Thursday, December 05, 2019

That Girl Who Wasted Millions and Dropped Out Before a Primary Was Me

Senator Kamala Devi Harris, who survived growing up in the segregated deep south of Berkeley and then Montreal, was a sure lock to be the next President of the United States.

And then, after raising $36 million from gullible idiots and greedy special interests, she dropped out without even facing a single primary. It was her single greatest act of courage since being bused across the Mason-Dixon line from Berkeley into Thousand Oaks. Sadly, she just wasn’t bused far enough.

There were many high points in the presidential campaign of the woman who would be Obama.

Her estranged father came out to condemn her for suggesting that his family was a bunch of pot
smokers. It’s not everyday a presidential candidate’s father states that her great-grandmothers are “turning in their grave” over her “identity politics” and that her Jamaican family wish to “dissociate ourselves from this travesty.” The travesty being the Kamala Harris presidential campaign.

It took a while, but Kamala Harris also disassociated herself from her travesty of a campaign.

By early November, Kamala began blaming a racist country for her poor showing. "Is America ready for that? Are they ready for a woman of color to be President of the United States?" she demanded.

The answer is yes. But not if she pronounces, “Salt-N-Pepa” as “Salt and Pepper”.

Despite the false claims of sexism and racism, she polled at 5% among men and 2% among women. Only 3% of white voters and 4% of black voters backed her. Nobody in America was ready for President Kamala. Men didn’t want her. Women really, really didn’t want her. White and black people didn’t.

The problem with Kamala Harris for the People was that the people didn’t want Kamala. Toward the end, Kamala was polling at 2% in the HarrisX poll (no relation) alongside winners like Julian Castro, Andrew Yang, and the guy who promises to tell the truth about the secret UFO base on the moon.

By then her campaign had broken out in spasms of vicious infighting between her sister Maya and campaign manager Juan Rodriguez who were only speaking to each through media leaks. Rodriguez had run Kamala’s Senate campaign and had the requisite skills to win elections in a corrupt one-party state. He was out of his depth competing in a national election and the dysfunctional campaign showed it.

But the real brains behind Kamala Harris for the People was, predictably, a member of the family.

Maya Harris had headed the ACLU in Northern California, then had a plum spot at the Ford Foundation, before becoming a senior advisor to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, and then as campaign chair for her sister. “Hillary really trusted her instincts,” John Podesta said of Maya. So did Kamala.

Too bad for her.

With her ACLU and Ford Foundation background, Maya had been billed as Kamala’s “progressive link”. It was more like the weakest link. While her campaign manager was out of his depth, her campaign chairwoman kept pushing her sister far leftward. And while that strategy worked in California where socialized medicine can pass without anyone having a clue how to pay for it: it didn’t work nationally.

Kamala Harris for the People, the campaign brand, played off Kamala’s background as a prosecutor. But under Maya, that part of her resume, the biggest part that doesn’t involve Willie Brown, got buried. Maya pushed Kamala into the same radical policy space as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren while trying to compete for Joe Biden’s black voters. But Kamala and Maya were too detached from the black community to realize that South Carolina black voters wanted a more conservative candidate.

Instead of winning over leftists and black voters, Kamala lost both.

Maya had been Hillary’s policy person. And that worked out badly. But Hillary was a control freak who kept a tight rein over everything. Kamala went out on debate stages without really understanding the radical programs that her sister had signed her up for. The flip-flopping over Medicare-for-All, a misleading name for a plan to destroy Medicare and take away everyone’s health insurance, did it.

Just as the same poison pill socialist plan torpedoed Elizabeth Warren’s brief time at the top.

Bernie’s plan to nationalize health care only works for him because he’s willing to live with the political consequences of raising taxes on the middle class and taking away everyone’s health plans. Neither Kamala nor Warren had the stomach to ride the socialist tiger without flip-flopping and obvious lies.

Unintentionally, Bernie Sanders destroyed both of their campaigns with his radical program.

The surge Kamala had gained by briefly playing the race card against Biden, vanished. Her campaign, always a house of cards, began coming apart. While her California pro mismanaged the national campaign, her sister had pushed her into the same political space as Bernie and Warren. Instead of being able to run as a moderate, she got steamrolled by the socialists she had stupidly embraced.

Kamala Harris for the People didn’t work structurally. The mismanaged staffing issues broke out into a civil war in the death match of the campaign with resignations, firings, budget cuts, and media leaks. It didn’t work on a policy level. Kamala didn’t have a message. It couldn’t even settle on a brand, trading slogans with the desperation of a gambler losing every game no matter how he plays the cards.

With no policy and no functional infrastructure, all that was left was a personality contest.

Kamala had been billed as the next Obama. Both their mothers were wealthy leftist radicals from privileged backgrounds who fastened onto black nationalism and married wealthy foreigners. They both had estranged black fathers and grew up outside the United States. Both had come through the dirty pipeline of urban politics while building inspirational brands. Both were newly minted senators.

But, despite the desperate efforts of her team of Clinton retreads, Kamala didn’t have any charisma. The more her media team tried to make her go viral, the more she came off as artificial and awkward.

The Clintonites didn’t make over Kamala into the next Obama. They made her over into Hillary Clinton.

Kamala tried to run on race, but she was a privileged girl from a wealthy family who slept her way into politics. Her social set wasn’t in Oakland, where she launched her campaign, but on Nob Hill. Her only real background was as a prosecutor, but in a pro-crime party and a radical campaign, she couldn’t talk about it. The more people listened to her, the more they realized she didn’t actually stand for anything.

What Kamala Harris for the People represented, besides a lack of proper spacing between words, was the incredible political potential of Kamala for the people who got on board with her campaign. That’s where that $36 million came from. Even as her poll numbers kept falling into the single digits, $11.6 million showed up in her war chest in the third quarter. Right before dropping out, Kamala cancelled yet another big money fundraiser with her top bundlers in New York for as much as $2,800 a ticket.

The money is there, but there’s no point when the talent isn’t showing up. The hedge funders throwing money at her were investing in a worthless stock whose value was inflated by false expectations. Kamala was going to be the next Obama because everyone said so. Especially the people hoping that it was so. But nobody actually asked what she stood for except getting elected to ever more important jobs.

And the answer, much like her campaign, turned out to be nothing.

After blowing through tens of millions of dollars, Kamala Harris dropped out before facing a single primary so as to preserve the illusion of her electability. A humiliating finish in Iowa or, worse New Hampshire, would have destroyed her potential in any future national election. And so Kamala Harris for the People shed its people, after wasting its campaign funds, to protect Kamala’s future ambitions.

The cowardly act of political calculation shows why Kamala will never be in the White House.

Presidents have to be willing to gamble everything. Kamala wasn’t Trump or Obama. She was Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. Just as in her Willie Brown days, she wanted a sure thing and an easy ride. It wasn’t about the ideas, about the people who worked for her, who donated, campaigned, and believed in her.

There was never a Kamala Harris for the People. There was only a Kamala Harris for Kamala.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

The Deep Industry

A recent Rasmussen/Heartland poll found that government workers were more likely to vote for socialist candidates and gun control. While only a quarter of Americans were willing to vote for a socialist candidate, a third of government employees were happy to do so.

That’s not a shocker.

62% of federal workers voted for Hillary Clinton. In October of that election year, Trump’s unfavorable rating among federal employees stood at 68%. Only 38% of federal employees who supported Trump did so fully rather than as a better alternative to Hillary Clinton. This did not bode well for his first year.

President Trump’s 100 days approval rating was at 42%. His rating among government employees was 37%. There was a stark divide there with government employees outside the Beltway giving Trump a 40% rating, close to the national number, while among Beltwayers, Trump was favorably rated by 29%.

Even among Republican government workers nationwide, Trump’s high 78% approval rating was lower than the 86% national Gallup number among Republicans, indicating that Republican government workers were less likely to support the President of the United States than Republicans were nationally.

67% of Beltway government workers disapproved of Trump, compared to 56% of government workers nationally. While government workers nationwide split on the Muslim terror nation travel ban, Beltwayers opposed it 57% to 43%. But where the Beltway crowd and non-Beltway government workers split at their sharpest was on Trump’s push to cut two regulations for every new regulation.

