July 31, 2021

Another Depressing Campaign

Spectator
By Stephen Tuttle | July 17, 2021

The Republican campaign strategies for the 2022 midterm and 2024 presidential elections are now coming into sharper focus. They will push the notion that Democrats are in thrall to the extreme left and here, they say, is the proof:

Democrats support CRT – Critical race theory (CRT) has suddenly become a hot-button issue at the national, state, and local levels. The theory holds that the U.S. was founded, and our laws created, as intentionally racist, benefiting a Eurocentric, white power structure. Legislation in 22 states, including Michigan, has been introduced banning its inclusion in public school curricula. Such prohibitions have already been signed into law in Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee. 

The odd thing is, CRT isn't being taught in any K–12 public school in those states. The teaching of history that includes an honest representation of our conquest and treatment of Indigenous people and the role slavery played in the country's economic development is not CRT. We didn't always move forward with honor and fairness, and we're still grasping for that ideal of equal opportunities for all of us. That truth isn't disrespectful or unpatriotic; it's just honest.

Democrats and Biden support defunding the police; Republicans are attempting to connect dots between a rise in violent crime and calls by some to defund the police.

It is true enough that a handful of Democrats — think Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, her squad, Maxine Waters, and a few others — have called for stripping away funding from local police. According to some Ipsos polling, that idea isn't popular with any demographic segment of the public. Overall, less than 20 percent approve of some form of the idea; barely a quarter of Black Americans and about a third of Democrats support it. President Biden has publicly opposed the idea at least a dozen times and his budget doubled the amount of federal money dedicated to local law enforcement agencies.

The increase in criminal activity that has coincided with much of the country's reopening from the pandemic is troubling for everyone, but it is a political liability for Democrats who have been long accused of being soft on crime. Increased gun violence in Democrat-controlled major cities like Chicago and New York won't be helpful. 

Democrats and Biden support open borders — No, they don't. Immigration has been a mess since Ronald Reagan signed benevolent amnesty legislation in 1986. That didn't stem the tide of illegal crossings of our southern border and little we've done since has much helped.

Barack Obama, derisively referred to as the Deporter-in-Chief by immigration activists, oversaw the prosecution and deportation of far more non-legal residents than any other president, and still they came. Donald Trump's threat of a wall only encouraged those considering an illegal crossing to hurry.

Many of those coming are fleeing desperate circumstances in their Central American homelands. El Salvador and Honduras have the highest per capita murder rates on the planet, and Guatemala isn't far behind. Violent gangs control large sections of major cities in those countries, and murder can be random and pointless.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans have anything resembling a coherent immigration plan. Most voters support some form of the Dream Act, legislation that creates a path to legal citizenship for those who were brought here illegally as children. But voters also support tighter security along the border, a better issue for Republicans.  

Biden has abandoned Afghanistan — Well, yes, as both Obama and Trump attempted, unsuccessfully, to do. The U.S. now joins a very long list of invaders who have come to Afghanistan, spent time there, accomplished almost nothing, and then left after having expended excessive amounts of blood and treasure.

This has been going on for at least 2,300 years. Alexander the Great showed up in 330 BCE and had a very contentious relationship with the locals. Then the area was “conquered” by Persians, Greeks, Mongols, Mughals, Sikhs, the Brits (three times), the Soviet Union (three times, to their ultimate detriment), and now us.

There is a philosophy in that part of the world, a willingness to sacrifice land for time. The Taliban have done just that and, having patiently waited, will now regain the land they’ve sacrificed. There is little reason to believe their control will be any less barbaric than it was previously; their belief system is antithetical to most everything we believe. But we couldn't stay there forever.

The longest war in U.S. history has cost us more than 6,000 U.S. citizens (service members and contractors) and created a debt of about $2 trillion. Afghanistan poses no existential threat to our national interests, and we were not likely to be any more successful there than were any of the previous occupiers.

So, the stage is set for another depressing and destructive campaign season. Democrats will be portrayed as radical left-wingers, and they will counter by claiming Republicans are in thrall to a megalomaniac ex-president. The public will lose. 

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