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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, July 17, 2020

America Finds Its Mr. Rights

by Tony Perkins: When Secretary Mike Pompeo first set out on this journey to get back to the real heart of human rights, no one could have possibly predicted the year our country would have. Shaken by outrage, unrest, and the growing insistence that America is too flawed to fix, a return to our roots will only dredge up more hard feelings, some say. On the contrary, Pompeo insists. Maybe the best time to revisit all that's pure and good about our nation is when people are determined to destroy it. "Some say the report's timing couldn't be worse," he said. "I say the timing couldn't be better."

Pompeo's project, the creation of a Commission on Unalienable Rights, was a personal mission. Like a lot of people, he's watched activists try to expand the definition of human rights to suit their agendas on everything from free health care to college tuition, U.S. immigration, and abortion-on-demand. It was time, he decided, to clear the 72 years' worth of weeds that had cropped up since the world settled on its original Declaration of Universal Human Rights in 1948. Together with a handpicked team of historians, scholars, and philosophers, he was going to get everyone on the same page about our freedoms and where they came from. And, once they did, separate the real rights from the imposters.

A year later, with challenge and confusion gripping our country, Pompeo wonders if what his commission found might be the honest look at America our nation needs. While the mobs tear down our statues and desecrate our heroes, "they want you to believe the Marxist ideology that America is only the oppressors and the oppressed. I reject that," he said, standing across the lawn of Independence Hall. "It's a disturbed reading of America's history, it is a slander of our great people, nothing could be further from the truth of our finding." Some of our "best-educated and most highly credentialed citizens have lost sight of the fundamental vision" of this nation, he insisted.

"America is fundamentally good," Pompeo reminded his country. "... But it's true that at our nation's founding our country fell far short of securing the rights of all. The evil institution of slavery was our nation's gravest departure from these founding principles. We expelled Native Americans from their ancestral lands. And our foreign policy, too, has not always comported with the idea of sovereignty embedded in the core of our founding." Still, he urged, it's time to keep our eyes on the great strides our country has made. Without our founding principles, Pompeo went on, we wouldn't have a standard to see the gravity of our failings -- or, he insisted, have the "tools to ultimately abolish slavery and enshrine into law equality."

He's right. "If American history is reducible to racism," Walter Russell Mead writes in the Wall Street Journal, "and the principles of the Declaration of Independence are simply high-toned hypocrisy, why should other countries pay attention to U.S. human-rights advocacy?" But we, as a nation, are so much more than our failings. We insist on championing the oppressed, the persecuted, the disadvantaged because, Pompeo argues, "America is special. America is good. America does good."

And just because we pursue these values doesn't mean we always live up to them. "The experience of the United States," the commission argues, "teaches that protection of human rights is a never-ending struggle." But we can't do good -- at home or abroad, Pompeo said Thursday, "if we don't precisely know what we believe and why we believe it." Too many people want to bury what the Founders' believed about our God-given, unalienable rights so that they can twist the definitions into something new. Like organizations on the far-Left, who've spent the last several years cloaking their social agendas in the language of "human rights" for the purposes of global activism.

That's why we have to ask ourselves, Pompeo said, "Are our foreign policy decisions rooted in our founding principles?

Are the decisions consistent with our constitutional norms and procedures? Are they rooted in the universal principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Does a new rights claim that's being presented represent a clear consensus across different traditions and across different cultures, as the Universal Declaration did -- or is it merely a narrower partisan or ideological interest?"

It was, the report itself explains, one of the greatest testaments to that Declaration's legitimacy that "no U.N. member was willing to oppose them openly." For once, there was a genuine global consensus. It's time to get back to that -- to diplomacy and advocacy that speaks one language. Pompeo's commission is a chance for America to return to what matters, to the rich deep understanding that these rights come from God -- not governments, not courts, not multi-national bodies. And that understanding is not just what secures our freedom, he said on an FRC call Thursday night with pastors, but the freedom of different traditions around the world.

For more on the commission, this report, and what it means to the turmoil today, don't miss FRC's Travis Weber as he unpacks Pompeo's work on "Washington Watch."
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Tony Perkins (@tperkins) is President of the Family Research Council . Article on Tony Perkins' Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: America Finds, Its Mr. Rights, Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sheer Lunacy Rules the Day

by Eileen F. Toplansky: In a world that appears to be tottering off its axis with sheer lunacy ruling the day, here is a small sampling of the dangerous ideas gaining traction and the cowardice displayed by so many.

In Great Britain, where grooming gang crimes exist, "British women who drew attention to 'Asian' [Pakistani and South Asian] sex grooming gangs, are also being attacked by the 'woke' establishment" because "if the victim is white and the rapist is not, she is no victim at all; worse, she is a 'racist' and 'hater' who, if anything, apparently deserves what she got and more." In fact, far-left extremists and radical feminist academics "don't care about anti-white racism, because they appear to believe that is doesn't exist." Thus, the idea that "Western women are to blame for being raped by Muslim men" gets a free pass for fear of Islamophobia. The "Left validates Islam's sexual fantasies and victimization of Western women."
  • Critical discussion of Islam is now deemed hate speech, so when Ortega Smith of Spain expressed concern in 2019 about the "Islamist invasion" and the application of sharia law, prosecutors worked to determine whether he was guilty of a hate crime.
  • The City of Seattle's Office of Civil Rights sent an email inviting "White City employees" to attend a training program to help white workers examine "their complicity in the system of white supremacy" and "interrupt racism in ways that are accountable to Black, Indigenous and People of Color."
  • Administrators at Princeton banned such words as "fireman," "chairman," and "mankind" because they omit the 32+ genders the left now asserts exist.
  • College students support socialism even though they can't explain what it is.
  • An adult coloring book titled "I Am So Sick of White Guys" is "a full-throated attack on white privilege and power."
  • University of Connecticut student government leaders resign because they are white.
  • The vast billion-dollar infrastructure of organizations that are Jewish in name only willingly support anti-Semite Chelsea Handler, who told "Jews to go f--- themselves."
  • Despite the fact that "America is the best place on the planet to be black, female, gay, trans or what have you," as explained by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who fled Somalia and now lives in the United States, the School of Architecture at the University of Texas maintains that "the legacy of slavery and a prolonged history of social segregation and economic and political disenfranchisement of African-Americans continues to undermine the power of urban diversity." Thus, "socially just" architecture is needed to fix it. Apparently, white skin privilege means "being held responsible for slavery when white America accounted for less than 1% of the African slave trade globally." In fact, the slave trade "was mainly run by 'people of color,' while white America led the world in abolishing slavery, an institution which still exists in non-white Africa today."
  • "Intersectionality" is the latest academic craze sweeping the American academy. Consequently, "[f]or the intersectional activists, the U.S. is the world's biggest oppressor. Not Saudi Arabia or Iran." In July 2020, David Bukay highlights intersectionality — the leftist plague where "people should never be exposed to contrary point of views [sic], which is one of the basics of scientific research, since it might upset someone else's identity and/or sensibilities and/or personality's ambitions."
  • A communist-style power-grab is occurring at the National Book Critics Circle as the left continues its nonstop infiltration into every cultural arena it can overwhelm.
  • Hofstra University might as well move to Cuba now that its president has no understanding of what the Declaration of Independence means for liberty and freedom.
  • Black Lives Matter (BLM) rioters have targeted a 9/11 memorial in Washingtonville, N.Y. honoring fallen firefighters who lost their lives as first responders g the World Trade Center bombings.
What is the social justice endgame? David Azerrad explains.