While 39% of government workers supported it and 42% opposed it, 53% of Beltway government workers opposed it, while only 32% supported it. Why? A majority of government workers nationwide agreed that there were too many government regulations. But a majority of Beltwayers insisted that there was just the right amount of regulation. And this is at the heart of the political and cultural split.

It’s not just about ideology, but power. Beltway government workers were far more likely to believe (66%) that President Trump did not respect them. Only 53% of government workers nationwide shared that same notion. This was less about Trump respecting their persons than respecting their power.

There has been a lot of talk of a deep state. But there’s more accurately a deep industry of government workers, concentrated in the Beltway, who are present in the national security complex, but also across the entire spectrum of D.C. government, who are jealous of their power and hostile to President Trump.

Those who happen to be in the FBI or the NSC just have a greater capacity to do him serious harm.

In the past, the federal workforce had been less radical. Federal employees had actually split between Obama and Romney. Obama’s real base of support had been with state and local workers.

Four years later, federal workers had tilted decisively against Trump because he threatened their power.

The reason for that tilt could be found in the Beltway. Trump had threatened to drain the swamp. To the large federal colony living in the swamp, that meant destroying their entire way of life.

There are two ways of looking at the subsequent entrapment and impeachment effort. One is as a partisan effort by Democrats to exploit their administrative powers against their political opponents. The other is a civil war being fought between elected and unelected officials for control of the government. Both realities are true and overlap to show the bigger picture of the crisis.

What is at stake is not always policy, but the fundamental questions of process. Who gives the orders? And, in the federal government, even more importantly, who decides how those orders are carried out?

The bureaucracy has always been the fourth branch of government. No matter how much the country grew, there would still be one man in the White House and less Supreme Court justices than you could count on your fingers. There were only so many members of the House or Senate that their respective chambers could accommodate. 99.9% of the growth took place in the rest of the government.

The three branches didn’t run the government. They provided general guidance as to how it ought to be run. Like the CEO in New York, who hardly ever makes it to the factory floor in Kalamazoo, what we think of as campaign promises, 1,000 pages of legislation, and even signed bills were really notes to the boys in the boiler room. And the boys did whatever they wanted with those grandly named notes.

Trump’s insistence on taking direct control threatened the division between the doers and the talkers. If elected officials insisted on actually running the government, what would become of the Beltway?

The explosion has been so heavily concentrated around foreign policy because it is the area where the President of the United States traditionally has the most latitude, able to effectively start wars on his own initiative, but also an area where few presidents know anything without a vast expert class. Every new White House resident arrives with some sense of domestic affairs, but often very little sense of the larger world and its bewildering complexities outside the borders of the United States of America.

The two most recent residents, Obama and Trump, however came with extensive (if very different) international experiences. Obama’s foreign background and Trump’s international businesses gave them a very clear sense of what they wanted done abroad. Obama was able to successfully steer the foreign policy establishment his own way through administrative legerdemain, building up the NSC, while using the ambitions of establishment Democrats, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, to control the Beltway’s foreign policy complex. That allowed him to occasionally override that establishment, as he did on Syria, but not without having to find a scapegoat in London, and go through the motions of backing the rebels.

This would not have been doable if Obama hadn’t shared a common ideology with the deep industry.

Trump wanted the same level of direct control that Obama enjoyed while butting heads on policy with the loyalists that Obama and Hillary Clinton had embedded to undermine him and maintain control.

This is the conflict with the deep industry that has hijacked our national politics into its bureaucracy.

But the larger conflict is between the Beltway and the country. Beltway government employees have formed a state within a state. A governmental entity with vast powers, and political and economic goals, that is not meaningfully accountable to the people over whom it rules. That is the nature of the crisis.

Growing partisanship and the opening of the Overton window will widen the clash between elected and unelected officials. The bipartisan consensus was often just another way of accepting the way that things worked in Washington D.C. The bureaucracy didn’t have to choose a side because it was its own side. That side might lean leftward, but it also offered the stability of tradition and procedural inertia.

A new breed of politician on both sides is uninterested in bipartisanship or the way things are done. And, the leftward tendency of Beltwayers will make radical changes easier to achieve for crusading left-wing Democrats like Obama, while going to war with right-leaning Republicans like Trump.

Government, by its very nature, trends toward more government. Government workers in the deep industry are more likely to want more socialism and more government control, whether it’s gun control or environmental control, because government is their business and control is their mission statement.

Meanwhile, Republican voters are tired of bipartisan excuses from the establishment and want results.

The conflicts between elected and unelected officials, the bureaucracy and the insurgency, have ushered in a new era in which political battles are being settled with legal, rather than electoral weapons. That conflict is at the heart of the impeachment drama which seeks to fight the populism of elected officials with the procedural weapons of the unelected officials who really run the system.

It’s not just the deep state we have to worry about, it’s the deep industry of government.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Live by the Lie, Die by the Lie

After the media went all out to televise the impeachment committee hearings, a majority of independent voters switched from supporting impeachment to opposing impeachment.

In October, 48% of independents supported impeachment while 39% opposed it. Now 49% of independents oppose impeachment while only 39% still support it. The neat, almost perfect reversal, can be credited to the media’s fateful decision to televise the committee hearings across the networks.

The media’s error was entirely predictable.

The Russia investigation looked good in the media frame until the Mueller report came out and then Mueller was dragged in to testify about it. The impeachment bid looked good in the media lens until people actually watched committee hearings and didn’t see any of what the media had been touting.

Live by the lie, die by the lie.

The paradox of impeachment is that the media’s con artists invented it, but stories alone, the commanding heights of communications, can’t actually close the deal. Like every con job, at some point the mark actually wants to see the million dollars that Nigerian prince is offering, the brand-new Tesla for only five grand, and the papers for the Brooklyn Bridge. Individual marks can be strung along indefinitely, but there are limits to how much an entire nation can be conned. Even by the media.

Abe Lincoln had something to say about that. But, then again, he was a Republican.

The media has excelled at creating investigation narratives. Its take on the Russia investigation or the Ukraine investigation convinced a lot of people that President Trump really was guilty. But you can’t impeach someone in the media. Nor can you actually try them on MSNBC. And that’s the problem.

Elections are where the media’s power lies because all it has to do is convince voters to cast a ballot, without ever having to show its work or prove its claims. With impeachment, it has to do both.

Impeachment failed to flip Republicans. It’s, at best, deadlocked among independents. And that leaves the Democrats isolated on impeachment. Poll after poll shows that most people are no longer persuadable on impeachment. Only 13% of respondents in the latest Q poll say they’ll change their minds on impeachment. That’s not a lot to work with here. And it dooms the impeachment project.

The impeachment push was never going to work without the cooperation of GOP Senate members. Without them, it becomes a purely partisan project to influence the 2020 election. And the turnout boost will be more likely to help Trump than the Democrats. It also poisons the well for further proceedings down the road. House Democrats focused on impeachment above all else. Not only is it failing, but it leaves voters with the impression that trying to impeach Trump is all the House does.

And it’s not even very good at that.

The one thing the House Democrats tried to do, they failed at. That leaves them with a choice of admitting defeat and appearing completely useless. Or dragging out the process and then, possibly crippling their ability to take the White House, to avoid admitting just how useless they really are.

If the Democrats want to blame anyone, they can blame the media. It was the media that pushed them to impeach Trump. That happened over the protests of Speaker Pelosi and warnings from Democrat strategists. But the media needed the clicks, the eyeballs, and the money. And it promised the Dems that it could carry impeachment forward no matter how weak the case might be.

The media tried to do its part. But the Democrats couldn’t deliver anything of actual substance. Again.

There are important lessons here for Republicans and Democrats about the limits of media power. The ability of a single radical political faction to control the national debate has critically damaged the country. But, at the same time, narrative power isn’t the same thing as actual political power.

The Democrat plan to stop Trump has always been built on feeding lies through the media to justify abuses of power by elected and unelected officials. But the lies fall apart once they’re examined in the harsh light of the law and that just leaves the abuses of power. And yet the Democrats still believe that the same strategy will work once their ability to communicate their message improves.

But messaging has never been their problem. The facts of the case are where it all goes wrong.

The media is the strongest asset of the Left. And it’s also its greatest weakness. Not just because the media’s business model is imploding, its credibility is tanking, and it’s transitioning to a charity. The Left believes that narrative is superior to reality. If you believe something, you can do it. A compelling story is all you need to bring change. Facts don’t matter when emotions are played on by propagandists.

