American Consequences - November 2020

Corporate Culture Surrenders

The Best Is Yet to Come

Protect Our Free Speech

KRAUSS

FERRIS

LAFFER

AMERICAN CONSEQUENCES

I D E A S T H A T M A T T E R

E D I T E D B Y P. J . O ’ R O U R K E

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

W hat a month! Just when we think 2020 can’t get any weeks since Election Day. Well, get ready to dig in... We’ve got plenty of thought-provoking election analysis packed into this issue. In “Beautiful Losers,” Editor in Chief P.J. O’Rourke examines why America often elects “nobodies” as presidents... In usual P.J. fashion, he explains why he’s not a fan of Trump or Biden... Later, P.J. shares some thoughts and photos from a recent hunting trip that was supposed to take his mind off politics, but there were too many similarities between the birds in the woods and the turkeys in Washington. crazier... volatile election drama has gripped the nation in the Economist Dani Rodrik addresses the question on many folks’ minds – how did Trump manage to win an even larger number of votes than he did four years ago? With the election (pretty much) over, Executive Editor Trish Regan writes that Democrats have another problem now – themselves. And Sebastian Gorka dives into how this turbulent election fueled big changes... We now have all the ingredients for a highly flammable country.

Buck Sexton wants to know where’s all the promised national healing that was supposed to come with a Biden win? Globe-trotting writer Kim Iskyan talks what’s next for American foreign policy post-election, and the best ways to protect your money. Many of the election surprises had nothing to do with Biden or Trump... Journalist Jason Mattera breaks it down for us in “Magic Mushrooms, Statehouse Flip-Flops, and Other Election Stunners.” It’s not all doom and gloom, however... We’ve got famed economist Dr. Art Laffer , who offers an optimistic view of the current world (we could all use that right now). American Consequences newcomer Elisha Krauss tackles the increasing corporate culture wars – are companies really just self- sabotaging in the name of social justice? Alice Lloyd brings us a poignant view of how Thanksgiving will be so different this year and offers some suggestions on how to feel connected in this time apart. Finally, Dan Ferris urges you to speak the truth and let your voice be heard in his must- read story about refreshing the tree of liberty. Regards, Laura Greaver Managing Editor, American Consequences

2

November 2020

STOCK MARKET ALERT

MOVE YOUR MONEY BEFORE 2021

The clock just started on the biggest financial event in 20 years. The next 3 months could decide your wealth in 2021 .

HERE’S WHAT TO DO NOW

IN U.S. HISTORY HAS BEGUN THE BIGGEST OFWEALTH TRANSFER

A Maryland multimillionaire says the biggest legal transfer of wealth in American history has just gotten underway.

HERE’S THE #1 STEP YOU MUST TAKE...

CONTENTS NOVEMBER 2020 : ISSUE 42

18 52

44

26

92

34

AMERICAN CONSEQUENCES

Inside This Issue BY LAURA GREAVER

44 Corporate Culture Wars BY ELISHA KRAUSS

2

Letter From the Editor BY P.J. O'ROURKE

52 The Tide Is Turning BY KIM ISKYAN

6

Editor in Chief: P.J. O’Rourke Publisher: Jamison Miller Executive Editors: Trish Regan, Buck Sexton

10 From Our Inbox

62 2020: What's the Point? BY P.J. O'ROURKE

18 The Democrats' Civil War BY TRISH REGAN

Managing Editor: Laura Greaver Creative Director: Erica Wood Contributing Editors: Dan Ferris, Sebastian Gorka, PhD, Kim Iskyan, Elisha Krauss, Art B. Laffer, PhD, Alice Llyod, Jason Mattera, Dani Rodrik Advertising: Paige Henson, Jill Peterson Cover Illustration: Mario Zucca Editorial Feedback: feedback@americanconsequences.com Published by:

66 The Best Is Yet to Come BY ART B. LAFFER, PhD

26 Strange Blue Wave BY JASON MATTERA

74 Virtual Thanksgiving BY ALICE LLOYD

34 Election 2020

BY SEBASTIAN GORKA, PhD

84 Protect Our Free Speech BY DAN FERRIS

40 Democrats Risk a Rude Awakening BY DANI RODRIK

92 The Final Word

BY BUCK SEXTON

DON'T LIKE IT AT ALL? CLICK HERE TO READ THE ONLINE VERSION HOW DOES THIS DIGITAL EDITION WORK? CLICK HERE FOR A SIMPLE HOW-TO

American Consequences

5

From Editor in Chief P.J. O’Rourke BEAUTIFU

hat if they held an election and all the candidates lost? That’s more or less what just happened... We elected nobody president. Albeit he is a well-known, experienced nobody of long- standing. Yet the most ardent supporters of Biden must admit that nobody is who he is. That’s assuming Joe Biden has any ardent supporters other than wife Jill, daughter Ashley, and – if there’s an angle Hunter can play – son Hunter. Even they were not personifications of passionate enthusiasm on the campaign trail. The best yard sign I saw this election campaign – indeed, the best yard sign I’ve ever seen – said, “Settle for Biden.” America often elects nobodies. We’ve elected thousands of political candidates since 1776. How many have a Lincoln Memorial, a Jefferson Memorial, or a Washington Monument? How many even have a Woodrow Wilson Bridge on the I-495 section of the Washington Beltway? Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville visited the U.S. in 1831 and was so damn observant about the place that his book, Democracy in America , has been practically quoted to death ever since.

