For several decades now, as the U.S. enjoyed its superpower status and the highest standard of living in the world, a discussion was taking place in the halls of academia. Tenured professors ruminated how this country would be a better place if only we adopted the agenda of the hard left. By implementing things like open borders, gay marriage, socialized medicine, addressing climate change, abandonment of Israel, higher taxes, lower defense spending and greater investment in poor communities, they argued, America would be closer to achieving something called “social justice” and be a better place for us all.
For a long time, such ideas resided exclusively in the faculty lounges, as most Americans regarded them to be out of the mainstream at best and insane at worst. Then something happened. The students who were indoctrinated by those same professors grew up and ran for office. The news and entertainment industries’ endless championing of liberal themes convinced many Americans that such beliefs were held by a majority of citizens.
The tipping point came in 2008 when a telegenic young community organizer with Ivy League credentials named Barack Obama came along and convinced –or is it conned?– a majority of the electorate that he would bring the nation together, heal its racial sins and “fundamentally transform this nation.” The dream of the professors was finally coming true. One of their own would sit in the highest office in the land, and with Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress. It was no longer an idealistic conversation. America would be implementing the dream agenda of the left. Utopia was within our grasp.
In 2015, the results of America’s experiment with the hard left agenda are in, and to call it a nightmare would be generous. In less than two full terms of the Obama administration, America is on life support and the world at large is in flames. We have gone from e pluribus unum to a nation at each other’s throats, balkanized into competing groups along the lines of race, class and gender. Despite the best efforts of the media to proclaim, a la Kevin Bacon in Animal House, that “All is well!”, most Americans are quietly coming to the conclusion that Democrats have been peddling toxic snake oil and we the people are suffering as a result.
One of the greatest benefits of electing Obama in 2008, we were told, was that the first African-American president would bridge the racial divide in the country and usher in a new post-racial society. That kind of talk now seems the stuff of fantasy. Race relations now are no better than they were in the summer of 1968, when race riots were the order of the day. Obama has personally injected himself into a number of race-related incidents, and each time has served to make things worse, not better. He embraced Al Sharpton, one of the most reprehensible race hustlers in American history, and made him the White House’s de facto race czar.
We are told from our leaders that the problems in inner cities are not the result of failed liberal policies, but of racist policemen intent on killing innocent black people. The First Lady speaks at college graduations and delivers a toxic message that America is a bleak landscape that has scarcely advanced on race relations since the civil rights protests of the ’60s. She may be right, but conveniently leaves out her husband’s role in creating the problem. There is also no mention of the irony that the dreary speech is being delivered by a black First Lady, married to a black President of the United States who employs a black attorney general.
Since the Lyndon Johnson administration, the left’s remedy for inner city poverty has been to flood the zone with federal spending and implement job training centers and myriad entitlements such as welfare checks and food stamps. The results of those policies were on display recently in Baltimore: rampant poverty, violence in the streets and generations of people robbed of their ambition and self-esteem by an almost complete dependence on government handouts. It’s hard to blame the Republicans for this, as the city has been run exclusively by Democrats for more than five decades. And yet, when confronted with the mess they created, Democrat politicians are one-trick ponies who can only call for even more of what caused the problem in the first place.
By any objective measure, the important issues of the day are significantly worse as a result of America’s experiment with the left’s agenda. The hope is that a majority of voters have learned to judge Democrat candidates on their dreadful track record and not their hollow promises of utopia. It’s time to send the failed leftist agenda back to the faculty lounge where it belongs.