Narratives are effective. But the Left always overestimates the power and price of ruling by narrative.

The people most vulnerable to narratives love stories. Con artists start out by fooling themselves. Then they fool their victims. Liars lie to themselves. The media constantly lies to itself. As does the Left.

The media keeps promoting implausible schemes for taking down President Trump. These schemes, whether it’s the 25th Amendment or a House impeachment plot, are fanciful and implausible. They all depend on the power of the media to convince Republicans to act against their own interests. But the Republicans weren’t fooled by this scheme. The media fooled itself into believing it could fool them.

That’s the price of being a liar. When you live by the lie, you’re also fatally poisoned by those lies.

Liars lose touch with reality. The cost of the con is no longer knowing what’s true. Democrats were sucked into an alternate reality in which Trump is a Russian agent and was on the verge of being overthrown by a secret deep state operation. When they actually tried to make these laughable fantasies real, the collision with reality unraveled both the plans and the lies, leaving a disaster area.

The deep state operatives volunteering for duty proved pathetically nerdy and inept. The same intelligence agencies who have bungled everything they ever touched abroad did not magically become more competent when they tried to intervene in domestic elections. Fantasy met reality. Reality won.

The entire Russia scheme was based on a document out of the Clinton campaign that was so badly put together that a random gas station attendant from Milwaukee could have done a better job. When Mueller actually went in front of the cameras, the great detective could hardly remember his own name.

After all this work, the deep state has been reduced to guys like Vindman and Strzok, men with impressive titles and poor self-control, who are as useless at home as they are abroad.

What did the media expect? Did their own reporting really lead them to expect that the NSC, the CIA, or the FBI would suddenly turn into the master strategists that they have never been for a single second?

You can’t consistently win battles in the real world when you aren’t living in the real world.

The coup plans worked spectacularly in the pages of the press, the broadcasts of network news, and the viral stories and videos splashed across social media, but they completely fell apart in the real world.

The bungled impeachment once again shows the limits of media power. It offers a warning about the dangers of believing your own hype. The media abandoned the vestiges of journalism for narrative in order to gain power. And yet, instead of gaining power in exchange for losing an eye, it went blind.

The media inhabits a compelling fantasy world. It is able to occasionally realize this fantasy by imposing it on enough gullible people. But convincing a lot of people to live in your fantasy world isn’t a strength. It’s a weakness. The temporary power gained in the moment is more than offset by the disasters that follow. Just look at any Communist country, its fantasy economics, and the disastrous outcome.

Democrats rule through media power and Republicans envy that power. But the power to lie to people is also a curse that entraps the liar. Believing lies makes you dumb. And dumb people do dumb things.

Like impeachment.

Impeachment isn’t a brilliant strategy. It’s the outcome of lies, greed, and stupidity. But the greedy dumb liars thought that it was a brilliant plan at the time. Because they wanted to believe it.

The entire disastrous venture shows the limits of media power, of lies and living out a fantasy.

There are two ways to fight a liar. You can fight him with lies or with the truth. Not the mere assertion of truth. Convincing people of what is or isn’t true through mere words is an uphill battle. The real truth lies not in a page, but in reality. Reality is a painful way of testing lefty schemes and lies that has cost hundreds of millions of lives throughout history. But some lies are easier to test and damage the liar.

The Democrats plotted to rule through media lies. That strength became their weakness. Addiction to fantasies is harder to shake than heroin or cocaine. And their own lies are leading them to disaster.

Live by the lie, die by the lie.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Hating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving brings with it three things: turkey, family, and guides on how to win political fights with family members. The latest entry in this popular proggie pastime is Lauren Duca of Teen Vogue who not only offers a guide to fighting with your family members, but urges future lonely proggies like her who face a future of hookups followed by cat hoarding, that refusing to fight at the dinner table is racist.

"The crisis of white politeness will persist so long as we 'keep it nice' and avoid talking about politics. Breaking the spell requires us to actively unlearn the stories and patterns of the white supremacist patriarchy," Duca rants.

Not picking fights at the dinner table is a conspiracy by the white supremacist patriarchy which wants you to be nice to people. The woke crowd understands that niceness is racism. Now enjoy your turkey.

When lefties aren’t ruining Thanksgiving by being ‘Ducas’: they’re attacking the existence of the holiday.

The New York Times can’t allow a single Thanksgiving to pass without cursing its existence. The latest entry is “The Vicious Reality Behind the Thanksgiving Myth”. The Smithsonian informs readers that Thanksgiving is really about, “massacres, disease and American Indian tribal politics”.

Both are promoting a book by a George Washington University professor who insists that Thanksgiving should be a “national day of mourning.”

And you thought Duca would be the worst person to share a Thanksgiving table with.

The Zinnian book at the center of all this is another forgettable revisionist history which amplifies what lefties care about, conflicts between English settlers and Indian tribes, while dismissing what Americans care about, the ability of different groups of people to find moments of common ground.

And that’s the point.

History is complicated. The relationship between the settlers who came across the Atlantic Ocean and the much earlier settlers who crossed the Bering Strait was neither all bad nor all good. The complexities of that history have not been forgotten. These revisionist works don’t uncover anything we don’t already know. But we build holidays, not around our history, but around our values. Holidays allow us to celebrate who we are and who we want to be. That’s what canceling Thanksgiving is really about.

Thanksgiving teaches us two values that lefties hate: gratitude to a higher power and coexistence.

The guides to ruining Thanksgiving by fighting with your relatives about Black Lives Matter and a border wall, and the attacks on the existence of Thanksgiving are not separate phenomena. They are one.

Coexistence, to lefties like Lauren Duca and the authors of so many of these guides, is something white supremacists do to cover up the evils of an oppressive society where no one could or should coexist.

The lesson of Thanksgiving, that pilgrims and Indians could coexist, and help each other, is an alien one to an ideology built on simplistic paradigms of oppressors and oppressed where historical conflicts don’t end or even interrupt with moments of tolerance and fellowship, but climax in violent revolutions.

That’s why Thanksgiving offends the Left. Not because it celebrates colonialism, as they insist. But because it sets forth a vision of a world in which we can get along without working out all of our historical conflicts, checking our privileges, and ‘Marxising’ out all of our human relationships.

Days of thanksgiving were not unique in American history. But Thanksgiving as a paradigm of man’s relationship with G-d, and man’s relationship with man, is part of American exceptionalism. It’s how English, Scottish, French, and Dutch settlers were able to come together. And how waves of German, Irish, Jewish, Swedish, and Italian immigrants joined them to make the United States of America.

It’s why, despite the weight of history, African-Americans, Mexicans, and American Indians could all meet around a common national table in thankfulness and fellowship even in a divided nation.

And it’s why lefties who break up family Thanksgiving celebrations are wrecking the country.

The real lesson of Thanksgiving is not that history isn’t complex, or that oppression doesn’t exist, but that oppression is not the most powerful force in human history. Fellowship and gratitude are. Politeness and civility are not a white supremacist conspiracy. They are the ways that we live together.

Assuming that we want to live together.

Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that we don’t have fundamental differences. The pilgrims and the Indians certainly did. They don’t mean that we have never fought and will never fight again. Only that we will not fight in this moment, that we will appreciate our common humanity, and the higher power that blesses us with prosperity and peace. If we can’t do that even for a moment, then we can’t coexist.

And that, not history, is the real crisis of Thanksgiving. The pilgrims and the Indians managed to get along better than the two poles of our political system do. They could sit around the same table all those centuries ago, while today lefties insist that picking fights over politics at the table is their sacred duty.

If we can’t share a common table or a common country without resuming the fight, then what’s left?

That’s the real question of Thanksgiving today.

What happens when you invite people to a Thanksgiving dinner and they won’t stop fighting you? What happens when you share a country with radicals who won’t stop going for your throat even on Thanksgiving? What happens when you try to coexist with people who reject the idea of coexistence?

Then you’re left with a choice of living on their terms, in the government or at the dinner table, or fighting on your terms. That is the fight we’re in, in Washington D.C. and in the living room.

We all deal with it in one way or another.

"As we gather together for Thanksgiving, you know, some people want to change the name Thanksgiving,” President Trump said at a Florida rally.

