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In 1979, when Great Britain had been crippled by widespread strikes, a foundering economy and chronic unemployment, the ruling Labour Party looked upon its stewardship of the government as managing the decline of a once powerful and robust nation. In their view, the country’s best days were behind it, and the best that they could do was see to it that Britons were made as comfortable as possible while they awaited the end.
Margaret Thatcher, of course, said nuts to that–a message that resonated with the British people, who swept Labour out of power that year and elected a Conservative majority that would run Parliament for the better part of the next twenty years. In that time, Thatcher instituted necessary but often painful reforms, breaking the back of the labor unions that had held Great Britain hostage and putting the country back on the path to prosperity. More than anything, her tenure proved that decline–in the words of the late, great Charles Krauthammer–is a choice, not an inevitability.
Bad ideas, however, have a way of sticking around and becoming resurgent, as this nation found out during the eight years of Barack Obama. Granted, Obama came to power in the midst of the Great Recession–a disaster not of his own making, but for which the policies of his Democrat Party bore a sizable responsibility. As President, though, Obama did his level best to capitalize on the bad economy, taking to heart the advice of his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in never letting a crisis go to waste. Convincing the American people that they simply couldn’t make it without the federal government’s intervention in every aspect of their lives, he blew $1 trillion on union giveaways disguised as a stimulus, vastly expanded the welfare state, strangled American business with thousands of new regulations and foisted the boondoggle Obamacare on an unwilling public. Along the way, the economy didn’t get much better. The “recovery summer” that Obama promised would result from his policies never materialized–nor was it meant to. Like the Labour Party of decades past, Barack Obama didn’t see his role as returning the United States to its former glory. Quite the opposite, he was content–even enthusiastic–about our decline, seeing it as justice for all of America’s years as the world’s dominant power.
Toward that end, Obama and the Democrats made it their mission to condition the American people to be satisfied with less. He encapsulated that mindset perfectly in remarks he made to a PBS town hall in 2016, when Donald Trump ran for President under the promise to Make America Great Again. That kind of greatness, Obama argued, wasn’t even possible anymore, and nothing Trump could say or do was going to change that:
Pres. Obama on Donald Trump: "The answer is he doesn't have an answer." #POTUSonNewsHour https://t.co/0XtuCDJvAx
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) June 2, 2016
“Well, how exactly are you going to do that?” Obama asked about Trump bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. “What exactly are you going to do? There’s no answer to it. He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, what, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.”
He might as well have said, “Our best days are behind us, so you better get used to it.”
Trump, like Thatcher, didn’t accept that kind of small thinking, and ran his campaign on a promise that the American people deserved better than a President who meekly accepted our diminished status–that we could be great and we should be great, and that there was nothing holding us back from achieving that goal except poor leadership that didn’t put Americans first. And, three years into the Trump Administration, our booming economy and historically low unemployment have proven Krauthammer correct yet again: Decline is a choice, and we can choose to say no.
Which brings us to Joe Biden. In the Democrat debate last night, when asked about transitioning America away from fossil fuels to a mythical “green” economy, he got a very pointed question–and gave a very disturbing answer:
It is truly startling to hear a potential Democrat nominee for President say…
“Yes” when asked if he would be willing to sacrifice thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of blue collar job.
WATCH Joe Biden ⬇️
Amazingly out of touch… pic.twitter.com/0Yd4PPHpCE
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) December 20, 2019
Not that Biden would ever have any problems about paying the bills. His decades of “service” in Washington have seen to it that he’ll never have to worry about money, and that’s not even counting the millions of dollars in sinecures he has secured for members of his family. But that he could be so cavalier about putting that many people out of work, all in the name of a so-called climate crisis that has never been conclusively proven–and sacrificing America’s energy independence in the process–says a lot. It tells us that he wants to return us to the bad old days of the Obama economy, and the presidency back to the task of managing America’s decline.
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