After confronting us with the injustices visited upon women, black people, homosexuals, and any number of other victimized groups, social justice arbiters then claim for themselves the exclusive right to mete out justice. On one side are the baddies, who are at best unaware of America's structural inequities and their own unearned privilege, or at worst just plain bigoted. On the other side are the good guys, the identitarian coalition of the woke and the oppressed fighting for social justice. You're either a racist or an anti-racist. The progress of social justice, it turns out, always comes at the expense of certain core natural and civil rights. Freedom of association [has] to be sacrificed to end discrimination. Free speech will suffer the same fate if hate speech is to be eradicated. More 'rights' for more people means fewer rights for some people.Universities are now working on "creating a closer match between the ethnicity of the faculty with the ethnicity of the students." Does this mean that a black instructor cannot teach Isaac Bashevis Singer's stories because she is neither white nor Jewish? Libby Emmons maintains that we "are now living through a climate of identity culture" where "white writers who write outside of their ethnic or racial background will be skewered on long sticks and roasted over the fires of social media."

Crucial to the rabid ideas of the left is Critical Race Theory, which is an "academic discipline that maintains that society is divided along racial lines into (white) oppressors and (black) victims, similar to the way Marxism frames the oppressor/victim dichotomy along class lines. Critical race theory contends that America is permanently racist to its core, and that consequently the nation's legal structures are, by definition, racist and invalid."

Thus, "members of 'oppressed' racial groups are entitled — in fact — obligated to determine for themselves what traditions have merit and are worth observing." Such ideas as "meritocracy, equal opportunity and colorblind justice are just empty slogans," and "favoring blacks in employment and higher education is not only permissible but necessary as a means of countering the permanent bigotry of white people[.]"

Ralph de Toledano ([1]), author of Cry Havoc! The Great American Bring-Down and How It Happened, wrote of Karl Lewin (1890–1947) who laid "the groundwork, lecturing world-wide and solidifying the advocacy of violence as long as it was directed at white society." Toledano asserts that Lewin was one of the theoreticians for the obliteration of all who disagreed with Critical Theory.

Toledano asks, "How can the radical faction of the establishment, though it controls the educational establishment and the foundations with their vast funds, create the kind of society which will collapse of its own stupidity?" He responds by explaining that Lewin's "contribution was to take the idea of 'democracy' and to redefine it to include every left-totalitarian concept, every aberrant behavior, every form of anti-social violence, and every 'multicultural' and 'diversity' cause, thereby transmogrifying it into 'the permanent cultural revolution.'"

Now consider that on October 3, 2003, former Colorado governor Richard D. Lamm gave a speech titled "How to Destroy America." His prescience is frightening.
  • First make America a bilingual/bicultural country. History shows ... that no nation can survive the tension, conflict and antagonism of two competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; it is a curse for a society to be bilingual.
  • Then invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their own culture. Make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal ... there are no cultural differences that are important ... and the black and Hispanic dropout rate is only due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out-of-bounds.
  • Make the United States a 'Hispanic Quebec.' The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity.
  • Encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. Make our fastest-growing demographic group the least educated and add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. [Consider the no-go zones that Muslims have now established.]
  • Get the big foundations and Big Business to give these efforts lots of money. [Consider that in 2016, "the Ford Foundation was pledging to raise $100 million over six years for the Movement for Black Lives, a self-described 'united front' of the original Black Lives Matter."]
  • Invest in ethnic identity, and establish the cult of victimology. Start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population. [Think Al Sharpton and company.]
  • Establish dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. 'Celebrate diversity.' It stresses differences rather than commonalities. [Read Dennis Prager on diversity.]
  • Place all subjects off limits — make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' Find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century — that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' halt discussion and debate.
Sound chillingly familiar some 17 years later?

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com. [American Thinker]
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[1] Ralph de Toledano. Cry Havoc! The Great American Bring-down and How it Happened. Anthem Books, 2006, pp. 137-140.

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Center For Diminished Credibility, Abusing Jefferson, Open Sedition

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer: Center For Diminished Credibility
There are many fine people at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But the agency's record during the coronavirus ordeal raises serious questions about how much it is being driven by incompetence and ideology.

One of the reasons we were so horribly behind the curve on testing was because CDC bureaucrats insisted that we only use the test they were developing.

But it turned out that the initial tests were worthless because they were contaminated. We lost valuable time because the CDC bureaucracy couldn't do its job.

Then the CDC told us that face masks were unnecessary. But just last month, Dr. Fauci said he lied because they were trying to prevent a shortage of masks for medical professionals. That's not the way to build trust with the public.

But what happened next is even worse. This week, the CDC announced that the mortality rate of Covid-19 is 4%. If that were true, then the entire world is the middle of an unprecedented disaster. But it is not true.

According to the latest figures, there are 3.5 million cases of Covid-19 and 137,000 deaths. That would give you a death rate of 4%, except the assumptions are wrong.

The CDC estimated three weeks ago that for every confirmed case of the coronavirus there are at least ten other people who have or have had the virus and were never identified because they were never sick enough to go to a doctor, let alone a hospital.

If we have identified 3.5 million people who have or have had the virus, based on the CDC's own estimate three weeks ago that means 35 million Americans have or have had the virus. That means 137,000 deaths is not a 4% mortality rate but a 0.40% mortality rate. That's about the same number as a bad flu season.

You're left with only two possible explanations both of which are very troubling. Either CDC officials don't talk to each other or they just decided to announce the 4% figure to scare us in order to justify more shutdowns.

Media Malpractice
We got another example yesterday of how the media are doing their best to not only stoke fear but also to distort the Trump Administration's efforts to combat the virus.

At yesterday's White House briefing, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was discussing plans for reopening schools. CNN's Jim Acosta tweeted this summary of McEnany's remarks:

"The White House Press Secretary on Trump's push to reopen schools: 'The science should not stand in the way of this.'"