6

November 2020

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

UL

Which won’t stop me from piling on with some de Tocqueville quotations from Chapter XIII, “Government of the Democracy in America.” Universal suffrage is by no means a guarantee of the wisdom of the popular choice. [Voters’] conclusions are hastily formed from a superficial inspection of the more prominent features of a question. Hence it often happens that mountebanks of all sorts are able to please the people, while their truest friends frequently fail to gain their confidence. The ablest men in the United States are rarely placed at the head of affairs. The natural instincts of democracy induce the people to reject distinguished citizens as their rulers. There is no superiority, however legitimate it may be, which is not irksome in [the people’s] sight. Superiority may have been in short supply during this election. But, gosh, were we irked!

American Consequences

7

Voter turnout was huge. But almost everybody was voting against a candidate – because they were hugely opposed to him (or him + her). And every voter was right. The vote was a great big “No thank you” to Trump and Biden. I’m glad to see the back of Donald Trump. (Although I’m already sick of looking at the front Biden puts up.) It’s not that I disagree with Trump’s policies. I mostly don’t, except for his stupid Wall and the xenophobic crap that went with it. I’m glad to see the back of Trump. (Although I’m already sick of looking at the front Biden puts up.) I’ve traveled the entire border, from Brownsville/Matamoros to San Ysidro/ Tijuana, on both sides of the boundary. The Wall is about as conceivable as a hiking trail across the Atlantic. The only sane reaction to the idea is, “Go long on the Mexican ladder industry.” My problem with Trump is the noise... I like peace and quiet, which is why I live way out in the country. But even though my nearest neighbors are a quarter of a mile away, they make a racket. I have one neighbor who’s addicted to power equipment operation. He has a lawnmower with an engine large enough for NASCAR racing, a 737 jet turbine leaf blower, and a snow blower that could pass for a freight train locomotive. This neighbor mows his lawn every day, the whole day long, starting at 6 a.m.

When the first leaf turns color, he fires up his leaf blower and keeps at it until Yuletide. I swear I’ve seen him climbing a tree with that thing, blasting the last leaf off the highest branch. Then it’s the snow blower, which he runs up and down his driveway dawn to dusk whether there’s any snow or not. He blows gravel, he blows sand, and he blows mud. And in the spring, he takes all three machines out of the barn and runs them at full throttle 24/7 to make sure they’re in shape for that year’s upcoming power equipment operation season. I have another neighbor with a firing range where he practices with his pistol for approximately 30 hours a day, nine days a week. The target range is floodlit so that if he wakes up in the middle of the night he can cope with his insomnia while causing mine. I don’t know what kind of pistol he has, but I’m guessing it’s about twice the size of the Smith &Wesson .44 Magnum that Dirty Harry carried. When fired, it makes a .44 Magnum sound like a Super-Soaker. My neighbor says he’s a competitive target shooter. Who’s he competing with, the Taliban? Having Trump as president was like having these two guys move into my basement to practice their hobbies. And the noise from Trump was nothing compared to the noise all the twinkie liberals made about Trump. You can shut up now, Saturday Night Live , return to being Coneheads at the Samurai Delicatessen, and start making us laugh again. Then there is Trump’s unpredictability. It scares me. I call it “Toddler at the Top of the

8

November 2020

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Stairs.” Anyone who’s raised children in a two- story house will understand the metaphor. There’s that one time when you forgot to close the baby gate. You’re walking through the front hall, and you look up, and... There’s the toddler at the top of the stairs ! He’s teetering... He’s tottering... One little pajama footsie is going out over the stair tread... My kids are grown. I don’t need this in my life anymore. And finally there’s the leadership question. Answer: No. When America had a crisis, so did Trump. It wasn’t so much that the president was wrong about the COVID-19 pandemic – everybody (Dr. Fauci included) was, at some point, in some way, wrong. It’s just that the president sounded and acted as ignorant and confused as the rest of us... This is not what we elect leaders for . Leaders should at least give the appearance of knowing what to do. I know this is a pathetic admission of weakness and frailty among us ordinary citizens. We should be able to decide for ourselves. We shouldn’t need this kind of psycho-political prop. But the sad truth is that we do. This is why de Tocqueville was trying to warn us not to elect people as ignorant and confused as we are. (And now we’ve just done it again with Biden.) American political leadership during the pandemic reminds me of my spectacularly incompetent Scoutmaster Bob 60 years ago. He took my Scout Troop to a wilderness preserve and got us lost on a hike in the woods. “Boys,” said Scoutmaster Bob, “always remember, whenever you’re lost in the woods, head uphill.”

Then Scoutmaster Bob said, “No, no, it’s the other way around. Boys, always remember, whenever you’re lost in the woods, head down hill.” However, we were on a hike in the woods in the Midwest where there aren’t any hills. We’d probably still be out there if Bob hadn’t led us around in circles until we accidently returned to the parking lot. And that’s where, politically speaking, we are at the moment. America didn’t do a left turn downhill into socialism the way the Democrats, pop stars, pollsters, and traditional media predicted. America didn’t do a right turn uphill into Make America Great Again Again. Trump didn’t get a mandate, and Biden didn’t get much of one. For the next couple of years – at least until the 2022 mid-term elections – government will be some sort of compromise or stalemate. Maybe nothing will get done. What a relief that would be. As Peter Goettler, president of the Cato Institute libertarian think tank says, “Gridlock Rocks!”

