Op-Ed

Bob Ehrlich: Here Are 6 of the Left's Bogus Claims That Are Actually 'Triggering'

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Triggers — everybody has one. It’s that list of people — issues — things that get under your skin. In politics, the most obvious examples are the bogus hard sells politicians employ when we the people know better. Here a great big fib (per Churchill, a “terminological inexactitude”) is trotted out and thrown your way in an act of forced consumption. These are the whoppers: high fastballs that you instantly reject — the ones that you just aren’t going to stand for anymore…

Maybe my list looks a lot like yours:

1. There is no crisis at the southern border

The most repeated mantra of the “Resistance” in recent months was tossed out daily as Central American caravans one and two traveled on their way up through Mexico and to our southern border. But a funny thing happened along the way as numerous additional caravans suddenly appeared: President Barack Obama’s director of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson repudiated the Democratic leadership’s false narrative. Director Johnson assured us that the U.S. is “truly in a crisis” as reflected in 100,000 apprehensions along the southern border in March (on track for a million apprehensions this year alone). Both parties deserve condemnation for the gradual denigration of our immigration system over the past three decades. But the Resistance-generated desire to deny an increasingly manifestly dangerous, threatening and hugely expensive situation may be the most blatant example of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” so far.

2. Voter photo identification is racist

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This one really gets my engines going but is easily refuted. Americans must carry a legitimate form of photo identification to do just about anything these days, including entering a commercial office building, flying on an airplane, filling a prescription, renting a car, and buying liquor and cigarettes. This de minimis invasion of our privacy is the price we pay to live, assemble and travel in a free and orderly country. Similarly, the requirement to identify yourself in order to perform what many view as our most sacred right as citizens seems a no-brainer. It is, in fact, a no-brainer — except to those of us who insist on seeing every issue through a racial lens. Parenthetical note: Recent data does not support the suggestion that photo identification laws decrease minority voter participation.

3. Criticism of fatherlessness is racist

I do not know exactly where or when this indictment got started, but it has done great damage to an otherwise critically important and consequential social issue. Over 50 years ago, then-Senate staffer Daniel Patrick Moynihan issued his disquieting report on the status of the African-American family. Numerous additional researchers followed up with similar studies — and conclusions — on white and brown families. Alas, the bottom line never seems to change: kids raised without fathers (or significant father figures), white and black, suffer from increased incidence of various social maladies and poverty as compared with children raised with fathers in the home. The society destroying problems also highly correlated with fatherlessness comprise homicides, robbery, assault, bullying, drug use, gang membership, unemployment and general quality of life. Both parties used to share Moynihan’s concerns, including Obama who launched a White House fatherhood initiative early in his first term. Yet, somehow, some on the far left insist on viewing an ongoing American tragedy through the prism of race and won’t work to disincentivize fatherlessness.

4. Criticism of sanctuary cities is racist

Just think about the outrageous premise here. Selected local and state governments oppose federal immigration law — so they choose to no longer cooperate with federal enforcement agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some proponents of sanctuary cities hide behind alleged federalism concerns (“not our job”) but the real reason is their support for some iteration of an open borders policy. Even well-publicized instances of violent criminality perpetrated by those who have no business being here in the first place do not change hearts or minds. You see, supporters equate the “rights” of illegal aliens as on par with the rights of American citizens. Respect for the rule of law is an unfortunate casualty — as is American sovereignty.

5. The BDS movement against Israel is legitimate

Thinly veiled antisemitism as represented by the Boycott, Divest & Sanctions movement (formerly the “Palestine Solidarity” movement as founded at Berkeley in 1993) on American college campuses is another entry here, but for the first time in a long time, I have some good news to report from a certified institution of higher learning. To wit: an Ivy League president has repudiated a BDS group in an upfront and personal way — with no resulting riot. Cornell University President Martha Pollock told an anti-Israeli coalition of Cornell students to pound sand (my phrase) in response to the usual outrageous list of student divestment demands. Most important, President Pollock pointed out how such groups conveniently conflate Israeli government policies with the right of Israel to exist. How refreshing to see for once the leader of a prestigious college push back against an inflammatory fringe group on campus.

6. Obamacare is popular

Democrats running on the issue of health care have fed a popular misconception that Obamacare is now popular. Nonsense. Major elements of Obamacare have either been repealed, rendered unconstitutional, or died of their own accord (Obamacare co-ops). To boot, there are only 11 million participants on Obamacare exchanges — a population far removed from the 22 million originally envisioned by HHS. What is popular is Medicaid expansion far beyond its original target group of poor women with children. Presently, 35 states and the District of Columbia have opted for the “free” federal cash, most providing coverage to those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line.

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These constitute some of my triggers of left-wing sophistry. It is time to talk reason to the American people.

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Robert Ehrlich is a former governor of Maryland as well as a former United States congressman and state legislator. He is the author of “Bet You Didn’t See That One Coming: Obama, Trump, and the End of Washington’s Regular Order,” in addition to “Turn This Car Around,” “America: Hope for Change" and “Turning Point.” Ehrlich is currently a partner at the firm of King & Spalding in Washington, D.C.




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