That's not at all what McEnany said. Here's her full quote in context:

"The science should not stand in the way of this. And as Dr. Scott Atlas said — I thought this was a good quote — 'Of course, we can [do it]. Everyone else in the . . . Western world, our peer nations are doing it. We are the outlier here.'

"The science is very clear on this. For instance, you look at the JAMA Pediatrics study of 46 pediatric hospitals in North America that said the risk of critical illness from COVID is far less for children than that of seasonal flu. The science is on our side here, and we encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science, open our schools."


This is why President Trump has labeled the media "the enemy of the people."

Jim Acosta and most of his left-wing Big Media colleagues are not trying to inform the American people. They are deliberately misinforming them, spreading progressive propaganda and disinformation.

Abusing Jefferson
In 2007, then-Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, was sworn in on Thomas Jefferson's Koran. He said then:

"It demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Quran."

Former President Barack Obama has said on numerous occasions that "Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding," and he also pointed to Jefferson's Koran.

Sorry, Barack, but the founding fathers didn't have Allah in mind when they drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They were inspired by the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus.

The left and its radical Islamist allies have regularly used Jefferson as a club against those of us raising questions about militant Islam. We are bigots compared to that wonderfully open-minded progressive, Thomas Jefferson. Being a scholar, he wanted to study the Koran to learn what "wisdom could be gleaned" from it.

That was a lie too. Jefferson was fighting the Barbary Pirates and wanted to understand these people who were obsessed with killing everyone who wasn't a Muslim.

The left has also claimed that Jefferson wanted a "wall of separation between church and state" because he wasn't religious at all and didn't want faith involved in government.

Wrong again. Jefferson didn't want government meddling in the church. In fact, Jefferson wrote Virginia's Statue of Religious Freedom, which served as the foundation for the First Amendment.

Not that long ago, progressives eagerly claimed Jefferson as one of their own. They were the heirs to the spirit of Thomas Jefferson. That was then.

Now Jefferson/Jackson Day dinners, once essential events of every campaign season, are being canceled. And left-wing mobs are tearing down memorials to Jefferson because he was an evil "slaver."

Well, while we're at it, perhaps it's time to "cancel" the Democrat Party given its own history of racism, segregation and Jim Crow. Let's rename the Russell Senate Office Building (which was named after a Richard Russell, a segregationist Democrat) after Hiram Revels, the first black senator, who was a Republican!

Open Sedition
Portland, Oregon, has experienced nightly rioting for six weeks now. A federal court house has been repeatedly attacked. So, the Department of Homeland Security deployed additional federal law enforcement officers to protect the building.

Now Mayor Ted Wheeler is demanding that these federal officers leave the city. But Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf isn't backing down, saying, "That's just not going to happen on my watch."

Two years ago, Wheeler refused to deploy Portland police officers when a radical mob surrounded the ICE headquarters. He held a press conference instead, saying, "To all demonstrators: I urge you to keep up this effort."

Mayor Wheeler took an oath to uphold Constitution and he's in open rebellion against it, unwilling to protect federal officers doing their job. He should be arrested for sedition.

I don't throw around phrases like "treason" and "sedition" lightly. But Wheeler is failing to preserve public safety and he is putting lives at risk. His actions are reminiscent of what happened in the 1850s when we were headed toward a civil war. And his actions are just as outrageous and dangerous as a governor standing in the doorway blocking a child from attending school.
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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Israel and the Sino-Iranian Alliance

by Caroline Glick: When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Teheran in 2016, most observers dismissed the significance of the move. The notion that Beijing would wreck its relations with America, the largest economy and most powerful global superpower, in favor of an alliance with Iran, the world’s greatest state sponsor of terror was, on its face, preposterous.

But despite the ridiculousness of the idea, concern grew about Sino-Iranian ties as Iranian political leaders and military commanders beat a path to China’s door. Now, in the midst of the global recession caused by China’s export of the coronavirus, the preposterous has become reality.

Following weeks of feverish rumors, Iran and China have concluded a strategic accord. Last weekend, the New York Times reported on the contents of a final draft of the agreement.

In its opening line, China and Iran describe themselves as “two ancient Asian cultures, two partners in the sectors of trade, economy, politics, culture and security with a similar outlook and many mutual bilateral and multilateral interests.”

Henceforth, they, “will consider one another strategic partners.”

Substantively, the deal involves Iran supplying China with oil at below market prices for the next 25 years and China investing $400 billion in Iran over the same period. China committed to expanding its presence in the Iranian banking and telecommunication sectors. Among dozens of infrastructure projects, China will construct and operate ports and train lines. China will integrate Iran into its 5G internet network and its GPS system.

The implications of the deal are clear. China has opted to ignore U.S. sanctions. Beijing clearly believes the economic and diplomatic price it will pay for doing so will be smaller than the price the U.S. will pay for the diminishment of its position as the ultimate arbiter of global markets.

For Iran, China is a life raft saving it from total economic collapse under the weight of U.S. economic sanctions.

The Sino-Iranian pact is also a military accord. According to the Times report, the agreement commits the sides to intensify their joint military exercises. Since 2014, China and Iran have carried out three joint military exercises, the most recent one, a naval exercise took place in December 2019. Russia also participated.

Following the naval maneuvers, Iran’s naval chief Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi told the Chinese media the exercise showed, “the era of American invasions in the region is over.”

The draft agreement speaks of intelligence cooperation, joint research and development of weapons systems and Chinese use of Iranian ports in the Gulf of Oman.

Diplomatically, the deal places the U.S. on a collision course with the UN Security Council. Washington’s efforts to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran past its expiration date in October will not succeed.

This leaves the U.S. with only one option for diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from importing advanced weapons platforms: triggering the “snapback sanctions” clauses in UN Security Council Resolution 2231 which set the conditions for implementing the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran, the permanent Security Council members and Germany.

The “snapback sanctions” clauses enable parties to the resolution to force the automatic reinstatement of all the Security Council sanctions against Iran which were suspended with the implementation of the nuclear deal in 2015. In light of Iran’s extensive breach of the deal’s limitations on its nuclear work, as a party to Resolution 2231, the U.S has the power to activate the clause.

China, Iran, Russia and the EU argue that despite the clear language of 2231, the U.S. is no longer authorized to trigger the reinstatement of sanctions because it left the nuclear agreement in 2018. Consequently, if the U.S. triggers the restoration of the sanctions, the move is liable to precipitate a diplomatic struggle within the UN and beyond as states are compelled to choose sides. Either they will align themselves with the U.S. and actual international norms and laws or they will stand against the U.S. and with China and Iran and fake “international law.”

For Israel, the Sino-Iranian pact is a strategic inflection point. The deal has two immediate implications from Israel’s perspective. The first is operational.

