limit these freedoms (Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments). Accordingly, every action of government should strive to protect liberty and should be weighed by this principle.
But we find an opposing inertia at work on the left. Progressivism commences with an authoritarian, regulatory-minded impulse that restrains the freedom of citizens. Government power is used reflexively to limit personal freedoms by regulating businesses, markets, consumption, education, speech, religious conscience, etc. All of this is necessary, according to Progressives, to create a “just society.”
Examples of this authoritarian impulse include the House-approved Equality Act (which severely limits religious freedoms in order to accommodate LGBTQ “rights”); the Affordable Care Act (which attempted to force religious ministries and schools to cover the insurance cost of abortion-inducing birth control drugs); federal zoning laws (which are intended to destroy the suburbs by merging them with large cities); onerous gun control legislation; and the relentless attempts on social media, in corporations, and on college campuses to limit or deny the free speech of conservative speakers.
In all of these examples, forced conformity to achieve a “just society” is valued by Progressivism above free thinking, individual liberty, conscience, and self-determination. This stands in stark opposition to the goal of the Founders, which was to minimize government interference in our daily lives — the right to be left alone — allowing us to pursue our own happiness.
Private Property. “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort,” said James Madison, including conscience, “the most sacred of all property.” The founding principle of private property is not limited to real estate. It encompasses the natural rights of all individuals to create, obtain, and control their possessions, beliefs, faculties, and opinions, as well as the fruits of their labor (Fourth and Fifth Amendments).
Progressivism subordinates the protection of private property to the goals of social and economic equality and environmental justice. Equal outcomes, or “equity,” as it is often called, can be achieved only by reallocating wealth through centralized planning and control, government coercion, confiscation of private property, and limiting individual economic freedom.
One of the primary vehicles for achieving these goals is excessive taxation, which is used to redistribute wealth through massive federal programs.* Though Progressives are not seeking to abolish private property outright, they believe that their vision of a just society warrants government confiscation of private wealth and property to whatever degree is necessary to implement “economic justice.” Effectively, the purpose of government is to appropriate private property rather than to protect it.
Not only do these policies violate the natural right of private property, but, as history has shown, attempts to heavily regulate and control businesses and markets, and to redistribute wealth through taxation, end in widespread poverty, shortages, and even starvation (e.g., the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, Venezuela, etc.).
Limited Government. The principle of limited government maintains that citizens are best able to pursue happiness when government is confined to those powers that protect their life, liberty, and property. History is littered with innumerable examples of “absolute Despotism,” to use the words of the Declaration of Independence. The lesson is clear: tyranny grows in proportion to power, threatening individual liberty. The Founders had a realistic understanding of the human condition and its tendency toward corruption and control. “It will not be denied,” warned James Madison, “that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it” (Federalist 48).
Progressivism, on the other hand, originates from an entirely different set of assumptions regarding government power. Progressives, as evidenced by their compulsive dependency on government, maintain that government should be as large and as powerful as necessary to implement social, economic, and environmental justice. The government, especially at the federal level, is viewed as the first resort in resolving social and economic problems such as health care, education, unemployment, housing, poverty, and the environment.
The Green New Deal, which will cost trillions of dollars, is the largest, most expensive proposed government expansion in history. It would use federal control to restructure utilities, transportation, infrastructure, agriculture, society, and the economy. Similar proposals include taxpayer-funded health care, taxpayer-funded childcare, taxpayer-funded college education (at state colleges), a minimum guaranteed income, slavery reparations, and even taxpayer-funded internet service. These programs promote an uncontrollable dependency on government that is diametrically opposed to the Founders’ vision of America.
The fatal flaw in the Progressive project is not just the expansion of government with its 430-plus federal agencies, but the failure to connect this growing government power with increasing tyranny. Progressivism has no limiting principle to restrain the growth of government because government is regarded as a benign agent of the people. But this is a naïve delusion. As we have already seen, a number of our constitutional rights are in jeopardy as government inches toward authoritarianism. Innumerable examples across the globe, especially from socialist and former socialist countries, also give proof to the Founders’ belief that tyranny and corruption always grow in proportion to power.
Though Progressives, like most Americans, believe they are defending and preserving our democracy, they are actually undermining and replacing American democracy with something radically and dangerously different. The threat extends far beyond the principles of limited government, private property, liberty, and inalienable rights. Progressivism, in its relentless attempt to delegitimize our historical foundations, also endangers the rule of law, due process, consent of the governed, and federalism, among other principles, as explained in my book. This sweeping demolition of our founding principles renders Progressivism the most dangerous existential threat America has faced since the Civil War.