Columbus Day has become a casualty in many parts of the country. Thanksgiving is next. And then the Fourth of July. Each of those days plays a vital role, not only in the nation’s history, but in its present. They’re part of an ongoing journey, of discovery, coexistence, and independence that has not ended.

Holidays aren’t just our history. They’re our present. They show us the way forward.

Thanksgiving is a weapon that shatters the politics, history, and economic theorems of the Left. That weapon is the transcendence of gratitude. The politics of radicalism are fueled by outrage. Nothing is ever forgotten or forgiven. There is never a moment’s peace. Not even at the dinner table.

But Thanksgiving reminds us that we don’t have to be prisoners of the past. That our conflicts, past and present, personal and national, can be set aside if we choose faith and love, even for a moment.

The Left wants us to be prisoners of the past. In its iron dialectic, there is no escape from history. Their world is a binary prison of oppressors and the oppressed, a cycle of revolutions and tyrannies, outrage and death that no one is ever allowed to leave behind for even a single day, evening, or moment.

They call this justice. We know it to be the worst form of tyranny.

Thanksgiving liberates us from that prison, as it liberated the ancestors of our nation. Americans are not the prisoners of history. We make our own history. We transcend our past and build our future.

That is the power of Thanksgiving. It frightens the Left. And it should.

Thanksgiving, from its earliest days, had the power to unite a nation. The greatest weapon of the radicals is division. They amplify the divisions of family and nation, breaking us apart and driving the wedges deeper. But the true power of Thanksgiving can defeat them and reunite a nation.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Coup in Israel

“It is important for me to emphasize that the only ones who determine who the prime minister will be are Israeli voters. That is the essence of democracy,” Prime Minister Netanyahu recently said.

That is what’s at stake here.

Fake news and fake cases have been used by the media and by political operatives to mask a real coup.

How do you win an election when voters won’t vote for you? You lie, cheat, and smear. And when that doesn’t work, it’s time to roll out secret investigations, midnight raids, and politically motivated trials.

What’s at stake in America and Israel is whether voters or unelected officials run the country.

The unelected officials have launched show trial coups. And the voters are responding by rejecting their credibility. While the media trumpets the coup’s accusations of “bribery” and “corruption”, and accuses Netanyahu and his supporters of “inciting” against the ‘branja’ of the judges, lawyers, and assorted special interests, public confidence in this political lefty mafia is at an incredible all-time low.

In a Globes poll, 44% on the Right expressed low confidence in the judiciary while 55% on the Left had high confidence in the judiciary. Only 23% on the Right had high confidence in the judiciary. 43% of Israelis overall had low confidence in the police and only 18% of Israelis really trusted the police. What explains these numbers? The next question found that 45% of Israelis believed that there was a high degree of selective prosecution. Only 15% believed that selective prosecutions were a non-issue.

The media claims that Netanyahu is “inciting” against the judiciary. But he’s just saying what everyone knows. The system is corrupt. And it abuses its powers to go after the targets of its corruption.

Right-wing Israelis didn’t turn on the system just because it went after Netanyahu. The system has always been biased against them because they’re outsiders. Even if you aren’t living in a town designated a settlement or an outpost, even if you aren’t Orthodox, a Russian immigrant, or anything except a secular Ashkenazi whose grandparents came at the right time, living in the right part of Tel Aviv, if you aren’t voting for lefty parties, then you lack the political connections to navigate business and simple everyday problems, from getting the power turned on to dealing with a parking dispute.

Every Israeli knows this is true.

The Right began its dominance of Israeli politics because most of the country loathes the corrupt system that the old socialists put into place to maintain control of the people and the country. They don’t just loathe it in the abstract ideological sense, but because they have to deal with it day in and day out.

They just don’t believe that there’s an alternative to the system. That’s what the indictment is about.

The indictment is based on the system’s expectation that it can take down Netanyahu and the Right. Or, as Caroline Glick recently put it, the opposition "stands on two planks – destroying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and eternalizing the regime of Israel’s unelected bureaucrats."

And Netanyahu is making clear that it’s either him or the bureaucrats.

The actual case or cases against Prime Minister Netanyahu, as against President Trump, are a joke. They depend on media leaks, intimidation by political operatives within law enforcement and the judiciary, and a lot of hand-wringing about the moral downfall of the nation with very little evidence.

Case 2000 and Case 4000, the centerpieces of the coup against Netanyahu, both claim that the Israeli leader undertook to support certain policies in exchange for favorable media coverage.

As Caroline Glick noted in an important talk at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend, “nobody ever heard of the concept that positive media coverage could be considered a bribe because in no country on the face of the planet is positive coverage considered a bribe because if positive coverage is considered a bribe, then journalism as a point of fact is a criminal enterprise.”

If the media providing positive coverage of politicians who support their agenda is a crime, every single politician and media boss would be in jail. That’s the selective prosecution part. And, as with Trump, not only is the prosecution selective, but it invents new crimes in the process of selecting them.

Both Netanyahu and Trump stand accused of usurping the media’s function. The media is supposed to spread fake news on social media. The media is supposed to investigate its political opponents. And the media is supposed to decide which politicians get positive or negative coverage for its own reasons.

Both Case 2000 and 4000 really indict Netanyahu and his wife for complaining about the media.

The rest of the blanks in the indictment were filled in with the assumption that when things went well for the heads of the two media companies at the center of the case, it was not only Netanyahu’s doing, but part of a quid pro quo in exchange for positive media coverage.

The obvious question that the average Israeli asks at that point is, “What positive media coverage?”

The indictment fails to document this positive coverage because that would require evidence. And evidence is the one thing that this otherwise exemplary farce of a document is tragically lacking.

The lead on the English site of Yediot Aharonot, one of two media entities that Netanyahu allegedly aided in exchange for positive coverage, is an editorial that declares, “Netanyahu is out of tricks.”

This isn’t a new development in response to the indictment. It’s typical of the positive media coverage that Netanyahu has enjoyed for quite a few years in which commentators and reporters debate whether he should be shot and then thrown into the river, or thrown into the river first and then shot afterward.

But beyond the absurdity of treating positive media coverage as a bribe or the reality that this alleged bribe that was never delivered, is that there’s no actual linkage between what the media tycoons wanted and any of the non-existent positive media coverage of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Instead the indictment is filled with claims about what both sides knew, understood, and assumed, without actually proving it. That’s not a case. It’s a set of theories about what a case might look like.

For there to be a bribe, there needs to be evidence of an arrangement and an exchange.

And that doesn’t exist in this case. The indictment makes it clear that there’s no actual evidence beyond the compelled testimony of browbeaten associates facing legal and personal problems on other fronts. Israelis have long since learned to discount the testimony provided by such state’s evidence. Giving formerly respectable people a choice between going to prison on other charges or telling the court anything it wants to hear is not a process that will produce witnesses with any credibility.

In the Trump era, Americans are learning to distrust these same tactics in political investigations in which men like Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen or Michael Flynn are dragged through the system on any convenient pretext in the hope that they can provide legal backing for a politically motivated campaign.

The hole has been filled by hysterical media coverage inventing connections that don’t actually appear in the case and can’t actually be proven. But they don’t need to be. If everything goes according to plan, then the Likud will either lose or be forced to sacrifice Netanyahu, and once Netanyahu is isolated, he can be bled with legal expenses until he accepts a plea bargain. Lefties will be back in power, directly or indirectly, and the Right will be crippled. And the terrorists will celebrate from Gaza to Beirut.

Like the Mueller investigation, this is a political gambit meant to be played out in the media. If the facts of the case face actual legal scrutiny, then the house of cards will collapse. They don’t expect it to.

The enemies of democracy expect the voters to be the weak point that will allow them to win.

The Mueller investigation was meant to flip Republican voters and legislators. It failed. The Netanyahu indictment is meant to flip Likud party members and voters. If that fails, then the indictment goes the way of Russiagate. The real test of representative government is whether the people will resist the inevitable plots by unelected officials to rob them of their representation under various pretexts.

In Israel, as in Europe, the Left and the Right have very different definitions of democracy. To the Left, democracy means the political norms of social democracy. That is why the Left will often describe losing an election as a “threat to democracy”. Leftists operate under Louis XIV's motto, "L'etat c'est moi." And their updated version, "la démocratie c'est moi." A democratic election that “moi” lose is undemocratic.