Iran’s new alliance with China will provide it with new options for developing nuclear weapons. China after all is no stranger to nuclear proliferation. It played a central role in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. As for North Korea, at a minimum, China facilitated its nuclear weapons program by preventing effective international action to stop North Korea’s race to the bomb.

The possibility that China will soon be actively assisting Iran in its pursuit of nuclear weapons makes the continuation and expansion of the various unexplained explosions at Iranian nuclear and other strategic facilities a matter of highest urgency.

Some of the Iranian opposition reports regarding the Iranian-Chinese deal claim Iran agreed to the permanent deployment of Chinese military forces on its territory. If these reports are accurate, it means those forces may become a tripwire. Any attack against Iran’s strategic facilities could set off a much wider war in which China would be directly involved and fighting on behalf of Iran.

The second immediate implication of the Sino-Iranian pact for Israel is that it requires the government to change its approach to Chinese involvement in infrastructure development and management and to Chinese investment in Israeli technologies and technological research and development.

In May, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Jerusalem for a brief and unexpected visit. In public appearances over the course of his lightning trip, Pompeo warned of the dire implications for U.S.-Israel relations if China continues to participate in infrastructure and technology projects in Israel.

Pompeo explained, “We don’t want the Chinese Communist Party to have access to Israeli infrastructure, Israeli communication networks,” he said, “the kind of things that endanger the Israeli people and the ability of the U.S. to cooperate with Israel.”

Two weeks after Pompeo’s visit, Israel awarded an Israeli firm with a contract to build a desalination plant in Ashdod. The government had initially planned to award the tender to a Chinese firm.

U.S. pressure continues apace. The Americans are maintaining their efforts to persuade Israel to cancel or limit the agreement it concluded with a Chinese firm last year to build and operate a new port in Haifa and other projects.

In the wake of China’s strategic pivot to Iran, Israel has little choice but to cancel the port contract along with several other infrastructure projects and academic and technological cooperation deals. The same Chinese firms that are supposed to build national infrastructures including rail lines here, are now committed to building similar projects in Iran. The danger to Israel’s critical national infrastructures is obvious.

Until now, Israel viewed the possibility of removing Chinese firms from major construction projects and other deals as a regrettable price of its alliance with the U.S. rather than an Israeli interest.

The Sino-Iran pact changed the calculus. Cancelling technological and infrastructure deals with China – Iran’s superpower sponsor – is now an Israeli national interest regardless of Washington’s position.

In response to the deal, Israel should consider replacing Chinese firms with U.S. firms, which at a minimum will not be compromised by ties with Iran. If U.S. firms are able to produce competitive bids, or develop strategic partnerships with Israeli firms to produce largescale infrastructure projects at reasonable prices, the move would redound to the economic and strategic benefit of all sides. Certainly, efforts to develop cost-effective alternatives to Chinese contractors would firmly integrate Israel into the Trump administration’s post-coronavirus efforts to reduce U.S. and allied supply chains’ exposure to China.

Globally, the Sino-Iran pact will compel new strategic alignments. Europe is likely to split around the choice between the U.S. and China. Some European governments will choose to align themselves with Iran and China. Others will prefer to remain allies of the U.S.

With its weak and sputtering economy now largely integrated into the Chinese market, at least in the short-term, Russia will continue to stand on China’s side while winking at the U.S. Things could change though, as time passes.

China’s decision to initiate a direct confrontation with the U.S. over Iran was a gamble. It wasn’t a crazy move, given China’s growing economic and technological power. But betting against America is far from a safe bet. The ultimate outcome of China’s Iran gambit Iran will be determined in large part by the shape of the American and Chinese economies in the coming months and years as they emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. And as things now stand, the U.S. is well-positioned to emerge from the pandemic in a sounder economic position than China.

Corporations large and small from countries across the globe are either considering or actively working to relocate their production lines out of China. One of the Trump administration’s key efforts today is securing U.S. and allied supply chains from China by moving as many factories as possible either to the U.S. itself or to allied states. Japan’s Sony and South Korea’s Samsung are both reportedly planning to move their manufacturing bases from China to Vietnam.

The impact of these moves on China’s economic growth prospects and global influence are likely to be profound. As things stand, China’s only ally in its neighborhood is its client state North Korea.

India, which is now in a border conflict with China, has already taken steps to limit China’s technological penetration of India. Indian strategists both inside and outside government are taking a hard look at their military dependence on Russian platforms in light of Russia’s growing economic dependence on China. The U.S. has not hidden its interest in developing a strategic alliance with India and replacing Russia as India’s main supplier of air and other military platforms. Israel, which is already a major arms supplier and ally to India, could play a positive role in advancing that goal.

How the Arab states respond to China’s decision to stand with Iran will be determined both by the economic power balance between China and America and by the status of Iran’s nuclear program. If Iran achieves nuclear capability, the Arabs will feel compelled to view China as their shield against Iran. If Iran’s nuclear program is dramatically diminished, the Arabs are likely to feel more secure turning their backs on Beijing, siding with the U.S. and strengthening their ties with Israel.

For decades, U.S. warnings notwithstanding, Israel perceived China as a neutral power and a highly attractive market. Unlike the Europeans, the Chinese never tried to use their economic ties with Israel to coerce Israel into making concessions to the Palestinians. The Chinese didn’t work with radical Israel fringe groups to subvert government and military decisions. They just seemed interested in economic ties for their own sake.

Now that China has chosen to stand with Iran, Israel must recognize the implications and act accordingly.
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Caroline Glick is the Senior Contributing Editor of Israel Hayom and the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit carolineglick.com.

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Trump Opponents' Worst Traits Are Trump's Fault

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: You could say it's all Donald Trump's fault. His bad qualities -- his carelessness about facts, his obstinance about admitting error, his contempt for others' views -- have turned out to be contagious, to the point that you could argue they're more damaging to his opponents than to him.

This started early on, during the 2016 campaign. "I will look at it at the time," Trump replied when asked during the final fall debate whether he would concede if he lost. "That's horrifying," Hillary Clinton replied, quite reasonably.

But maybe not so horrifying. Clinton, Obama administration intelligence, law enforcement appointees and Democrats generally spent more than two years advancing, without serious evidence, their Russian-collusion theory. Delegitimizing an election result, previously seen as horrifying, suddenly became OK.

Or perhaps this was a case of projection, the psychological term for assuming your adversary would do what you would do if you were in his or her shoes.

Projection may also be at work when Trump's political opponents emulate his habit of refusing to admit error and apologize for mistakes.

A prime example is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who, like the president, grew up in one of the more verdant neighborhoods of Queens, the son of a man who rose from humble beginnings to considerable renown.