And finally there’s the leadership question.

Answer: No. When America had a crisis so did Trump.

Meanwhile we can quit thinking about politics so much and give Democrats and Republicans only the amount of attention they deserve. Partisan politics is a minor team sport – somewhere in importance between beach volleyball and curling.

American Consequences

9

FROM OUR INBOX

I started receiving your emails about one year ago. They are informative, insightful, and most importantly discuss perspectives one can’t find in manymedia outlets. Keep up the great work! We need to hear the truth and not the psychotic rants of the left. – Rob B. P.J. O’Rourke Response: Thanks, Rob. Seems like a lot of media outlets have gone off their meds. We do our best to stay on a maintenance dose. Although there are occasional side effects. (See Gary S. below.) Re: It Doesn’t MatterWho Wins “It Doesn’t MatterWhoWins”?? At least O’Rourke has great writers like Gorka, Regan, Lloyd, Rantz and future President Sexton contributing in-depth information to counter his lost-hippy-on-a-fence spittle-drivel. Hey, I hear cannabis-infused dentures are in the works, Peej! We’ll get a drone to fly some up to you on your barren hill. Ahhhhhh, the consequences... – Gary S. P.J. O’Rourke Response: Gary, cannabis-infused dentures! That is a brilliant business idea! Gives consumers teeth and an appetite. If you and I can put aside our political differences, we could make millions. Mr. O’Rourke, Though I do agree with your article, the pragmatist in me has a few concerns. I’ve always thought that in any form of government (capitalism, communism ect.), there is an oligarchy that

Re: Love us? Hate us? We want to hear from you! Just to let you know... I really enjoy this publication. – Tom M. P.J. O’Rourke Response: And, Tom – just to let you know – we really enjoy your enjoying this publication. We enjoy it ourselves! “Love us or hate us?” I don’t love you or hate you. I’ll give you a Midwestern “not half bad.” – Warren G. P.J. O’Rourke Response: Warren, as a “Fly-Over Native,” born and raised in the great center of American understatement, I take what you say as the highest possible compliment. And, by the way, if you ever hear the comment, which I often hear on the East Coast and the West Coast, “It’s so flat out there.” Tell the Coastals what I tell them: “The reason it’s so flat in the Midwest is so we can see you coming !” I love your analysis! Thanks for being my voice. – Troy P.J. O’Rourke Response: You’re welcome, Troy. We do our best. Of course there’s always a fine line between being the “vox populi” and being the “ pox populi,” and I’m sure we cross it sometimes.

CLICK HERE TO SEND US A MESSAGE, QUESTION, OR CRITICISM

10

November 2020

people wearing a fez and driving around in a tiny car in Shriner parades, or what?)

maintains the bureaucracy. That is if say AOC or Ilhan Omar became key players in the oligarchy, it would definitely push the country even more to the left. America could be a one party country just like the states of California, Illinois, New York etc. Now that being said, I think this whole left, right, Republican, Democrat, Liberal or Conservative label is a bunch of bunk. Human nature will always win out. As far as America is concerned... I’ll let this quote from Frank Zappa sum it all up... “When the illusion of freedom becomes too expensive to maintain, they will strike down the sets, pull back the curtain and you will see the brick wall in the back of the theater.” Thank You – Paul S. P.J. O’Rourke Response: And thank you, Paul, for that brilliant quote from Frank Zappa. (Who was, in fact, libertarian/conservative in his political views.) I share your pragmatic concerns about letting nitwits into our political oligarchy – as if we didn’t have enough of them already. I was, however, heartened that the Democratic Party’s Left wing did not make a very strong showing in the 2020 election. And I trust that, after two years of Biden and Harris bumbling around, the Left will get an even stronger rebuke in the 2022 mid-term elections. AOC, Ilhan Omar, and their ilk will fade into obscurity along with the rest of the kooks and goofs who occasionally get into Congress. Who today remembers Philo Fuller, elected in 1832 as a congressman from New York on the Anti- Masonic Party ticket? (They were opposed to

Re: Trump Versus the Media... His Real 2020 Election Opponent

Great article. This should somehow go nationally as there are way too many people who believe the “fake news.” They let their hate for Trump blind any logical reasoning that they may have. – Larry K. Jason Rantz Response: Thanks! I should say, I’m not a huge fan of “fake news” because of how some misapply it to decidedly real news. CNN providing opinion masquerading as fact-based news isn’t “fake news” because it’s not news at all. Let’s call out the bias, not the entire media since there are some media figures we should all get behind and enjoy. (Add me to that list!) Re: Trump Outsmarts 60 Minutes... The Media Should Take Note It seems to me the problem isn’t media bias, but Trump’s unwillingness to tolerate any criticism or contradiction. Unfortunately, her hasn’t grown on the job and remains unsuited and unqualified to be President, just as Mitt Romney said in March 2016. A phony, a fraud and our President for a little while longer. – Clarke K. Jason, Leslie asked the questions we needed his answers to. Trump, as always, depicts himself as being vilified by the press. If you can’t take a punch (and he’s the great

