It’s the holiday season. Historic downtown areas across the country are decorated with garlands, lights, Santa Clauses, and other non-religious symbols of the season. This Christmas season I’ve dedicated myself to finding the perfect gift for America’s progressive Left. Their holiday cheer is at an all-time low as they’re forced to spend December watching President-Elect Donald Trump appoint cabinet members while his inauguration looms.
But they’re so hard to please. What would they like? Miniature American flags? No. Three generals in the cabinet? Probably not. Therapy puppies, safe spaces, and coloring books? They already have those.
Progressive logic dictates that if the rules expose your weakness, you change the rules … Your quarterback has a weak arm? Lobby the league to get rid of the forward pass!”
I’ve got it! I’ll stuff their mental stockings with bold solutions to what they believe are the biggest problems facing America.
Problem #1 — Russia has interfered with our election! (Anyone else feel like the entire Democratic Party just saw “Rocky IV” for the first time?)
Terrible Progressive Solutions: 1. Complain, 2. Demand recounts, 3. Try to flip electors 4. Start a new Cold War.
Actual solution: This will take some pretending. First, let’s pretend “Russia interfered” is a fact and not an opinion. Second, let’s pretend the actual Democratic National Committee corruption and the Hillary Clinton equivocations exposed by WikiLeaks are Russia’s fault. Third, let’s pretend it’s not clear that the 2016 election was decided by the strength of Trump’s trade and jobs policies.
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Next time there’s a progressive president in the White House for eight years, urge him or her to adopt a foreign policy which does not embolden such behavior. Foreign policy 101: When foreign leaders face no opposition or pushback for their aggression, they get more aggressive.
Donald Trump takes a phone call from the democratically elected president of Taiwan, and the foreign policy Establishment thinks we should move to DEFCON 1. Yet, Vladimir Putin feels comfortable interfering in our elections. Gee, I wonder what made him feel safe engaging in that sort of behavior?
Obama weakened our military and tried to infect it with trickle-down political correctness. He went on his famous apology tour. He backed down from his red line in Syria. He made a deal with Iran. He paid Iran off for hostages. He allowed the proliferation of ISIS.
This is what happens when your foreign policy philosophy is walk softly and carry a thousand apologies. Obama has made it a point to project weakness, and the rest of the world has enjoyed eight years pushing America down and taking our lunch money.
Ask your next progressive president to project strength for eight years. Then, when an election rolls around, you’ll find that no other country in the world has the gall to interfere in that election. As Trump fills his Cabinet with no-nonsense generals, I don’t foresee foreign interference in the 2020 election.
Problem #2 — The Electoral College is terrible! (It’s a total party school)
Terrible Progressive Solution: Use the five state legislatures Democrats control to amend the Constitution even though — legislatively speaking — it would be easier for Republicans to get Donald Trump’s head preemptively added to Mount Rushmore than for progressives to get a constitutional amendment ratified.
Progressive logic dictates that if the rules expose your weakness, you change the rules. What could make more sense? Your quarterback has a weak arm? Lobby the league to get rid of the forward pass! Can’t get presidential appointees through the Senate? Lower the threshold!
Actual Solution: It’s the height of hubris to suggest changing the electoral system that gave us Washington, Lincoln, and the two Roosevelts just because an election didn’t shake out according to their wishes. They seem to be constantly operating under the assumption that the Founding Fathers severed ties with the British, fought the Revolutionary War, and created the Constitution all for the sole purpose of making sure that 230 years later Trump would lose.
Stop the tantrum, wipe the tears on your sleeve, and listen up. Amending the Constitution requires the agreement of 38 states. It’s not really something you do when you’re at your weakest level since the Civil War.
So, instead of changing the system into one that transforms California into a political Godzilla, that stomps all over Middle America every four years, maybe champion policies that have broader appeal. People like opportunity, freedom, and lower taxes. Try not categorically rejecting all three.
Problem #3 – Fake News (How are liberal comedians supposed to inform the populace about political issues when there’s fake news everywhere?)
Terrible Progressive Solution: Toss out the Constitution and regulate the press! Only bureaucrats can separate the truth from the propaganda. Nicholas Lemann wrote a piece in the New Yorker saying, “If people really think that something should be done about the fake-news problem, they should be thinking about government as the institution to do it.” Lemann argues, “It’s facile and unhelpful to assume that government’s role in journalism can be either nothing or absolute control for propaganda purposes.”
Here’s a facile response from the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law.” Is the word “no” somehow unclear? Is there anything in the Constitution progressives aren’t willing to scapegoat in order to suppress the fact that Hillary Clinton was an awful candidate who ran an awful campaign?
Actual Solution: Justice Kennedy said it best in U.S. v. Alvarez: “The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true” because “truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication.”
I understand the impulse to hate fake news. I’ve hated fake news ever since it replaced comedy. A Pew study from 2015 showed that 12 percent of people were getting their news from “The Daily Show.” It was tied with USA Today. The study also found that 45 percent of “consistent liberals” trust “The Daily Show” as a source. Yet, after the 2012 election, not one mainstream news source accused Comedy Central of interfering in the election and undoing Mitt Romney.
The only thing worse than fake news would be bureaucrats deciding what’s fake, because — spoiler alert — they’ll use their censorship power for evil.
Now let’s hope the progressive Left will tear the paper off, be delighted, and actually use these solutions — but if I know them, they’ll probably just wrap them back up and re-gift them.
Eddie Zipperer is an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College.