Cuomo has been hailed, not least by himself, as a hero for his response to COVID-19. But his judgment, as even CNN's Jake Tapper has argued, has not been flawless. His health commissioner's March 25 order requiring nursing homes to admit patients infected with the virus clearly resulted in the deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of elderly residents whose vulnerability was apparent early on.

As I argued in a mid-May column, this order (and similar ones in New Jersey and Michigan) may have been issued to keep hospital ICUs from being overwhelmed -- which seemed a possibility at the time but didn't happen.

But Cuomo, who defends lockdowns as worthwhile if they save just one life, insists he made no mistake. A better defense is to admit that no policy can prevent every virus death and that balancing risks of unknowable magnitude will always be subject to error.

Trump's carelessness with facts, his frequent criticisms of "fake news" and his cavalier remarks about making it easier for public figures to sue for libel made many of his opponents fear he would clamp down on freedom of speech.

Some liberals began describing themselves as The Resistance, summoning up visions of French resistance to the Nazis. "Democracy dies in darkness," The Washington Post started proclaiming on its front page.

Perhaps projection was at work here as well, for the unhappy fact is that the parts of our society that are most firmly controlled -- and almost entirely peopled -- by those on the left half of the political spectrum are also the places where freedom of speech is most under attack: academia and journalism.

Speech codes and restrictions, as readers of my columns know, have become standard operating procedures in many, perhaps most, colleges and universities. They are justified on the theory that certain speech -- labeled, plausibly or not, as bigotry or racism -- is tantamount to violence.

Newsroom pressure resulted in the resignation of New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet last month and the resignation of editor Bari Weiss this week. As she wrote in a stinging resignation letter to publisher A. G. Sulzberger, "A new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn't a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else."

"Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times," she went on. "But Twitter has become its ultimate editor." No coincidence, perhaps, that it's also the favorite medium of expression of Donald Trump.

A more notable journalist is resigning this week, Andrew Sullivan from New York Magazine. He is full of contempt for Trump, but he has been writing about "the crudeness and certainty" of "the new orthodoxy" that America is "systematically racist, and a white-supremacist project, from the start," which is the central thesis of The New York Times' 1619 Project.

This unorthodoxy surely hasn't gone unnoticed in the New York Magazine newsroom, though Sullivan will surely land on his feet. And he'll go down in history with Jonathan Rauch as the pioneering advocates who literally changed a nation's mind on same-sex marriage.

Rauch and Weiss are among the 150 signers of the Harper's Magazine letter endorsing "the free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society." The letter starts with a rote description of Donald Trump as "a real threat to democracy," but its clear thrust is that the real threat to free exchange today is not Trump but his perhaps-projecting opponents.
--------------------------
Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. H /T Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, Trump Opponents' Worst Traits, Are Trump's Fault, Rasmussen Reports To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Is America Up for a Naval War with China?

by Patrick J. Buchanan: Does anyone in Washington think the Chinese are going to give up their claims to the entire South China Sea or retreat from reasserting those claims because the U.S. now rejects them?

Is the U.S., preoccupied with a pandemic and a depression that medical crisis created, prepared for a collision with China over Beijing’s claims to the rocks, reefs and resources of the South China Sea?

For that is what Mike Pompeo appeared to threaten this week.

“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire,” thundered the secretary of state.

“America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources … and (we) reject any push to impose ‘might makes right’ in the South China Sea.”

Thus did Pompeo put Beijing on notice that the U.S. does not recognize its claim to 90% of the South China Sea or to any exclusive Chinese right to its fishing grounds or oil and gas resources.

Rather, in a policy shift, the U.S. now recognizes the rival claims of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines.

To signal the seriousness of Pompeo’s stand, the U.S. sent the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz carrier battle groups through the South China Sea. And, this week, the guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson sailed close by the Spratly Islands.

But what do Mike Pompeo’s tough words truly mean?

While we have recognized the claims of the other littoral states of the South China Sea, does Pompeo mean America will use its naval power to defend their claims should China use force against the vessels of those five nations?

Does it mean that if Manila, our lone treaty ally in these disputes, uses force to reclaim what we see as its lawful rights in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy will fight the Chinese navy to validate Manila’s claims?

Has Pompeo drawn a red line, which Beijing has been told not to cross at risk of war with the United States?

If so, does anyone in Washington think the Chinese are going to give up their claims to the entire South China Sea or retreat from reasserting those claims because the U.S. now rejects them?

Consider what happened to the people of Hong Kong when they thought they had the world’s democracies at their back.

For a year, they marched and protested for greater political freedom with some believing they might win independence.

But when Beijing had had enough, it trashed the Basic Law under which Hong Kong had been ceded back to China and began a crackdown.

The democracies protested and imposed economic sanctions. But the bottom line is that Hong Kong’s people not only failed to enlarge the sphere of freedom they had, but also they are losing much of what they had.

The Americans, seeing Hong Kong being absorbed into China, are now canceling the special economic privileges we had accorded the city, as the British offer millions of visas to Hong Kong’s dissidents who fear what Beijing has in store for them.

In June, Pompeo also charged Beijing with human rights atrocities in Xinjiang: “The world received disturbing reports today that the Chinese Communist Party is using forced sterilization, forced abortion, and coercive family planning against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, as part of a continuing campaign of repression.”

These reports, said Pompeo, “are sadly consistent with decades of CCP practices that demonstrate an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and basic human dignity.”

China has rejected U.S. protests of its treatment of Uighurs and Kazakhs and of its handling of Hong Kong as interference in its internal affairs and none of America’s business.

As for the South China Sea, China dismissively replied, the U.S. seems to be “throwing its weight around in every sea of the world.”

These American warnings, and Beijing’s response, call to mind the darker days of the Cold War.

So, again, the question: Is America prepared for a naval clash in the South China Sea if Beijing continues to occupy and fortify islets and reefs she claims as her own? Are we prepared for a Cold War II — with China?

While China lacks the strategic arsenal the USSR had in the latter years of the Cold War, economically, technologically and industrially, China is a far greater power than Soviet Russia ever was. And China’s population is four times as large.

Can we, should we, begin to assemble a system of alliances similar to what we had during the Cold War — with NATO in Europe and Asian security pacts with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand? Should we adopt a policy of containment of Communist China, which, says Pompeo, is an expansionist and “imperialist” power?

Should we start issuing war guarantees to China’s neighbors? Should we start putting down red lines China will not be allowed to cross?

Before we plunged into our half dozen Middle East wars, we didn’t think through where those would end. Have we considered where all our belated bellicosity toward Beijing must invariably lead, and how this all ends?
--------------------------
Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior adviser to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Is America Up for, a Naval War, with China To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

NRA-PVF Endorses President Donald Trump for Reelection

NRA member, President Donald J. Trump
Jason Ouimet, Chairman, NRA-PVF: As history's most forthright, pro-Second Amendment president and as a fellow NRA member, President Donald J. Trump has championed the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners across our nation. His support has been and continues to be unrelenting, and that is why NRA-PVF proudly endorsed him this week.