The coups in America and Israel are a deeper struggle between elected and unelected officials, between open and closed systems, between freedom and tyranny, and between media power and people power.

A coup either ends with the defeat of the people or the plotters.

There are similar struggles being waged across the world, from Hong Kong to Tehran, from London to Jerusalem to Washington D.C. They are struggles between the power of authority and of the people. In all their different languages and under their different flags, they ask whether people will choose their own governments or whether they will be chosen for them by the authorities who really run things.

As Netanyahu said, this comes down to the question of who determines who will run the country.

Will it be the voters or the lawyers?

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Learning to Love Big Sister

Angela Peoples first became famous when she was photographed at a post-inauguration anti-Trump rally holding a sloppily hand-lettered sign reading, ”Don’t forget: White Women Voted for Trump.”

Peoples’ expression is surly. She’s sucking on a lollipop while her white baseball cap seems to say something about “killing people”. Her giant hoop earrings dangle listlessly. Behind her stand a trio of white women in pink genital hats, all smiles and selfies, with the Capitol Hill building behind them.

The racist sign tapped into a meme shaming white women as gender traitors. Peoples, a veteran lefty activist, parlayed that internet fame into a New York Times op-ed arguing that white women couldn’t be trusted. “White women are not unified in opposition to Trumpism and can’t be counted on to fight it. Instead, it’s the identity, experience and leadership of black women that we must look to,” she urged.

Her message was, "we need you to get out of the way and follow our lead." And "would-be candidates" were told to "step aside and make space for more black women."

That was two years ago.

Now Black Womxn For, an ad hoc coalition run by Peoples, has endorsed a white woman.

Or, as NBC News declares, "Warren wins 2020 backing of influential group of black women". How influential is the Womxn “collective” of Netroots activists in the black community? Not very. A more accurate headline would be, “Warren wins 2020 backing of hastily thrown together lefty group.”

But Warren responded to the endorsement by declaring enthusiastically that, "Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy."

Who knew our country really was run by the 1%? Or the 0.00001%.

Despite Warren’s assertion, none of the Womxn leaders seem to be especially “trans” or “gender non-conforming”. Some are lesbians. That’s about as far as the “Womxn” thing seems willing to take it.

What the “Womxn” lack in “trans” and “nonbinary” people, they make up for in bigots.

Senator Elizabeth Warren not only welcomed the support of Peoples, who had spent years bashing white women, but also Charlene Carruthers, an anti-Israel activist, formerly of Color of Change, who sits on the board of the Women's March, which has its own notorious anti-Semitism problem.

Carruthers has tweeted approvingly about Louis Farrakhan, accused Israel of “apartheid”, and endorsed BDS. She led an anti-Israel delegation to Israel and accused the Jewish State of a “massacre” in Gaza.

Carruthers appears to have tweeted a selection of Farrakhan quotes, including, "Integrating the Bedroom not the Boardroom." This is a familiar Farrakhan quote which opposes interracial marriage as a "hypocritical trick" by white people while urging a separatist black country.

This separatist black nation probably won’t be run by Elizabeth Warren. Or will it?

Warren's new endorsee also claimed that, "Minister Farrakhan is speaking the truth about HIV/AIDS." It's not clear exactly what exactly she's referring to, but the Nation of Islam hate group leader has claimed that AIDS is a government bioweapon aimed at black people. People associated with the Nation of Islam have also claimed that Jewish doctors were injecting the virus into black babies.

This is Senator Warren’s idea of “the backbone of our democracy”.

Other members of the "steering committee" of Black Womxn For include Rukia Lumbumba, the sister of Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, who boasted that he would make Jackson, Mississippi into the "most radical city on the planet", Carmen Berkeley, the Managing Director for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Nicole Carty of Occupy Wall Street, and a number of other veterans of lefty activist groups.

Also known as the octopus in the swamp.

And Anoa Changa, who ran into controversy over her appearances on Russia's Sputnik. When Elizabeth Warren accuses President Trump of being in bed with the Russians, she can look at her own endorsees.

But what’s really behind this endorsement?

Peoples has gone from bashing white women to fighting for one while using the language of black nationalism. As director of Black Womxn For, Peoples and her group claimed that "a Warren victory ensures an environment in which Black community leaders can better and more easily usher in those long-overdue societal transformations that move us closer to the Liberation that we know is possible."

By that they mean, "Black Liberation". And by "Black Liberation", they mean appointing "Black women, especially trans and immigrant women, Black men, Indigenous people, people of color and disabled people" to government positions. Some of whom will presumably be affiliated with BWF.

“Liberation” will be brought to you by political sinecures and the spoils system. "She is a woman who is willing to learn, open to new ideas, and ready to be held accountable by us," the endorsement reads.

In two years, Peoples has gone from demanding that white women follow black women to rejecting a black woman, Senator Kamala Harris, and endorsing a white woman, Warren, while pretending that the power relationship is with her, rather than with Warren. Even Peoples’ racism and black nationalism proved to be transactional. Or rather, what they had always been, a façade for the usual lefty politics.

Black Womxn For is described as a project of ‘The South’ which is run by Peoples. What’s ‘The South’? It’s apparently a brand. There are few references to it online. There’s a YouTube channel with 8 subscribers whose video about Peoples (which has 1,038 views) begins with the assertion that the “most beautiful people in the world” are “black people”. Unless they’re Cherokee academics offering you a job.

In the interview, Peoples, who is modestly wearing a t-shirt with her own picture on it, castigates “white women’s racism”, claims that an “overwhelming majority of white women voted for Donald Trump”, and then defines that overwhelming majority as being 53%. There are no comments.

Peoples is also listed as the “founder” and “lead strategist” of MsPeoples. It has no internet presence.

How desperate is Warren for black support that she and her allies were trumpeting this nonsense?

Meanwhile the likely reason why Peoples threw her support behind Warren is a detail hidden in her bio. Peoples was a policy analyst for Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and had been working there nearly since its creation, back when the failed agency was Warren’s “baby”.

Peoples has thrown her support behind Warren, whose agency she worked at, in exchange for government jobs provided through input by Black Womxn For through Warren’s transition team.

Truly, the age of “Liberation” is upon us.

Who else backs this mighty endorsement of Warren? According to the endorsement, it was based on "hundreds of survey responses from self-identified progressive Black women and GNC/NB folks."


If they’re self-identified black women, was Rachel Dolezal allowed to participate?

Senator Warren is desperate for black voters. They’re Biden’s base. If the Democrat base were entirely white, Warren would already have the nomination locked up. To stop Biden, she needs to make a serious dent among his black supporters, but is so unable to connect with them that her campaign is touting an endorsement from her home base of Netroots activists as if it were an achievement.

And she’s willing to ignore as much bigotry as it takes to win the support of her new base of bigots.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Warren, Sanders, and Biden Preach Diversity, They Don’t Live It

Senator Bernie Sanders lives in a $476,000 colonial in Burlington VT. The house in New North End is one of three homes that he and his wife own. Burlington VT is 85% white and less than 5% black. Unlike the Old North End, which is diverse, the New North End has an older and more conservative population. The average household income is $80,000, and a number of the elected officials have been Republicans.

Despite Bernie’s socialist image, he chose to live in a white conservative suburban neighborhood where lefties are only slowly beginning to make inroads as younger couples start to move into the area.

Bernie's vacation place in North Hero, Vermont, by Lake Champlain, is over 97% white and only 0.25% black. His 1890 rowhouse in Washington D.C.’s Stanton Park is in a somewhat more diverse area.

Why invest in a home so close to Capitol Hill? Because Bernie expects to be in the Senate for life.

Senator Elizabeth Warren lives in a $3.5 million Victorian home a few blocks from Harvard Square built in 1890. Cambridge is 82% white and Asian, and 10% black. Half the population has an MA or a PhD.

Neighborhood Nine or Radcliffe, where Warren lives, is even whiter than Cambridge in general.

Her home is a four-hour drive away from Bernie’s. And it’s a long way from the foreclosed Oklahoma homes that she was buying and flipping to make a profit.

Once Warren arrived in Washington D.C., she also quickly bought into the real estate market, expecting to stay around for a while. Her $800,000 condo in Penn Quarter puts her close to the National Mall and has an 8% African-American population in a city that is otherwise some 47% black.