William DiPuccio, Ph.D., is author of The War on America’s Founding Principles: How Progressives Are Dismantling America One Plank at a Time, a free eBook. His articles, books, and videos can be found on his blog, Science Et Cetera.
*Though citizens have a moral and civic duty to help those in need and improve society, it is not the prerogative of the federal government to coerce philanthropy. State governments, which are closer to the people and whose powers are more general, may, as the Founders believed, undertake such relief as a last resort (e.g., to help children, the disabled, the destitute, etc.). Thomas Jefferson, for example, co-authored the Virginia “Bill for Support of the Poor” in 1779.
If today’s poisonous cancel culture is ever to be remedied, the cause must be understood.
When deliberating the origin, most just point to America’s universities and say, “they did it.” And, clearly, that’s where the programming occurs, but it doesn’t explain why.
Selwyn Duke recently noted that vanguard leftists have “indoctrinated the young in schools to transform them into foot soldiers in the leftist campaign of civilizational rape.” Those foot soldiers are today’s cancel culture warriors.
But why did old-time educators morph into purveyors of cancel culture hate? How did it happen?
The Vietnam War did it. Or, more precisely, the campus antiwar activities did.
Most are familiar with the undergraduate student deferments used to dodge the draft in the 1960s. Less well known were the ones for graduate school, in place until 1968. Those led to a 3-fold increase in Ph.D. degrees — men only — in the ‘60s compared to the previous decade. The increases prior to that were a couple percent per decade.
And where are most Ph.D. awardees employed? At universities.
Since their motivation was to avoid government service, it’s not surprising they would espouse principles not supportive of America. Their negative views undoubtedly spilled over into their teaching, thereby providing foundational cancel culture training — Woke Philosophy 101; Introductory Victimology 202; Mobology 303: Advanced Bullying — identified as such or not.
Perhaps even more concerning, though, was another draft dodging option — K-12 teaching deferments. Guys lacking the academic credentials or financial resources for graduate school could add the education courses necessary to become teachers just to avoid the draft. Obviously, more students qualified for that dodge than the Ph.D. route.
How’s that for the wrong motivation to “teach” … to instruct America’s youth?
That gets straight to the point Duke made about “indoctrinated the young in schools.” And, appallingly, this has been going on now for a half century.
Having anti-America messaging in the classroom at an early age would certainly make the kids more receptive to woke cancel culture programming in college. Since many draft dodgers probably taught for 30-40 years, that’s a lot of brainwashing of America’s hope for the future.
Not much hope there. Of course, these were males only; women weren’t eligible for the draft. Equal rights weren’t totally equal back then.
Nonetheless, woke proselytization — K-12 through terminal advanced degrees — likely met all prescribed equal opportunity parameters; i.e., both men and women imparted cancel culture loathing. However, on the female side, my analysis is more qualitative. I can’t explain why women were so vested in the cause at the time, despising America and all those who served.
My introduction to the female “hate America” mentality occurred soon after returning from Vietnam while I was finishing my undergraduate degree. Enjoying a beer in a college bar, a coed noticed the small American flag on my jacket. She pointed at it saying if I had any idea what war was all about, I wouldn’t wear it.
Considering I had (still have) a piece of shrapnel in my left lung, I suggested I might know a bit more about war than she did. Instantly, hatred burned in her eyes — she visibly despised my very being. That look has stayed with me 50 years.
How could someone hate me — in the blink of an eye — for being drafted and damned near dying in Vietnam?
If that was the only time it happened, I’d write it off as an anomaly, but there were multiple instances that same year. It even occurred two decades later at the university where I was a faculty member. I was having a cordial conversation with the head of human resources when she found out I’d been in combat in Vietnam.
Bam! It was as if I’d spit in her face; rabid rage flashed in her eyes.
Regardless, Vietnam draft dodgers and allied haters of those who serve assumed control of U.S. universities decades ago. They and their trainees vilify America and American patriots, making national pride an alien concept on most college campuses. The few remaining won’t hold out much longer.
Woke cancel culture is the haters’ venomous creation and developing an antivenin won’t be easy.
First, freedom-loving Americans must stand their ground and refuse to be cancelled. The hate-filled woke can only function in mobs; individually they’re cowards. Confront them and they’ll have no power.
Fixing America’s education system will be a long war of attrition at best, but knowing the cause is essential to achieving the desired outcome. And success will come down to basic supply and demand economics — education consumers not spending their money at grossly anti-America universities. All have anti-America faculty, but some fewer than others.
It’s the almighty tuition dollars, folks. You control those payments, so control them!