Upon entering the White House, President Trump wasted no time repealing an Obama-era scheme that forced Social Security recipients to choose between their benefits and their Second Amendment right to possess a firearm. His leadership left no question that the Second Amendment should never be the subject of such a false choice.

Generations of Americans will benefit from his promise to transform the federal judiciary. By appointing a record-setting number of judges who respect and value the Second Amendment - including Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh - President Trump reversed a disturbing trend of appointing activist judges. The long-term impact of these lifetime appointments cannot be overstated, and the NRA knows that his focus on the judiciary will continue to be a very high priority during a second term.

Last year, when he appeared at the NRA-ILA Annual Leadership Forum to announce his "unsigning" of the anti-gun United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, he demonstrated to the world his commitment to American freedom and sovereignty. This decisive act effectively withdrew the United States from a global march toward international gun prohibition and reaffirmed America's founding promise of sovereign, self-governance.

More recently, in response to the spate of COVID-19 orders, the Trump administration rushed to protect America's families and freedom. By declaring firearms and ammunition retailers to be "critical infrastructure," his administration prompted states to reopen gun stores that had been forcibly shuttered. His declaration validated what the NRA and our membership have always known: There is no more fundamental freedom than the right to protect ourselves, our families, and one another. Tens of millions of American gun owners, including millions of new gun owners, are grateful to President Trump and his administration for opposing the un-American notion that self-defense is "non-essential."

He has shown astounding support for our constitutional right-to-carry by taking steps to abolish one of America's largest gun-free zones. The Army Corps of Engineers rulemaking that is currently underway would liberate the rights of law-abiding gun owners on 12 million acres of federal land. His equally staunch support of right-to-carry reciprocity demonstrates his recognition of a fundamental truth: Because violent crime can strike at any place or time, our right to self-defense must not end at a state line.

NRA members are also grateful for his stalwart support for America's hunting, recreational shooting, and outdoor heritage. From the Oval Office, he has supported efforts to expand millions of acres of public access, reverse nonsensical bans on traditional ammunition, and prevent federal infringements upon wildlife management.

Most significantly, the Trump presidency has defended Americans against the oppressive, anti-freedom agenda of politicians like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Their agenda to ban lawfully owned firearms, ammunition, and magazines warrants no place in American policy. As explained in a Statement of Administration Policy from the Trump White House, a so-called "universal" background check system is "incompatible with the Second Amendment's guarantee of an individual right to keep arms."

The gravest concern of NRA members is a chief executive who harbors contempt for the Second Amendment and an obsession for more gun control laws that empower criminals over law-abiding Americans. Fortunately for America's law-abiding gun owners, President Trump courageously stands in the way.

Please join me in congratulating your fellow NRA member, President Donald J. Trump, for his well-earned endorsement. I would like to thank him - and you - or your continued steadfast support of the Second Amendment.
------------------------
Jason Ouimet is Chairman, NRA-PVF

Tags: Jason Ouimet, NRA-PVF, Endorses. President Donald Trump, for Reelection To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump's Outstanding Deregulation Record

. . . The president wants to continue this economic boon. Biden will turn back the clock.
by Nate Jackson: Deregulation has been one of President Donald Trump’s best calling cards over the last three-plus years, especially given how much he has done to undo the work of his predecessor. Trump’s reelection pitch is that we need to move forward, not backward. In remarks Thursday on the South Lawn of the White House, he declared, “For every one new regulation added, nearly eight federal regulations have been terminated” by his administration. He insisted, “We must never return to the days of soul-crushing regulation that ravaged our cities, devastated our workers, drained our vitality right out of our people, and thoroughly crippled our nation’s prized competitive edge.”

Ever the showman, Trump recited a long list of his deregulatory accomplishments while flanked by blue and red pickup trucks, symbolizing the two parties. Both were heavily laden with stacks of weights, though a crane labeled “Trump administration” lifted the burden from the red truck to deftly illustrate the massive weight of regulation.

Trucks were an appropriate metaphor given that, earlier this year, Trump rolled back Barack Obama’s onerous fuel-economy standards. Arguably more significantly, Trump’s biggest move this week was to cut environmental red tape for infrastructure projects. “Environmental review” would routinely bog down infrastructure building for an average of 4.5 years and in many cases far longer. Trump has now reduced that to no more than two years for environmental impact statements, and just one for environmental assessments. It’s hard to overstate the positive impact this change will have on building highways, gas pipelines, and other needed projects.

In general, Obama’s heavy-handed regulation stagnated the economy for eight long years, whereas Trump’s red-tape cutting unshackled businesses and led to a solid economic expansion — an expansion that put our nation in position to withstand the dual assault of a pandemic and the resulting shutdowns.

In general, Obama’s heavy-handed regulation stagnated the economy for eight long years, whereas Trump’s red-tape cutting unshackled businesses and led to a solid economic expansion — an expansion that put our nation in position to withstand the dual assault of a pandemic and the resulting shutdowns.

Remember, regulation is a form of taxation. The president claimed, “Our historic regulatory relief is providing the average American household an extra $3,100 every single year.” By contrast, according to The Washington Times, “The Trump campaign said Thursday that the federal government during the Obama administration’s eight years imposed $872 billion in new regulations on the U.S. economy, creating 583 million hours’ worth of paperwork to comply with.” Trump said that “cost the average American an additional $2,300 per year.”

Joe Biden wants to turn back the clock and restore his former boss’s punishing regulatory regime … and then some. His newly proposed Green New Deal alone would hamstring the economy in disastrous ways, all while costing future generations big time.

“Our entire economy and our very way of life are threatened by Biden’s plans to transform our nation and subjugate our communities through the blunt force instrument of federal regulation at a level that you haven’t even seen yet,” Trump warned. He added that if Biden and a Democrat Senate are elected, “The American Dream would be sniffed out so quickly and replaced with a socialist disaster.”

Indeed, that kind of tyrannical economic devastation is on the ballot this November. Unless voters reject it.
-------------------
Nate Jackson is managing editor at The Patriot Post.

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Greater Idaho Goes Forward?

by Paul Jacob: An Oregon case, People Not Politicians v. Secretary of State Clarno, was decided last week in favor of People Not Politicians, a group that has struggled obtaining signatures to qualify Initiative Petition 57 (IP 57) for the November 2020 ballot — while observing the governor’s stay-at-home orders.

It is hard to collect petition signatures under social distancing.

So the court is forcing the Secretary of State to give the group some leeway in advancing their redistricting measure.