And then there’s Joe Biden. Or, as he likes to call himself, “Middle Class Joe”.

One of Middle-Class Joe’s earliest homes was a 1723 estate sprawling over three acres formerly owned by a member of the Du Pont family. His current four acre spread in Greenville is in an area that is 85% white and less than 5% black. That’s the home he owns. In reality, Biden lives in McLean, in a $6 million miniature version of the White House with crystal chandeliers, a home theater, and parking for 20 cars.

The McLean area of Virginia is 71% white and less than 2% black.

Finally, Biden has a $3 million six-bedroom vacation home in Rehoboth Beach with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, 3 indoor fireplaces, and a dog shower. Rehoboth Beach boasts 7 black residents. That’s not a percentage. It’s 7 black people. (But that’s still more black people than are supporting Buttigieg.)

For all their ideological battles, there’s a cozy New England inbreeding to the top three Democrats in the race. All three candidates live within driving distance of each other. Even if some of the drives might be longer. They’re all savvy real estate investors, even if they inveigh against capitalism and the free market, whose net worth was boosted by buying, selling, and even flipping houses at the right time.

The Democrats are an urban and coastal political party, but their ruling class is less fond of big cities. While their political machines may control major cities, their actual elites live in smaller upper-class bicoastal communities with vacation homes that take them even further away from those they rule.

While a quarter of Democrat primary voters are black, Sanders, Warren, and Biden live in areas that are far less diverse than the party they are competing to represent. And in a primary season that has seen a debate about busing, it’s very clear that diversity is a policy they advocate, not a reality that they live.

“I am really concerned about the growing segregation — once again — the resegregation of communities all over this country," Bernie Sanders claimed. And suggested that, "Busing is one tool."

"I’m already on record on busing and using busing as a way to help communities that are diversifying,” Warren has said more ambiguously.

But does Bernie living in places that are less than 5% or 0.25% black make him a segregationist?

That’s what the Democrat front-runners who live in New England enclaves with few black people, insist.

Warren’s journey took her from Oklahoma City to Houston, fairly diverse cities, to White Meadow Lake, New Jersey. While she taught at Rutgers Law School in Newark, a majority black city, she lived in an 89% white and less than 2% black community. Even as she grew politically radicalized, migrating from the GOP to the Democrats and then their farthest leftiest fringe, Warren ran away from diversity.

Bernie Sanders grew up in Brooklyn, a borough that is 1/3rd white and 1/3rd black, which he traded in for Vermont. His old Midwood neighborhood still has a Jewish population, but the Orthodox Jews and Russian immigrants who live there tend to be conservative and are unlikely to vote for the socialist.

If Bernie was concerned about segregation, why didn’t he return to Brooklyn, instead of Vermont?

Warren and Bernie’s journey was not toward diversity, but away from it. Their idea of a good life involved finding New England enclaves far from the more diverse places they had come from.

There’s no way to know if these choices were racially deliberate or coincidental. But that’s not a benefit of the doubt that either of them are willing to extend, either in rhetoric or in policy, to ordinary people.

Sanders and Warren are quick to accuse other people of racism, but their own life choices suggest that what they really wanted out of life was to live out a 19th century American lifestyle in New England.

With as little diversity as they could manage.

That’s their choice and it’s also their hypocrisy.

The Democrat leadership isn’t just out of touch with the country, but with their own voters. Sanders, Biden, and Warren represent the hypocrisy of a party divided between middle class suburbanites and urban voters. The leadership, Warren, Sanders, and Biden live in comfortable wealthy enclaves far from the misery that the political machines they head inflict on the inner cities they occasionally visit.

These uncomfortable questions are evaded with heavy doses of class warfare and identity politics.

Warren and Sanders, who are millionaires, rant about the super-rich while buying six figure homes, they denounce white supremacy while living in areas that are whiter than anything in Jim Crow territory.

And Joe Biden somehow commands the black vote while living in a place that is less than 2% black and vacationing in a place with a grand total of 7 black people. That’s the Democrat’s idea of diversity.

There’s something deeply wrong with the race-baiting of the Democrats and of their hypocrisy about it.

Democrat policies are destructive, but their hypocrisy is also corrosive. In an election where candidates pretend to be authentic by becoming more radical, their hypocrisy reveals their contempt for voters.

Their commitment to diversity is made on someone else’s behalf and at someone else’s expense.

Biden, Sanders, and Warren preach diversity. But if you want to see what they really believe, go look at where they live.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Muslim AK-47s and Bombings Turn Sweden Into War Zone

This isn’t terrorism. It’s a war. And it’s going on every day in Sweden.

Sweden is reeling from a wave of shootings and bombings with 268 shootings just this year so far. And that's in a country of 10 million people which has crime numbers on par with some American cities.

"Sweden may have the answer to America's gun problem," Vox declared in 2016. Or maybe not.

These shootings aren't being carried out with handguns, but with AK-47s. The weapon so often used as a boogeyman by gun control advocates, but rarely featured in everyday gun violence, is a staple of Sweden’s gang war scene. Along with hand grenades and other explosives rarely seen in America.

A call by the police last year asking gang members to turn in their grenades worked as well as expected.

There have been 187 bomb attacks this year. In just 1 week in August, there were three major bombings. Much of the violence is concentrated in Malmo which experienced 58 bombings in 2017.

Malmo has a sizable immigrant and Muslim population. And it’s a center of gang violence.

Swedish authorities and its media rarely discuss or name the perpetrators, but the latest shooting left Jaffar Ibrahim, a 15-year-old boy, dead. Jaffar was shot in a Malmo pizzeria and had been part of a family of Syrian refugees who migrated to Sweden in 2016. Services for him were held in a mosque.

The shooting attack was preceded by a car bombing which was used as a diversion.

The media cited as a precedent the shooting death of Ahmed Obaid, a 16-year-old, a few years ago. This isn’t unusual as 9 out of 10 shooters are foreign immigrants or the children of foreign immigrants.

But Muslim gang violence in Sweden isn’t just its problem anymore.

Bombings took off in Copenhagen with explosions outside a police station and a tax office over the summer. The targets were political and the bombs weren’t fireworks or hand grenades, but commercial explosives used for demolitions. The suspects turned out to be criminals who had entered from Sweden.

The violence was probably related to gang wars involving the Brothas, Loyal to Familia and other splinter gangs. Despite the gang names, the actual gang members have names like Osman and Omar.

While Muslim gangs operating out of Malmo appear to be pushing into Copenhagen, likely fronts and splinter groups of the Hells Angels, Muslim gangs out of Copenhagen, like the Black Cobras, are pushing into Malmo. To the Muslim gangs, Sweden and Denmark are just territories to seize and control.

That’s the same attitude that has brought Muslim gang members into ISIS.

Omar El-Hussein, a “Palestinian” Jordanian migrant criminal, who attempted to murder Mohammed cartoonist Lars Vilks before attacking a bar mitzvah at the Great Synagogue, had come through the ranks of the Brothas, building up a long criminal record, before finally joining ISIS.

After the attack, a journalist interviewed fellow Brothas gang members, Ahmed and Abdur Ramadan. “Those who depict our prophet, we’ll blow them up,” they declared.

The reference to bombings isn’t accidental.

Muslim gang leaders have reportedly taken the lead in joining ISIS. And their interest in explosives isn’t purely about gang violence. The bombing attacks on a police station and tax office weren’t gang rivalries. Despite the denials by the authorities, they have all the classic hallmarks of terrorism.

Denmark has reacted to the terror traffic from Sweden by imposing border controls on bridge crossings.

And while that might help slow the rate at which weapons flow into the country and bodies pile up, the real problem isn’t coming in from Sweden, but from Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan, and Somalia.

Europe’s open infrastructure, its rejection of national and regional borders, has worsened the problem. From the mass flow of migrants from Muslim countries to the ease with which Muslim gang members move between European countries, the lack of border security has made the conquest of Europe easy.

The growing linkages between Muslim gangs across national borders is a warning of worse to come.

The main components of Islamic militias, like the ones that tore apart Syria and Libya, were gangs. Islamist forces like these are often made up of gangs with grandiose names. The Copenhagen gangs are still associated with international gangs and use their names, but eventually they will go Islamic.

And then it won’t be the Hells Angels anymore. It’ll be the Islamic State of something or other.