American Consequences

11

FROM OUR INBOX

ignoring the fast growing ethnic minority, Biden and the Dems have alienated the Hispanic community. Dangerous thing to do to a proud group of people. I predict Hispanics will vote against Biden and thereby carry Trump to victory. Keep up the good work ya’ll! – Mark B. Buck Sexton Response: Thanks so much Mark, really appreciate you writing in. We will have to see how these Trump campaign legal challenges shake out. Any federal judge is going to be very cautious about discarding large numbers of ballots on technicalities, so that may be a stumbling block. It’s all part of the process though, and these voices of outrage and the predictions of Trump forcing a descent into fascism in his last weeks are absurd. As for your point on the Latino vote, I certainly hope the GOP continues to make gains with this critical constituency. Re: The Middle Class Squeeze I enjoyed Trish Regan’s article “The Middle Class Squeeze,” she is certainly enriching asset to your publication. However, I find the need to ask Trish, other Journalist, politicians and those elitist minded one percenters to quit using the term “Class.” Aside from what Nancy Pelosi and others may hold themselves as, America’s society was never built upon a medieval ruling class concept or a Hindu “Caste System.” So how about replacing the word “Class” with the word “Income?” It’s a little more palatable to people like me who have done well in life but refuse to be considered as a “Class.” – Brent C.

counterpuncher), then get out of the ring. Personally, I think he hurt himself... We will know soon. I just voted for Biden. – Linda Your president has very thin skin for a tough guy.

A Canadian perspective, – Ross W.

Jason Rantz Response: I agree that Trump can have thin skin, though I suppose four-plus years of media institutions scolding almost everything he does 24/7 would wear on you, too. I’d probably not criticize Trump, though. I notice you’re from Canada. You have a prime minister who will tearfully apologize for an unintentional microaggression that didn’t even happen while pretending he offended scores of people... only so that he can apologize in order to pat himself on the back for being so sensitive. Re: Buck Sexton: Trump Is Going to Win This Election First off – Thanks for all you are doing! So refreshing to see responsible journalism return to Main Street... Secondly – as to Buck’s election prediction for a Trump win, I suspect he’s right. What I don’t hear talked about much is the vastly underestimated growth in voters who vote “against” a candidate rather than “for” a candidate. The silent conservatives, who are becoming increasingly less so, may not be in love with Trump, but they absolutely abhor Biden and the uncontrolled liberalism he represents. And the Latinos as Buck points out are key. By focusing on the Black vote and totally

12

November 2020

FREE for American Consequences Subscribers By Buck Sexton, American Radio Host and Former CIA Officer

READ NOW

FROM OUR INBOX

I’m thrilled to be talking with you here in American Consequences and my daily publication, trishintel.com! These are challenging times for the truth. Many are afraid to report it and there’s a lack of dialogue, thanks to overly heated emotions. I can promise you – I’m here to deliver truth. You’ll always know where I stand. Thanks for subscribing. Hi Trish, I voted for Trump and read your article every time it’s in my inbox. I agree with your analysis and DO AGREE with your conclusion. For Biden to be elected, a man who’s never worked a job or run a company, and who’s floated around Washington all his life with 70 million votes is certainly a blue wave. He stayed in his basement more than half the time and refused most interviews and still may get elected. A presidential contender before he was actually a proven liar and had to end a presidential race.

Trish Regan response: Dear Brent, thank you for your kind and insightful comments. Your point is well taken... Income is a more specific economic term. And I agree, one’s “class” should be irrelevant in an American meritocracy. Re: The Real Win in the 2020 Election Battle First of all, I am so happy to hear great things are happening for Ms. Regan. My family and I were faithful viewers of her programs on “you knowwhere.” She is an honest broker. I sent many people emails on her behalf and I am so pleased to hear her analysis and read her editorials. American Consequences speaks for me. Millions of people like me. – Joe M. Trish Regan response: Yes – great things!

SUB

14

November 2020

of all, these people are entertainers, Hollywooders who are “supposed” to entertain us, nothing more. They are part of the one percenters that their Democratic party keeps vilifying. Personally, I’m sick and tired of egotistical, overpaid actors and sports professionals criticizing my president, my country, my American flag, and my national anthem. If I had the money, I would help them leave the United States that they so despise. – Don R. I liked the story, but it missed the best opportunity, the Bahamas. I have been saying that if the Democrats take control of the Senate, keep the house and get the White House, I am moving to Bimini, Bahamas. After what occurred from 2009- 2012 when the Democrats owned all of the government, I think they will be even more emboldened this time, and may be unrecoverable. I am a retired military officer that was assigned the Bahamian Embassy for a while. Many of your arguments do not affect living in Bimini. Cost of living, use of the American dollar, and English as primary language primarily. Also, if necessary, getting American medical service is a 2-hour boat ride or 35-minute flight away. – Dirk S.