R.W. Trewyn, PhD has been a university faculty member for 42 years, working in central administration the past 26 years.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue has noted history’s great irony that “no segment of society punishes the poor more than those who champion their cause.”
In a scathing essay Tuesday, Dr. Donohue insists that the latest Marxist to “screw the poor” is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is undermining the cause of the lower classes by alienating those who generate wealth and create jobs.
De Blasio’s scheme to raise taxes on the rich in order to “redistribute wealth” and to close the “COVID achievement gap” is senseless, Donohue observes, since “the rich are leaving New York in droves” because of the city’s absurdly high taxes and taxing them at a higher rate “will only encourage more to leave.”
“They are taking their tax contributions and their jobs with them,” he adds.
Despite de Blasio’s claims, “fleecing the rich will do absolutely nothing to enhance academic achievement,” Donohue observes. “We have known for decades that there is no correlation between spending on students per capita and academic achievement.”
While de Blasio focuses on race, he turns a blind eye to the real causes of poverty and underachievement, Donohue asserts, noting that Asians are “people of color,” yet they have no problem succeeding in school.
“That’s because, unlike African Americans, the typical Asian family has a father and a mother at home,” he adds.
“So the ‘color’ argument that de Blasio favors — structural racism is holding blacks back — is completely false,” he continues. “Black kids from two-parent families are not failing in school. The real issue is the family, not race.”
Like others on the left, de Blasio cares more about upholding the public school monopoly and protecting the teachers’ union than helping kids.
If he really wanted poor kids to succeed in school, “he would spend money on charter schools, provide scholarships to private schools, endorse school choice, and allow the poor to enroll in Catholic schools,” Donohue observes. “Instead, he fights every initiative that works.”
While pretending to be a champion of the poor, de Blasio’s actions harm those he claims to defend.
Thus, he “drives the rich out of New York, shrinks the tax base, and does nothing to help the poor succeed in school,” Donohue notes.
If you’re like me, you thought The Swamp, the Deep State, and the forces of evil were tremendous. But this election has shown me that my understanding of the depth of the adversary was a huge underestimate.
In retrospect, the writing has been on the wall for a while. We’ve seen Cultural Marxism rising inexplicably for decades. We’ve witnessed betrayals from our so-called allies on the political right as they waffle back and forth from being RINOs and constitutional conservatives. We’ve seen mainstream media and Big Tech suppress the truth and promote lies. But as this election fraud and subsequent cover-up have demonstrated, the forces arrayed against us are far greater than anything most of us could have imagined.
They’re everywhere. Fox News host Sean Hannity often said the Deep State infiltration of the FBI was made up of 20 or 30 leaders and middle managers but the majority of the Bureau was honorable. Former CIA station chief Dr. Michael Scheuer has often called Hannity out for this, claiming the Deep State was pervasive and encompassed the vast majority of the FBI, including complicit agents themselves. As it turns out, he was correct.
This, perhaps more than anything else we’ve seen so far, tells us that we must trust solely in God to deliver us. If it is His will, nothing can stop it, not even the vast conspiracy arrayed against us. If it’s not His will to stop the steal, there’s nothing we can do to change it. This is why we must be prayerful if we are to have any hope of keeping our country from being destroyed.
And that’s why we must keep hope alive. There’s still time. If it turns out that President Trump is vindicated and reelected, then we can count this entire experience as a positive because it has allowed us for the first time to see a huge chunk of the powers and principalities working against us. Before the election, many on the right still embraced Fox News, Attorney General William Barr, and Republicans on Capitol Hill. Now we know only a handful of Republican lawmakers are working on our behalf. Everyone else is against us.
By no means am I trying to sound like a victim crying foul because the powers against us were greater than I knew. This is actually an exciting time and I love being the underdog as long as I know God is on our side. And as long as we’re faithful, He will be. Throughout the Bible, He has demonstrated a willingness to help the faithful through troubling times. We must have faith that He knows the end from the beginning and His plan will make us prevail even if that means failure today. I hate sounding fatalistic or insinuate I’m giving up. By no means! On the contrary, I’m still confident that the truth will prevail if God allows. That puts me at around 85%-90% sure President Trump will win. I have to acknowledge the possibility that the truth will continue to be suppressed, thus the 10%-15% skepticism.
In the latest episode of NOQ Report, I detail what I believe is a much bigger conspiracy against us than we ever knew before. I know some will say they’ve known all along. Good for you! I try to be rational and that often means being skeptical of conspiracies that seem impossible. Until this election, I would have thought it highly unlikely the powers and principalities were forming against us for this election. I would have been wrong.
We just need to keep fighting, keep praying, and believe that the truth will prevail. If God wills it, nothing can stop it.