This is good news for another citizen activist group, Move Oregon’s Border. Chief Petitioner Mike McCarter wants to place initiatives on county ballots in eastern, southern, and southwestern Oregon. His idea is to split off from Willamette Valley politics altogether, leaving wokester Portland — of the comedy Portlandia and antifa riots fame — in the distance.

But he does not want to form a new state. The secession is mere prelude to accession . . . to Idaho!

It has been a long time since the United States has fissioned a state, West Virginia during the Civil War being the most recent — Maine and Kentucky before that.

Great idea? Well, this goes far beyond these two western states. California is ripe for break-up, for by such a political reformation the ratio of citizens to representatives could be increased in favor of citizens.

The idea of calling the proposed new, larger State of Idaho “Greater Idaho” seems a bit much. Surely “Idaho” would do.

But the idea is politically more possible because it wouldn’t change the partisan complexion of the United States Senate, thus avoiding riling up one of the two major parties.

Other fissions, and fusions, would be much harder. Too bad. People should be able to insist on better representation. Democratically.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob
----------------------
Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ) is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Greater Idaho Goes Forward? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

COVID-19 is our common enemy. Why the political left and right should unite to save lives.

We’ve gotten out of the habit of working together even where we agree. That is the deeper existential crisis the pandemic brings to light.
by Joan Blades and Ralph Benko: The resurgence of the coronavirus has thrust the pandemic back to the fore of our national consciousness. Living vs. making a living? A false dichotomy. We don’t believe that these values to be mutually exclusive. Both are possible, both necessary. And we need each other to figure out how to make both happen.

Political heresy? No.

The pandemic represents what folklore holds as the Chinese character for crisis: a “dangerous opportunity.” As supply-side economist Paul Romer first observed, “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” The surface tension between maintaining both physical and fiscal health points to a deeper underlying crisis. It offers a path out of both the surface and the deep crisis.

What deep crisis? Prof. Daniel Dellaposta observed recently in the American Sociological Review, “The structure of U.S. opinion has shifted in ways suggesting troubling implications for proponents of political and social pluralism.” Only a threat of the complexity and magnitude of the pandemic is powerful enough to bring hereditary enemies, like us, together. One of us is the cofounder of MoveOn.org, the other the co-founder of TheCapitalistLeague.com.

I, Ralph, the conservative Republican, recognize my adversary Joan’s authentic compassion in holding that without a coordinated response, including government action, to flatten the curve she would have reasonable grounds to fear waves of infections that could overwhelm our medical personnel and capacity, intensifying both loss of life and economic devastation. This is a counsel of practical compassion. Not tyranny.

I, Joan, the progressive Democrat, recognize my adversary Ralph’s heartfelt concern that an overbearing, “one-size-fits-all,” quarantine can produce an unacceptable level of economic agony, especially among members of the working class. Not everyone has sufficient resources, nor is the government capable of indefinitely funding an economy many times larger than the resources it can responsibly command. This is a counsel of practical compassion. Not callousness.

Our survival appears at stake. Thus, to paraphrase a wise insight of second wave feminism: the political becomes personal. The political class now politically weaponizes everything. Democrats vilify Republicans as taking reckless life-and-death risks by premature openings. Republicans demonize Democrats for inflicting unwarranted and possibly catastrophic damage to our ability to subsist economically.

So let’s experiment with seeing one another as allies facing a mutual enemy, the novel coronavirus. Our respectively hated and feared political leaders really are not the primary enemy. (Yes, assuredly we will slug that out Nov.)

The primary enemy is the virus. It confronted (and confronts) our leaders, left and right, with huge unknowns. Of course, people are entitled to their political opinions. That said, common humanity calls for us to tone down the contempt. “Kill the ump” style heckling is better suited to baseball than it is to a truly mortal threat.

Physical and fiscal health are not antithetical. To get both will require greater trust and trustworthiness in government, in media, in our communities and in what Ben Franklin, during the Constitutional Convention, called “the virtue and spirit of the common people.” And, yes, trust in the good faith in our political opponents.

That the left and right disagree is neither novel nor interesting. The interesting thing is that we represent proof-of-concept that both sides can show respect for one another and are willing to work together against a common foe.

Pandemic isn't about politics
So, are we going to keep politically weaponizing the pandemic (as we have weaponized practically everything else)? We will remain passionate foes on many issues. The pandemic is fundamentally different. It is a common enemy and a mortal one.

There are judgment calls about priorities and what measures to take. That said, neither of us knows anyone who does not believe in the importance of protecting both lives and livelihoods. We must, and can, work together. American independence was predicated on the self-evident truth that foremost among our unalienable rights are both life and liberty. Governments are instituted to protect these rights. We demand both values be fully honored. This is not paradoxical.

We’ve gotten out of the habit of working together even where we agree. That is the deeper existential crisis the pandemic brings to light. That said, the pandemic is so epic that it compels cooperation. Knowing that we are on the “same team,” we can pull America out of the wreckage of lives and livelihood the pandemic has wrought.

Rediscovering that there are areas in which we can fruitfully cooperate, perhaps our cooperation in the face of the pandemic could transform the future of politics.

Joan Blades is a co-founder of MoveOn and Living Room Conversations. Ralph Benko is co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto," chairman and co-founder of The Capitalist League and founder of The Prosperity Caucus. He served as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House.

That the left and right disagree is neither novel nor interesting. The interesting thing is that we represent proof-of-concept that both sides can show respect for one another and are willing to work together against a common foe.

Pandemic isn't about politics
So, are we going to keep politically weaponizing the pandemic (as we have weaponized practically everything else)? We will remain passionate foes on many issues. The pandemic is fundamentally different. It is a common enemy and a mortal one.

There are judgment calls about priorities and what measures to take. That said, neither of us knows anyone who does not believe in the importance of protecting both lives and livelihoods. We must, and can, work together. American independence was predicated on the self-evident truth that foremost among our unalienable rights are both life and liberty. Governments are instituted to protect these rights. We demand both values be fully honored. This is not paradoxical.

We’ve gotten out of the habit of working together even where we agree. That is the deeper existential crisis the pandemic brings to light. That said, the pandemic is so epic that it compels cooperation. Knowing that we are on the “same team,” we can pull America out of the wreckage of lives and livelihood the pandemic has wrought.

Rediscovering that there are areas in which we can fruitfully cooperate, perhaps our cooperation in the face of the pandemic could transform the future of politics.
-----------------------
Joan Blades is a co-founder of MoveOn and Living Room Conversations. Ralph Benko is co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto," chairman and co-founder of The Capitalist League and founder of The Prosperity Caucus. Benko served as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House.