Unbelievable! But here we are. I don’t like Trump – But I like what he was doing for the country. If it had been any other republican running it would have been a red wave. We are where we are because Trump couldn’t keep his mouth shut nor his fingers off the keys. – Mark S. Trish Regan response: Mark, I believe the economic policies put in place early during the Trump administration contributed to fundamental growth. Meanwhile, the administration’s international policies led to a more secure America. We’re at a critical time right now... It is not inconceivable that America could lose its edge in the world. Let’s all hope intelligence and freedom prevail. Re: Threatening to leave the U.S. if your guy doesn’t win? Not so fast... Kim, In reference to your article on jumping ship if the candidate of your choice doesn’t win – you are absolutely correct with your statement “There’s a long tradition of narcissistic, attention-craving celebrities claiming they’re one election away from leaving home – and they haven’t.” First

American Consequences Make sure you subscribe by clicking here. We’ll send you valuable updates and always send an alert when the next issue is published. When you subscribe, you’ll be the first to knowwhen future issues are published. BSCRIBE NOW! 15

FROM OUR INBOX

Please continue to feature his work as often as possible. – D.C. Kim Iskyan Response: D.C., many thanks for your kind words. (Truth be told, my wife would have unsubscribed a while ago as well, if her husband didn’t write for the publication!) It’s a fun game, and there’s so much fodder out there (unfortunately…). Re: Beware the Interregnum Finally a clear-eyed assessment of the risks posed by the Orange Bad Man. Was getting tired of sucky Bucky’s supine groveling before Dear Leader.– Lyn V. Yawn... More fear-mongering by another useful idiot in the media. Kimmy, hasn’t Trump already had 46 months to destroy the world? I guess you would prefer a corrupt, groveling senile old man instead... .– Jim T. I loved Kim’s writing, but the sky is still not falling! How one can extrapolate all that crap is beyond me! – James W. Kim Iskyan Response: Many thanks for writing in. Jim and James… the sky doesn’t fall all at once. To paraphrase Hemingway’s words about bankruptcy, the sky falls gradually – then suddenly. And for the record, Jim: Trump is easily one of the most corrupt American presidents in history… enough to make the leaders of tinpot Third World dictators blush (and I’ve seen several of them!). There’s no comparison at all to the president-elect. (And… senile? Trump is… well, never mind.)

Kim Iskyan Response: Don and Dirk, thanks for your thoughts. Don, I’m with you in terms of showing a lot of the self-centered so- called entertainers the door (or rather, helping them through it)!... Dirk – the Bahamas sounds like a great option that didn’t occur to me… there aren’t many places so close to the U.S. that are so easy. Re: Conspiracy Theories in 2020 I just read Kim Iskyan’s essay on conspiracy theories and the reasons people love them, and I feel vindicated in continuing to read AC when my wife has long since unsubscribed (Buck Sexton drives her mad). His more global, urbane, BTDT perspective on events and trends is refreshing; his piece on what it takes to actually move to another country was cold water on the fires of “if [that guy] gets elected, I’m moving to [someplace better] the next day”. I am currently cruising in Mexico, where many ex-pats transition from tourist to resident to citizen with relative ease, but a friend was recently denied permission to settle in New Zealand because “we have enough broadcast journalists.” Where I am right now, the ex-pats are old, retired and mostly from Arizona; it’s amusing to listen to their grumblings and conspiracy theories, but even more fun to tweak their tails with questions about proof, logic and purpose. Perhaps it’s not a serious sociopolitical problem at all, just this year’s parlor game to replace Charades.

16

November 2020

WAS BILL BONNER SHADOW-BANNED? Have America’s top booksellers refused to carry Bill Bonner’s final book?

You won’t find new copies of Win-Win or Lose at Barnes & Noble… And not a single copy is floating around on eBay. In fact, the only used copy we could find was going for $79 on Amazon. Which is why Bill recently authorized us to take drastic steps to put a hard-copy in your hands essentially free – as part of this limited time offer.

GET MY FREE COPY

American Consequences

17

THE DEMOC CIVIL

18

November 2020

By Trish Regan

 CLICK HERE TO READ THE WEB VERSION

The New Leaders Must Make Room in the Center

CRATS’ LWAR

American Consequences

19

are being filed as recounts are being conducted. T

he Democratic Party is about to have a very big problem...

As we go to print, the election outcome has not yet been officially finalized and President Trump shows no inclination to concede. Lawsuits

If Trumpism forever changed the Republican party, the Democratic party is about to embark on its own bitter tug-of-war as party big-wigs wrestle for power and try to determine the policies of the future... But the Democrats’ problem won’t be Trump refusing to leave office, as some are worrying... It will be the Democratic party itself. Indeed, one thing in this election cycle is quite certain... There is a major rift within the Leftist movement that is being seen, felt, and heard – loud and clear. If Trumpism forever changed the Republican party, the Democratic party is about to embark on its own bitter tug-of-war as party big-wigs wrestle for power and try to determine the policies of the future... Will the Democrats be the party of extremist socialists or the party of moderate centrists?

The Democratic Party’s New Crossroads

The 2020 election should be a wake-up call for the Left, proving that neither socialism nor extremism plays well in Peoria, as they say. But convincing the Democrats of this fact could prove challenging and may eventually cause their downfall (though not without some unpleasantness for the country along the way). Granted, some – like Hillary Clinton – remain delusional, as she and her cronies point to what they consider a stupendous victory... “It’s a... repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America,” she tweeted — just as the Trump campaign and Republican party filed multiple lawsuits and a recount was ordered in Georgia. Regardless of the eventual outcome, Hillary Clinton and her cohorts should admit that the vote tally proves that this election was hardly a “repudiation” of Trump. Let me remind everyone, there was no blue wave.