That’s a reality that Swedish authorities are deliberately ignoring.

A government site insists that immigrants are no more likely to be criminals than anyone else. "In a study from 2013, researchers at Stockholm University showed that the main difference in terms of criminal activity between immigrants and others in the population in Sweden was due to differences in the socioeconomic conditions in which they grew up," it argues.

As if Swedes, including the researchers of Stockholm University, are only refraining from picking up AK-47s and throwing hand grenades because of their socioeconomic conditions. The moment they lose their lucrative research grants, they too will be setting off bombs and fighting over the drug trade.

But nonsense like this sounds reassuring because it suggests that the solution to Islamic violence is social welfare. That’s a comforting message for socialists for whom social welfare is the answer to everything.

Social welfare has been tried. Muslim immigrants are so deep in the social welfare system that they often never leave it. The gang members and ISIS terrorists are the welfare system’s children.

While the same old lies keep being told, the bombs keep going off and the bullets keep flying.

Whether or not the Swedish authorities can successfully keep feeding their population the same lies about the magic of integration, Denmark and Norway don’t want Sweden’s problems coming home.

But while Sweden’s insistence that it is a “humanitarian superpower” because of the volume of migrants it has taken in has obviously worsened the problem, no European country is immune from the threat.

The gangs in Sweden and Denmark disregard national borders and governments. They’ve bombed police cars and police stations because they believe that they are the law. They don’t care which government is in power or what its policies might be. They are the only authorities in their particular no-go zones.

And while it’s fashionable to deny that no-go zones exist, the bombings amply testify otherwise.

While the debate goes on about the thin line between terrorism and gang violence, the authorities are deploying the familiar toolkit of counterterrorism measures, including eavesdropping, to fight the war.

And when bombs go off and AK-47 fire is heard in broad daylight, does it matter what kind of war it is?

Bernie Sanders would like us to be more like Sweden. That means a frightened citizenry, bullets and bombs going off in the streets, while our taxes go to fund social welfare programs for our killers.

America can’t be more like Sweden. Not even Sweden is going to be able to be like Sweden anymore.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Abolish the National Security Council

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the latest star of the Democrat effort to undo the 2016 election, is still at work on the National Security Council. While Trump supporters on the NSC like Rich Higgins and Ezra Cohen-Watnick were forced out, Vindman won't be. NSC staffers who criticized Obama holdovers or sought to expose their misbehavior are gone, but Vindman is still there while undermining Trump.

And that’s the SNAFU of things on the NSC.

The National Security Council has been ground zero in the campaign against President Trump from the beginning. General Flynn’s appointment as National Security Advisor had touched the third rail because the NSC had been used to coordinate anti-Trump operations in the Susan Rice era.

The NSC doesn’t answer to Congress. Its members are meant to advise the president. (Except when they’re actually working for a previous president.) They command the implements of foreign policy, traditionally the weakest element in domestic politics, but not when they start treating their domestic political opponents as agents of a foreign state. And the size of the NSC has gotten out of control.

Under Obama, the NSC staff hit 400 people. That’s up from a dozen during its Cold War origins.

And it’s the staff that’s the problem.

The NSC was born in the Truman era, not as a byzantine government bureaucracy full of endless departments and hundreds of staffers, but as a means for key foreign policy and national defense figures to coordinate, develop options and then present them to the President of the United States.

People like Vindman or Fiona Hill were never supposed to be there.

In the 1947 National Security Act, the Council was to consist of the Secretary of State, the Defense Secretary, the heads of the branches of the military, and various strategic services and agencies, who would meet at sessions presided over by the President.

There was also to be a staff "headed by a civilian executive secretary".

What started out as a formal kitchen cabinet turned into a monster. And that didn’t exactly take decades. The NSC staff was at 50 people under George H.W. Bush. It hit 400 under Obama.

That’s an eightfold increase from Bush I and a threefold increase from his predecessor, Bush II.

The NSC’s permanent members were there to advise the president. The staff were there to support the work of the permanent members. And then the staff became the permanent members while the presidential appointees ended up being forced out or even worse for running afoul of them.

President Trump’s move to prune back the NSC is worth doing. But reorganizations of the NSC have been carried out before. Bureaucracy is the urban weed of Washington D.C. And even when it’s occasionally pruned, it always grows back. The only solution is to pull it up by the roots.

The National Security Council needs to go.

The NSC was meant to be a forum in which the heads of existing agencies would coordinate foreign policy and national security options. Instead, the NSC’s staff tends to set the foreign policy. What was once a support structure turned into a think tank and a policy shop. And then its very own deep state.

The very worst example of this was Ben Rhodes, an aspiring novelist who evolved from a speechwriter to deputy national security adviser for communications, and, in that capacity ran our foreign policy. War and diplomacy weren’t run by the cabinet members accountable to Congress, but by political operatives.

The NSC had become a state within a state, a rogue organization reporting directly to Barack Obama.

This wasn’t Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex or the deep state, it was something worse. It allowed a gaggle of political operatives to take control of national defense and intelligence, and retool them to spy on political opponents, to manufacture cases against them, and then to act as moles within future administrations with the aim of subverting them and perpetuating their old political agendas.

The NSC violates constitutional checks and balances. It undermines the rule of law. Its current function is an absurd perversion of the simple and straightforward purposes that it was meant to serve.

A coordinating body for national security and foreign policy may be a good idea. But the NSC isn’t it.

What would we do without the NSC? Agencies and departments would actually formulate policies internally and cabinet members would offer them to the president instead of the NSC acting as a rogue policy shop with the National Security Advisor competing with the cabinet members he is meant to be coordinating with. That would cut out some of the infighting and increase congressional accountability.

But that’s a 1980s argument. The 2019 argument is that the NSC is a threat to America.

Old NSC scandals involved its people overriding and sidelining the Pentagon, the State Department, the CIA, and determining and implementing policy on their own. Those scandals of departmental infighting seem almost nostalgic now that NSC personnel are working to actively oust a sitting president.

The NSC staff isn’t just undermining cabinet heads, it has become a rogue political organization.

It needs to go.

That’s not something that might be achievable right now, but it should become a Republican goal. The Flynn case and the latest impeachment bid are warnings that the NSC has become a toxic organization.

Traditionally, Republicans have been proponents of the NSC. Eisenhower and Nixon had expanded the NSC, while Kennedy and Carter had contracted it. But that pattern began to shift with the Clinton era, and fundamentally altered under Obama. The current NSC is a creature of the Clinton and Obama eras.

But the Obama administration only completed the corruption of an organization that had lost its way.

Abolishing the NSC will, in some ways, be a policy victory for the Left. But the Left has shown that it can do far more damage with the NSC, than without it, and that makes it too dangerous to exist

The NSC was meant to counter problems like the military-industrial complex or the deep state by organizing their functions and putting them more directly under the control of the White House. That plan worked so well under Obama, that White House political operatives used the NSC to take control of intelligence, the military, and law enforcement, and weaponized them against Republicans.

The central principle of politics is that proximity is power. The NSC was only meant to coordinate. Its staff were only meant to support. But the very act of creating an organization that would advise the president also made the position irresistible to men like Kissinger and Brzezinski who used it as a means of accumulating vast amounts of unchecked power. And after the National Security Advisor’s power had been rolled back, it was the anonymous staffers who picked it up and ended up in the driver’s seat.

Then it was just a simple matter of blowing up the staff and padding their ranks with political operatives.

Suddenly, the NSC was no longer overthrowing foreign governments, but our own government. And previously unknown NSC staffers in a byzantine organizational chart had become key figures in the war.

And, these days, it’s not a war on foreign enemies, it’s a war against President Trump and his voters.

A civil war.

The current crisis shows that we can’t have both the NSC as well as free and open elections.

A free country can’t afford the hybrid Democrat think-tank and pretorian guard that the NSC has become. It’s time to dismantle it, declassify and release all NSC activities involving the domestic political opposition, and go back to the way foreign policy and national security were run for over 200 years.

