by Conrad Black
Every day, the battle lines are drawn more clearly for what promises to be a memorable election. The Democrats infamously lumbered the president with an investigation into his relations with Russia that they knew to be unfounded. Then they attempted a completely spurious impeachment proceeding (with no believable evidence that he had committed the alleged offenses which, in any case, were not impeachable).
And now, in response to a fortuitous virus pandemic, they purport to require President Trump to commit political suicide by shutting down the economy for so long that the soon-to-be 30 million unemployed will turn him out on election day.
It is another phantasmagorical expedition of a desperate political elite playing its last card, but it is an engrossing spectacle.
The Democrats’ war plan is emerging. It is the last stand of a party that has fought the most tenacious tooth-and-nail extension of a tight election in American political history.
It seemed darkest after the Russian investigation and impeachment had floundered to their pitiful ends, and their chosen candidate stumbled badly while they were in danger of nominating a raving, though democratic, Marxist. Michael Bloomberg could only buy five delegates in American Samoa in a five-month, $937 million campaign extravaganza. Yet, somehow, the Democratic Party elders resurrected their lost leader, former Vice President Joe Biden, and carried him to the finish line in an impressive display of professional organization and party discipline.
Then the coronavirus epidemic miraculously appeared, just when all hope seemed lost. They lunged to seize their last, best, chance. They accused the president of responding to the virus frivolously, but he shaped up quickly and got ahead of the play by shutting down direct flights from China on January 31.
Then Democrats and their abettors in the press accused Trump of ignoring science, which was quickly aggregated up to an accusation of being an anti-science know-nothing. He dodged that one by setting up a task force, officially led by the vice president, and packed with unquestionable experts in the relevant fields of public health administration and infectious diseases. There was a general consensus for a drastic shutdown to break the momentum of the pandemic, to “flatten the curve.”
The Democrats and their media partisans whipped up a state of panic and conjured a virtual Old Testament plague that mortally threatened everyone. The media and public hysteria were such that the president had to put himself at the head of the scientists, allow the wild statistical modeling that forecast horrifying numbers of fatalities to grip the nation, shut the country down, and then as the virus responded to the draconian measures taken to slow it, take the credit for containing the illness.
The Democrats then demanded a prolonged shutdown to assure an economic depression that would destroy the president’s greatest reelection argument: prosperity, which his policies had generated. The rationale was that the president had failed to intuit that the medieval medical testing system he had inherited from the “OBiden-bama” Administration (Biden’s formulation), should have been dragged into readiness for this crisis before there was any sign of it, and before it was acknowledged that the coronavirus could be transmitted between people.
The official and media Democrats preemptively denounced any suggestion of reopening the country before the disease had been completely extirpated as inhuman disdain for the sanctity of life. Trump’s daily press briefings were turned by his media enemies into undignified efforts to taunt, trap, and debate with the president. He was effectively accused (by the party of 10th-month abortions and easy-access euthanasia) of monetizing life and putting filthy lucre ahead of people.
But the United States has 700 people unemployed by the response to the coronavirus for every fatality that it has caused, 18 million newly unemployed as of Wednesday. The average age of the deceased is almost 80 and the unemployed are people in their prime, many with young families.
Trump and his treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, stole the Democrats’ thunder with a $6 trillion financial assistance and liquidity package, carrying benefits that will outlast the public health crisis, while beating back most of the absurd measures the Democrats tried to insert to enthrone organized labor and promulgate their Green Terror.
A Struggle Unlike Any Other
The Democrats have moved to the left to try to hang on to all of Senator Bernie Sanders’s voters. Former President Barack Obama declared that the times and the country and he have all changed (i.e. lurched to the left). They have also claimed that the African-Americans are suffering unduly, because of the “systemic racism,” that afflicts the country. Most Americans know we are not a racist country and are tired of the Democratic lashings of guilt.
The Democrats have also launched their offensive to get mail-in ballots, which essentially is a way to circumvent the crackdown on voting by noncitizens who entered the country illegally, and to deliver herniating quantities of questionably authentic Democratic ballots where needed. It has become a broad-front war, after four years of unceasing political struggle unlike anything in the country’s history. It is a choice between traditional activist American government slightly right of center, in the Nixon-Reagan tradition, but with redoubled muscularity, and the angry, nasty Left, running against a president who is easy to attack and to defame, but who has a perceptive grasp of where the silent, patriotic, God-fearing American majority resides.
The Democrats are reduced to dilatory tactics – unctuous pleas for more testing, anything to prolong the shutdown. But their tactical weakness is that now that the virus is starting to recede, and the country is much more worried by the specter of economic disaster, the people know which party wants to get them back to work and which party does not; and which party is more identified with the campaign to induce false panic.
The Democrats’ argument about Trump not doing enough to advance testing is arcane and easily topped by reference to fierce Democratic opposition to his shutdown of direct flights from China, which the president’s senior scientists, led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, acknowledge saved thousands of lives.
The president has assembled an immense number of prominent people to associate themselves with some sort of economic relaunch plan; and has announced that specific implementation will be left to the states, thus partially collegializing his decision and devolving part of the responsibility for implementation. He will make it the patriotic duty of everyone to restore prosperity, as it has been to self-isolate.
The Democrats will be left hoping for a flare-up of the disease and advocating policies certain to prolong economic misery. They have been outmaneuvered, though that is not obvious because of the indignity of the president’s bear-baiting sessions with his media enemies.
Trump not only has the high ground and the burning cause of regaining prosperity, but he will also win the single combat war. The Democrats try to hide Joe Biden, and the lockdown has helped. But eventually, he will have to face Trump, and he is not remotely as forceful, accomplished, or formidable a chief. Trump has many infelicities and is an exhausting president, but he is quite effective and has been very successful, including in managing the greatest crisis the country has faced since the end of the Vietnam War.
Beyond that, whether this could be articulated by them or not, about half the country thinks the Democrats now are led and applauded by a media echo chamber of atheist elitists who want gays to dictate popular culture, regard abortion and childbirth as equivalent events, want to replace fossil fuels with wind and sun, eliminate defense spending and have a real dialogue with the world instead, mock and oppress all the churches except Islam (whose excesses assist in the forward march of paganism), and elevate barrio poseurs as guardians of a new intellectualism. It won’t fly.
The indestructible soul of America is not having it. The Bushes were unwitting enablers, the Clintons were corruptible opportunists, Obama was a fraud elevated because of the need to break the glass ceiling of color for the nation’s highest office. Biden is just a muddled amalgam of 40 years at the public trough, an arthritic wheelhorse in a machine that has broken down.
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Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada.