Opinion | Morgan Liddick: The drive for power
On Your Right
Remember the infamous memorial service for Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone, who died while campaigning during the contentious 2002 off-year elections? Wellstone was a popular middle-of-the-road Democrat, back in the days when we had those, and on Oct. 30, 2002, a well-attended memorial was held for him at the University of Minnesota’s basketball arena. It quickly devolved into a political rally, featuring excoriation of his Republican senatorial colleagues who attended, vilification of the sitting president, booing of other well-known Republicans and, overall, an ugly display of hatred.
News of the bad behavior quickly spread; by most counts, it was a catastrophe for the Democrats, who lost not only the Minnesota Senate seat but control of both houses of Congress.
Watching former President Barack Obama’s performance at the final memorial service for Congressman John Lewis, one might be forgiven for a sense of deja vu. A partisan pastiche of hateful analogies and wild accusations, it was Democrat incitement at its worst. When he smeared federal agents charged with protecting federal properties besieged by mobs, Obama conjured the ghost of fellow Democrat George Wallace. Without a scintilla of evidence that he was aware of the irony, he echoed the sentiments of a third Democrat — Gov. Orval Faubus — complaining about federal troops sent to Little Rock, Arkansas, by Republican President Dwight Eisenhower in 1957. It was bizarre.
He complained that mean ol’ Republicans were discouraging people from voting by “closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws” while noting we must have a mail-in election so people won’t die of COVID. It sounds good until someone asks why polling stations are needed if all voting is by mail. And someone else remarks that the thought “Democrats are going to help you by eliminating photo ID requirements to vote” seems another way of saying Democrats believe their constituents are too stupid, lazy, inert or otherwise incapable of obtaining a document necessary to operate a motor vehicle, cash a check, enter a federal building or, in most places, buy a can of spray paint. It looks like big-hearted help, but it’s really a condescension, a way of reminding people they’d die if Democrats weren’t around to help them breathe.
This is today’s political campaign. To follow it requires a strong stomach and a very high tolerance for hypocrisy. Consider that the Obama who used his speech at John Lewis’ memorial to call for elimination of the Senate’s filibuster, calling it “another Jim Crow relic,” was the selfsame Obama who wielded the filibuster while a senator when it suited his purposes.
There were other themes, including a nod toward universal voting, which one suspects would soon be compulsory in Biden/Obama/Ocasio-Cortez’s America. In real socialist countries, what is not forbidden is mandatory.
There was a call for constant agitation, lavish praise for youth, mistaken identity of our country as a “democracy,” and the idealistic exhortation for “perfecting” our government and society. The last is a progressive idea endangering every institution the left itches to “perfect.” Since these rely on imperfectible human instruments, what is really being demanded is permanent control by a political class that thinks itself better, wiser and more moral than you, that the task of creating perfect citizens for perfect systems may begin. Your job is to shut up and do as you are told.
It’s a task that has failed everywhere it has been attempted, from Plymouth Plantation to New Harmony to the Paris Commune to the USSR and its clones — everywhere, save perhaps for the human anthill called North Korea, evidently the progressive utopia the left craves.
That model certainly would provide the left with the unchallengeable power it now openly seeks by — to borrow a phrase — “any means necessary.” The Obama administration used our national security apparatus and criminal justice systems to spy on, stymie and cripple the incoming Trump administration. They did so wrongfully, by lying and without regard to precedent, law or subsequent effect. Before one dismisses that behavior as irrelevant, consider the reaction had the roles been reversed.
Most of the media, already in a crony capitalist relationship with the Democratic Party, excuses and amplifies the party’s bad behavior. The mob, which desires nothing but destruction, is their ally. To a soul, their vision is the obliteration of our current government and the creation as its replacement a single-party state with a single vision, a single voice and violence, despoliation, destruction and oblivion for any who challenge them.
Morgan Liddick’s column “On Your Right” publishes Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. Liddick spent 27 years working for the U.S. Foreign Service, primarily living abroad. He also spent 12 years teaching U.S. history and Western civilization at community colleges in Colorado and Texas. He lived in Summit County as recently as 2015. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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