Either that or abolish elections and put the NSC in charge of running the country.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Social Economics of Wokeness

What’s the appeal of ‘Wokeness’?
Let’s take two recent examples, Senator Kamala Harris and Terminator: Dark Fate. Both clunkers have two things in common. They’re overhyped vehicles that wasted millions of dollars of other people’s money, $25 million or so for Kamala, and an estimated $100 million for Terminator: Dark Fate, for negligible results, Kamala is polling at 2%, and Terminator: Dark Fate blew its opening weekend.
And they both took out identity politics insurance policies against their eventual failure.
Kamala didn’t run on identity politics just because it was a good winning strategy, but also because it was a good losing strategy. That’s why, as her campaign sinks, she keeps emphasizing two things, that she’s always won elections in the past, and that, if she loses, it’s because America may not be ”ready for a woman of color to be President of the United States”. Kamala isn’t losing. America is losing.
Like a lot of movie franchises with no reason to exist, Terminator: Dark Fate adopted ‘wokeness’ as its identity. It’s the latest in a series of ‘woke’ franchise cash cows to bomb, not because of their politics, but because their politics couldn’t disguise the hollowness of the cash grab at the heart of the movie.
Kamala’s candidacy also had no reason to exist. Neither Democrats nor Republicans, insiders nor outsiders, can define what the hell her message is, except the hollowness of her own ambitions. Like Obama, she tried to use identity politics and borrowed radicalism to disguise the hollowness, but just like movies, the difference between a bad cash-in and a good one is style, art, and entertainment value.
The only thing entertaining about Kamala’s candidacy or Terminator: Dark Fate are their failures.
‘Wokeness’ isn’t just a selling point for bad candidates and bad movies with no reason to exist except synergy and greed, which are two ways of saying the same thing, it also justifies their failures.
‘Wokeness’ may go broke, but nobody ever pays the price except the money people.
Kamala Harris took out an insurance policy by running on identity politics. Her defeat will not be due to her decisions or her flaws, but to America’s unreadiness for a half-black, half-Indian woman to be president. And since there probably won’t be another one of those running, her premise isn’t even disprovable. Terminator: Dark Fate defined itself around challenging sexism. And so that $100 million in estimated losses isn’t anyone’s fault except that of the sexists who weren’t ready to go watch it.
The ‘wokeness’ insurance policy has bigger and broader applications than a bad candidate and a bad movie. It’s all around us. Why is Dick’s Sporting Goods doubling down on its anti-gun politics after losing hundreds of millions of dollars? Because its ‘principled’ position was never about principles. It was a PR strategy to cover a risky shift away from its old customer base to a trendy urban outdoor sports market.
If Dick’s had played it safe, by selling firearms, while still making the transition, and failed, its leadership would have taken all the blame. Instead, Dick’s jettisoned its old customer base while appealing to its new customer base with a show of ‘wokeness’, while its leaders are hailed as heroes for their farce. Whatever happens to Dick’s, its leadership will never be seen as failures, but as courageous activists.
This cynical game pervades corporate life where ‘wokeness’ is an insurance policy for risky gambits, especially among start-ups and financial institutions. A controversial ad campaign, a minority CEO, and an environmental initiative are insurance policies against social and reputational failure by big business.
The ancient Greeks sacrificed to the gods before any risky venture. Their pagan descendants sacrifice to the gods of political correctness, they read the entrails of ‘wokeness’, and go forth fatalistically. If they succeed, it’s because they’re good people. If they fail, they’re still good people, but they failed because of the evil people, the racists, the sexists, the gun owners, and the enemies of all that is woke and true.
Success isn’t attributable to hard work, but to the right beliefs. Failure doesn’t bear any responsibility, but is due to a society that isn’t progressive enough to allow a project with the right values to succeed.
‘Wokeness’ shifts the axis of responsibility away from the individual and to all that it believes is evil.
This is as true of ordinary people as it is of giant corporations or presidential candidates. Identity politics indemnifies its heirs against failure, whether they’re Kamala Harris or the person in the next cubicle. Oppressed minorities never fail, like Kamala or a feminist killer robot, they are failed by society. To be underprivileged is be hailed for anything short of total disaster, with zero expectations or accountability.
What we think of as ‘wokeness’ elevated the social economics of embracing leftist politics from individuals to major corporations. By prioritizing social values over economic ones, the new credos of socially responsible investing and socially responsible corporate governance, and putting stakeholders over shareholders, upholding leftist politics became more important than making money.
That’s the appeal of ‘wokeness’.
Hard work is hard. Saying the right things isn’t.
Freedom of Speech is a part of the American work ethic because we were a society where what you did mattered, not what you said, what you accomplished, not to which group you belonged. That’s why America, not Europe, Africa, China, Russia, or whichever part of the world lefties think we should be more like this week, actually developed civil rights and the most equal society in the world.
Meritocracy is inherently equalizing. Ideological systems, no matter how much they preach the cant of equality, are inherently unequal because ideology is never accountable to anything outside itself.
Leftist politics are clerical politics. Their theology of values has been embedded into every institution, making the very idea of separation of church and state into an obscene mockery. And the essence of theocracy is the conviction that what you believe matters far more than whether you get results.
‘Wokeness’ is just the buzzword of the moment whose real meaning is that society is being reinvented from a meritocracy based around hard work to a theocracy for the exponents of leftist beliefs. It’s an engine that defines success in terms of its values while removing the penalty for real-world failure.
Of course, ‘wokeness’ is a huge hit. Unlike its movies.
Who’s likeliest to go ‘woke’? The lazy, the incompetent, the corrupt, the greedy, the insecure, and the powerful who want to keep a hold on power without having to honestly compete for it. Is it any wonder that the ‘wokest’ corps are huge corporations that once had a good product, but are just living off their brand and anti-competitive business model, e.g. Nike, Apple, Google, Procter & Gamble (Gillette), Disney, and the usual suspects who spend more money on diversity than on customer satisfaction?
Corporate America’s biggest ‘woke’ fans have a ‘broke’ product and no desire to do any better.
Meritocracy means that the lazy and the incompetent can’t just rest on their laurels. If people and organizations are judged by the work they do, then the elite must work harder than everyone else.
As the twenties of the twenty-first century dawn, would anyone accuse America’s elites, its political, academic, corporate, and government leaders of working harder than everyone else? There was a time when our elites, love them or loathe them, were overachievers. These days, a Harvard degree or a spot as a Fortune 500 CEO are as likely to demonstrate clerical membership as dedication and hard work.
The appeal of ‘wokeness’ to a lazy and incompetent elite, to an Obama or a Warren are obvious. They are just as obvious to corporate morbidly obese monopolies and multinational brand warehouses.
Why bother figuring out a business model or a revenue model when you can just virtue signal?
And the appeal is just the same to the college student who doesn’t want to work hard, and instead takes a detour into identity politics studies, and discovers that it opens doors in every infiltrated field. You can study math and science, and if you fail, it doesn’t prove you’re lazy or stupid, but that math and science are racist constructs invented by dead white slave owners. Like Kamala, you can’t fail. It’s math’s failure.
On a social level, you don’t have to do the hard work of developing character and working on yourself. ‘Wokeness’ means that your social failures, your dating problems, aren’t really your fault. And anyone on the wrong side of your temper tantrum can be subjected to an extended bout of ‘cancel culture’.
That’s what we used to call bullying before we ‘cancelled’ it and replaced it with cancel culture. The only difference is that bullying rewarded strength, while cancel culture rewards shows of weakness.
That’s ‘woke’ politics in both the micro, in a school, to the macro, a multinational corporation.
“Go woke, go broke,” is a common conservative saying. It’s true in one sense and not true in another.
‘Wokeness’ brings with it economic, structural and personal failure. But it’s also a social economic strategy of avoiding responsibility for those failures. It’s an insurance policy for incompetence. It’s a good hedge against risk. And it means never having to learn how to be a better human being.
Successful societies bring out the best in people while failed societies reward the worst in them.
As America makes the slow downhill journey from a successful society to a failed society, ‘wokeness’, by its many names, is an engine of change, an incentivizing agent for bad behavior, and a disincentive for the traditional success strategies of meritocracy. It doesn’t just punish success: it rewards failure.
Failed societies have successful people. They just use different strategies to succeed. The elites don’t lose out. It’s the hard workers and the strivers, and society as a whole who suffer the consequences.
No society is so failed that it doesn’t have an elite. ‘Wokeness’ is a new success strategy for a failed society. The people and organizations making use of it may not go broke individually. Not as long as the system that they’re part of extends its safety net to cover their losses and reward their values.
Instead it’s our society that’s going broke as its elites go woke.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.