20

November 2020

At present, it seems the Republicans have the Senate and flipped many more seats than expected in the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, more than 71 million Americans voted for this president – the most Americans to vote for any sitting president in history. And although many of those 71 million people may not have always liked all that Trump said or the way he sometimes acted, they most definitely approved of his policies. Under President Trump’s administration, America witnessed immense economic prosperity pre-COVID-19. The stock market soared, and median incomes grew at rates not seen in decades. An estimated 500,000 manufacturing jobs returned from overseas, and the jobless rates for Black Americans, women, Asian Americans, and Hispanics hit record lows. Between 2016 and 2019, incomes for the poor grew 9%. And given the recent economic data, including historic 33.1% annualized third-quarter growth, it’s clear the economy has already embarked on a strong recovery. See, policy matters... Lower taxes and less onerous regulations have contributed to growth. And voters like growth. Meanwhile, the Democratic party is also composed of those whom I call realists. People like Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger from Virginia who was caught in a candid moment on audiotape obtained by the Washington Post last week scolding her party for allowing the extremists to take hold of the message. She said it nearly cost her the race for the 7th District of Virginia...

Under President Trump’s administration, America witnessed immense economic prosperity pre-COVID-19. The stock market soared, and median incomes grew at rates not seen in decades. The No. 1 concern in things that people brought to me in my [district] that I barely re-won, was defunding the police... We want to talk about funding social services, and ensuring good engagement in community policing, let’s talk about what we are for... And we need to not ever use the words ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again. Because while people think it doesn’t matter, it does matter. And we lost good members because of it. Smart woman. But Congresswoman Spanberger stands in contrast to the loud, polarizing members of the party – the extremists . Socialism’s Promise Socialism and its high-volume cousin, communism, may sound promising in theory... Everyone is guaranteed something. Everyone is equal. The problem, of course, is that these systems in actual practice inevitably lead to hardship. We only have to look at Venezuela, the nation that 20 years ago opted for a socialist existence to see, in real time, a modern-day

American Consequences

21

The Dems' Civil War

successful entrepreneurs for financial and personal gain... And so far, it’s worked. Would Steve Jobs have created Apple, Bill Gates Microsoft, or Jeff Bezos Amazon if the government was going to take all their rewards? Why work, create, and invest if there’s no benefit on the other side? The Left wants to prevent individuals from being too successful for fear it hurts those that aren’t... But instead of helping those on the bottom, it punishes those on top, thereby creating a level of mediocrity that is truly un-American. In the socialist scenario, the goal of a nation is to provide everyone with the equal outcomes – which would result in the failure of our capitalist meritocracy, designed to reward hard work and creativity. The reality is, like it or not, human beings are self-interested. Capitalism captures the reality of that self-interest, and though not perfect (hence the need for regulation and thoughtful policy), capitalism encourages a willingness to work and create. While Harris suggests equality of outcome, there is a very vocal cheerleading team that has a huge appetite for attention, power, and the advance of “socialism.” The Attention ‘Squad’ The self-anointed “Squad” members are so hungry for the limelight that, despite their so- called socialist roots, its chief member posed for the cover of the tabloid magazine Vanity Fair in $14,000 worth of threads. (Don’t you just love socialism?)

example of the tragedy this economic path always takes. As I described in detail for the August issue of American Consequences , socialism never ends well. Despite the promise of equality

for all, socialism inevitably ends in a world of haves and have-nots, with those in the bureaucratic government reaping the rewards. Remember the picture of an overweight Nicolas Maduro, the self-anointed president of Venezuela, enjoying a steak dinner as his people starved? He and his cronies have no problem accessing food despite the struggle for their people. The Left wants to prevent individuals from being too successful for fear it hurts those that aren’t... But instead of helping those on the bottom, it punishes those on top, thereby creating a level Kamala Harris’ recent comments in an online video showcase the potentially new vice president’s extreme economic positions and preference for socialism. “Equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place,” she is quoted saying. Indeed, “equality of outcome” is very much the desire of a socialist. It is a goal that’s inherently un-American. Part of our success as a nation is thanks to the ambition and drive of our most of mediocrity that is truly un-American.

22

November 2020

national campaign apparatus outside of the Democratic National Committee. And there’s a reason that when he didn’t activate or continue that, we lost House majorities. Because the party – in and of itself – does not have the core competencies, and no amount of money is going to fix that.” Read between the lines... She’s combative and insistent that her operation and her vision will win in the future. Any losses for the congressional members, AOC says, were a result of the party not taking her help. Is Alexandra Ocasio- Cortez the New Obama? While former President Obama seems to adhere to some rather socialist ideals himself (famously accusing business owners of not being responsible for their own success with the “you didn’t build that” quote), Ocasio-Cortez’s vision almost makes Obama’s seem quaint. She’s trying to weaponize anti-Trump sentiment. She’s recommending the compiling of a blacklist for half the country, tweeting, “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future.”