Tags: Ralph Benk,The Capitalist League, The Capitalist League, Joan Blade, MoveOn To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

If Liberals Don’t Take on Identity Politics, They’ll Lose

by Daniel Greenfield: The Harper's letter protesting cancel culture, while being too afraid to even put the name of the beast on paper, was doomed even before it hit the social media grinder.

After over two centuries of liberals being guillotined by leftists, it would be nice if they had learned something. Unfortunately American liberals have learned nothing from France in the 18th century, and Russia in the 20th century, as they set themselves up for a beating in 2020.

It doesn’t help that less than half of the Harper’s letter signatories are even liberals. Instead of making a case for liberal values, the letter is reduced to arguing that fellow allies shouldn’t be lynched for questioning dogma or accidentally falling out of step with the movement.

That’s not a defense of liberal values, but a plea to Stalin not to shoot quite so many socialists.

he Harper’s letter never names the ideas driving cancel culture, such as intersectionality and critical race theory, because its members are either too afraid to offer an ideological critique or because many of them agree with those ideas. Their dissent isn’t a liberal disagreement with the ends, but with the extremism of some of the means, and that’s why they’re losing.

The opposition to cancel culture is a mixed bag of actual liberals, traditional lefties who reject identity politics in favor of old-fashioned class warfare, and a cocktail party set that’s fine with the purges as long as they don’t go overboard and affect their friends and allies. This latter group is the first one to self-cancel and defect, followed by the liberals, and then the lefties.

Once upon a time, Bernie Sanders opposed identity politics.

Membership in the Democrat Party and in its allied post-liberal culture establishments of the media, academia, and the smart set requires getting on board with identity politics. The few liberal holdouts are becoming the Mensheviks and the lefty holdouts are the Trotskyists. Neither seem likely to enjoy a happy future under the spiked bootheels of intersectional Bolsheviks.

And an alliance between the two is difficult because they operate under very different premises.

Lefty holdouts argue, correctly, that identity politics is a convenient means for the existing establishment to hold on to power by substituting racial conflict for economic conflict. Put in a few minority CEOs, have Nike run ads about racism, and nothing really has to change.

The Trots have no problem with cancel culture. What they dislike is its trajectory and direction. They want to see capitalists hanging from lampposts, not white women lynched for dialing 911.

And the liberals don’t want to hang anyone from anything because it just isn’t very nice.

American liberalism began its slow death when it embraced identity politics. When liberals began validating tribalism, they dismantled the moral and intellectual premise of liberalism.

Black Lives Matter is just the idiot Marxist grandchild of the Black Panthers partying with upper crust Manhattanites two generations ago. The liberals who embraced radical chic, as long as it was wrapped in racial packaging, disavowed their movement and the rest is history. Now their children and grandchildren are being cancelled as the revolution catches up with them.

Identity politics created an exception to liberalism. And what was meant to be an exception is now swallowing up everything. The identity politics exception to liberalism is why free speech is vital until it offends someone, a free press is important until it prints something politically incorrect, and mob violence is to be deplored unless it’s the outcry of the racially oppressed.

When liberals create exceptions to liberalism, then liberalism disappears. That’s what actual liberals like Alan Dershowitz understand. Exceptions to a principle eventually become the principle. And the principle that compromised liberalism was that it didn’t apply to the oppressed. The radical leftist idea that liberals had rejected when it came to violent class revolution became acceptable when it came to race and then the rest of identity politics.

The essential radical idea is that a crisis cannot be met with anything short of radical change.

Liberals can only win a debate against radicals when they don’t just dissent from the means, but also from the ends. Those liberals who decided to support a dictatorship of the proletariat became Communist sympathizers and ceased to be liberals. Their occasional critiques of the mass executions and the gulags were as weak and ineffective as the Harper’s letter.

Mostly they carried the bloody water of the Marxist regimes that reflected their aspirations.

Those liberals who dissented, not just from Soviet repression, but from its totalitarian ends, who understood that the atrocities were not an occasional aberration, but the nature of the beast, carried the torch of liberalism during the dark days of the Cold War alongside conservatives.

The Communist pitch to liberals was that radicalism was needed because a liberal society would not work in Russia. Not with all those oppressed peasants and workers.

The fundamental premise of Black Lives Matter is that liberalism doesn’t work because it’s an invention of powerful white people. Equality, due process and open debate are invalidated by white people and institutionalized whiteness. A free society inherently privileges white people over oppressed minorities. And so a free society will oppress and enslave black people.

This isn’t an original argument.

The Communists made the same argument about free societies and workers. A free society would inherently privilege those who had wealth over those who did not. Free speech and a free press would mean very different things for a factory owner and for his workers. The only answer was to first forcibly equalize society by using the power of the state to purge the bourgeois and then, in time, a truly equal Communist society would emerge from the mass graves and gulags.

True liberals understood that this was a hypocritical argument for an endless totalitarian state.

And yet, a generation later, many liberals failed to rebut the same argument being made in racial terms. Now, Black Lives Matter’s “trained” Marxist leaders have gotten the leadership of what used to be the liberal establishment to accept that liberalism is systemically racist.

The defenses of cancel culture all come down to the argument that liberalism is racist.

Free speech privileges white people. So does a free press, intellectual inquiry, open debate, or not destroying people’s lives because they disagree with you. The oppressed, we are told, don’t have the physical endurance or the emotional energy to tolerate the trauma of disagreement.

Any liberal campaign against cancel culture has to challenge this exception to liberalism.

Cancel culture asserts that any disagreement, dissent, or even mistake, from Trump down to a liberal professor arguing in favor of free speech, is a traumatic form of oppression that is literally killing trans people of color, and must be immediately stopped by any means necessary.

This is the crisis at the center of the movement. And liberals have failed to meet it.

Cancel culture weaponizes rage, performative pain, outrage, and trauma. Its liberal critics resort to abstractions without ever mounting a serious effort to close the old loophole of liberalism.

Identity politics is killing liberalism because liberals have failed to shut down identity politics.

A real defense of liberalism must be that a free society is for everyone. The only people who find a free society oppressive are totalitarians. Cancel culture and its vanguard of Marxists, black nationalists, and assorted radicals find a free society oppressive because it restricts their freedom to destroy some people and force everyone else to conform to their ideology.

A free society isn’t racially oppressive, but it can be ideologically oppressive for totalitarians.

If the few remaining liberals want a free society, they will have to defend its moral legitimacy, not just through abstract principles, but by exposing the totalitarianism of the radicals warring on it.

Communists, Nazis, Islamists, and BLMers find a free society oppressive for the same reasons.

A liberal society requires people to choose freedom over power. Those who would rather have power than freedom will always find such a society oppressive and conspire to destroy it.
--------------------
Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an investigative journalist and writer focusing on radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, If Liberals, Don’t Take on, Identity Politics, They’ll Lose To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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