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Talib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar view themselves as the future and are making a play for the heart of the party. All four women advocate extremism, socialism, and in some observers’ views (mine included), they are pushing for a form of anarchy via their dangerous “defund and dismantle the police” movement. Despite criticism within the party from Spanberger and others, the Squad isn’t backing down... AOC seemed downright furious at accusations that her party considers her progressive extremism a threat to its future. In an interview with the New York Times , the congresswoman who won her district with 70% of the votes lashed out at the Democratic party, accusing the establishment of lacking the “core competencies” to win elections. Read between the lines... She’s combative and insistent that her operation and her vision will win in the future. Any losses for the congressional members, AOC says, were a result of the party not taking her help. “I offered to help every single swing district Democrat with their operation. And every single one of them, but five, refused my help,” she said. “And all five of the vulnerable or swing district people that I helped secured victory or are on a path to secure victory. And every single one that rejected my help is losing. And now they’re blaming us for their loss.” Arguing that the party is currently capable of success, she tells the Times , “There’s a reason Barack Obama built an entire

American Consequences

23

The Dems' Civil War

All this as fellow Squad member Congresswoman Talib accuses centrist Democrats in her party of trying to “silence” districts and representatives like her... “Me not being able to speak on behalf of many neighbors right now, many

It’s wrong... It’s highly unfortunate since anyone who believes in our Constitution should believe in the freedom of every American expressing their thoughts. Nonetheless, one thing is quite clear... The alignment of the Never-Trumpers and the progressive extremists, in this case, proves that politics makes for strange bedfellows. Power Gap Meanwhile, the Squad’s attempt to wrestle control from the Center Left could get ugly. While I applaud the group’s ability to express itself – it is their right as Americans to do so – the extremists’ continued presence could prove to have a negative effect on the Democratic party and the country before it’s eventually pushed aside (which is inevitable). That’s the realist in me... the realist who believes in America and believes in our ability to make the right decisions. Then again, given the insanity of this moment – who knows? Perhaps the Democrats will decide that the reason they failed to gain more ground in Congress is because AOC is correct when she says they simply need to push harder, organize better, and fully embrace her socialist movement. Consider the fact that, at times, it is rather difficult to depict the kind of politicians Joe Biden and Kamala Harris really are. These two appear to be the ultimate politicians – ready, willing, and able to pivot as needed. Harris, for example, built her career in

of which are Black neighbors, means me being silenced. I can’t be silenced.” Now, I appreciate the sentiment... And she has every right to speak out on behalf of what she thinks is right. Part of the problem in recent years has been the willingness to shut down speech. We’ve seen this predominately used as a way by progressives to target conservatives through a cancel culture apparatus. It’s wrong. It’s un-American. And it’s a violation of our First Amendment. However, as much as Talib and others in the progressive wing have a right to their opinion – so do 71 million other individuals who voted for President Trump. And yet... it’s a chief Squad member championing the blacklist. Meanwhile, other extremists in the Democratic Party, including former members of the Buttigieg campaign operation, have become advocates for a group of Never- Trumpers called the “Trump Accountability Project.” It aims at preventing anyone who worked in the Trump administration from receiving future employment. The effort is the brainchild of The Lincoln Project, which was founded by Never-Trumper Republican strategists. It may be their attempt at trying to stay relevant in a post-Trump world run by the Biden camp.

24

November 2020

Trish Regan is one of America's brightest and most recognized conservative economic thought leaders. An award-winning journalist, Trish is the host of "American Consequences Podcast with Trish Regan," a weekly radio show dedicated to economic and political truth, as well as a columnist for several publications. If Biden and the Democratic party are serious about unifying America, they must recognize that this election was NOT a landslide, but a close race that enabled Republicans to flip some House seats while still maintaining power in the Senate. The delusional ones like Clinton and the extremists like AOC need to exit stage left. If America is to prosper, Biden and Harris must make room in the center – and adopt the economic and international policies that have served this country so well. that one of the contributors from MSNBC allegedly had a hand in writing it.) Biden, in all fairness, did a good job. He was articulate, didn’t flub his words (which for him, matters) and tried to reach out to the other side saying, Together – on eagle’s wings – we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do. With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country – and a thirst for justice – let us be the nation that we know we can be. A nation united. A nation strengthened. A nation healed. The United States of America. Of course, I’ll believe it when I see it.

California by putting criminals in jail. Yet on the campaign trail, she championed the “defund the police” movement. Biden, meanwhile, who once campaigned alongside a notorious segregationist and pushed back against the busing of black children into white neighborhoods for school, considers himself a champion of the African American community (a role even his own vice presidential nominee infamously questioned in the first debate). It’s unclear whether these two politicians are beholden to any other movement other than their OWN political career advancement. As such, the internal battle between progressives and centrists will continue to take center stage... And the chances of Biden and Harris migrating towards the center, or the extremes, are 50-50. Socialism Must Exit Stage Left I hope any movement toward the extreme Left backfires swiftly. I would advise those in the Democratic party to remember this... more than 71 million Americans voted for President Trump. While it may not be enough to win, it’s enough to prove the point – pollsters are wrong. The mainstream media are wrong. And Americans have had it with “cancel culture.” In his “victory” speech (Trump has not yet conceded), Biden sounded an optimistic tone. He encouraged both unity and healing. It was a pretty decent speech. (We later learned

American Consequences

25

What a Strange Blue Wave It's Been

26

November 2020

MAGIC MUSHROOMS, STATEHOUSE FLIP-FLOPS AND OTHER ELECTION STUNNERS

The 2020 election brought quite a few surprises… Many of which had nothing to do with Biden or Trump.

Let’s start with the “blue wave” that wasn’t...

 CLICK HERE TO READ THE WEB VERSION

It was Republicans who turned the tables. In New Hampshire, for instance, Republicans picked up majorities in legislature... and the governor was reelected, solidifying the GOP trifecta. In Montana, after 16 years of a Democrat occupying the governor’s mansion, Republican Greg Gianforte handily beat his opponent. In Texas – the holy grail for Democrats year after year – the Party failed to pick up a single House seat.

With redistricting right around the corner, Democrats were hoping that there would be yuge momentum on their side to flip a few statehouses or at least make substantial gains in legislative chambers across the country. After all, the party in power maps out the district boundaries for congressional and statewide races. This exercise, as Politico noted, will determine “the balance of power for the next decade” – so kind of a big deal. Yet rather than getting the opportunity to brush up on their cartography, Democrats did not flip a single statehouse... not one.

By Jason Mattera

American Consequences

27

STRANGE BLUE WAVE

In Minnesota, Republicans successfully fended off a challenge to their majority in the Senate. Republicans also maintained their House and Senate majorities in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Same with the important Sun Belt states of Florida and Georgia – the legislature remained in Republican control. As the National Conference on State Legislatures acknowledged, “It appears that Republicans increased their numbers on net nationwide.” Bottom line: There was no “blue wave”... not even a ripple... basically a still pond. Moreover, the GOP has chipped away at Nancy Pelosi’s majority in the House of Representatives by at least seven seats, while Republicans in the U.S. Senate are poised to keep their majority after January’s runoffs in Georgia. Bottom line: There was no “blue wave”... not even a ripple... basically a still pond. Then, there were the election ballot measures ... We begin in California... Although the Golden State went for Joe Biden by some 30 points, residents there defeated an attempt to rescind a two-decades- old ban on racial preferences that is written into the state constitution. For context, in 1996, California voters adopted Proposition 209, which made it illegal to “discriminate against, or grant

preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” But because California’s political class worships at the altar of identity politics, Prop. 16 was launched, which, if passed, would’ve allowed state entities to take race into account (aka, to discriminate ) in matters of hiring and college admissions. The good (and shocking) news is that Prop. 16 was smoked, even though its opponents were seriously outspent. Only 44% of voters supported the proposition, while 56% of voters told California’s racial agitators to go pound sand. That wasn’t the only good news out of California... Recall that California’s legislature arbitrarily decided to change how Uber and Lyft do business. The law – Assembly Bill 5 – was subsequently signed by Governor Gavin Newsom last year, which stated that drivers for these app-based companies must be reclassified as employees, not as independent contractors. The result, as intended, would have obliterated the ride-share model, leaving passengers with fewer and more expensive options. It would have also denied drivers flexible, moneymaking opportunities. For all the do-gooder rhetoric in support of these changes, the reality was that this move was a naked attempt to aid the Democrat-friendly unions by subjecting gig economy workers to California’s anti-business labor practices.

28

November 2020

Voters saw right through the tactic, however, and Prop. 22, which designated ride-hailing drivers as independent contractors, won easily. The final tally was 58% to 42%. Voters also had the opportunity to roll back Prop. 13, a constitutional amendment that capped commercial property taxes at 1% of the purchase price and restricted rate increases to, at most, 2% per year. Prop. 15 was proposed as a replacement, which would’ve linked commercial property taxes instead to the market value, not the assessed one. The result would’ve been a massive, billion- dollar tax hike on businesses, both large and small, in an already-overtaxed environment. Prop.15, however, failed, 48% to 52%. And how about the ballot initiative to “expand rent control by local governments,” which crashed and burned by a whopping 20 percentage points? Is the cudgel of class warfare becoming too hackneyed even for... California? Moving up the I-5 corridor to Oregon... where voters had a chance to rein in Portland’s out-of- control homeless problem by taking an honest look at the drug epidemic behind so much of it. Yet what did voters decide? To decriminalize hard drugs, of course! Voters in the Beaver State passed Measure 110 by a 17-point margin, which legalizes personal possession of cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, and meth. They also passed Measure 109, making Oregon the first state in the nation to legalize hallucinogenic drugs as a means to foster “personal development” and combat depression.

It’s unclear how “magic mushrooms” will help stabilize a person’s mental health or how normalizing meth on the streets will ameliorate the state’s public health and safety crises, but hey, federalism baby! Let Oregon experiment with this anti-social behavior so the rest of the country doesn’t have to. It’s unclear how “magic mushrooms” will help stabilize a person’s mental health or how normalizing meth on the streets will ameliorate the state’s public health and safety crises, but hey, federalism baby! Heading over to Big Sky Country, gun- control zealots decided it was a worthy pursuit to dump piles of money in, out of all places, Montana. The Michael Bloomberg- financed Every Town for Gun Safety, along with similar groups, spent $1.4 million in an effort to convince residents there to give up their Second Amendment rights. That attempt failed. While gun rights advocates barely spent $50,000 to make their case, Legislative Referendum 130 still passed. From now on, Montana’s local authorities do not have the power to regulate the carrying of concealed firearms. That power is left up to the state. Residents don’t need to worry that one municipality’s ordinance on guns is different from another’s. The law will be uniform. Supporters hailed this victory in a very Montana way: by quoting the video- game gunslinger, Duke Nukem. “It’s time to

American Consequences

29

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98

Made with FlippingBook Publishing Software