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Op-Ed

Bob Ehrlich: America Is Beginning to Wake Up, And We Could Soon See a Comeback

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The “un-woke” majority of America is beginning to wake up.

It’s about time. Their world has been turned upside down and shaken repeatedly for the better part of eighteen months.

Foundational values such as free speech, free association and civil order have suffered particular damage. And a delta variant-induced rekindling of enthusiasm for indoor facemasks and economic lockdown is further cause for concern, especially with a shutdown-friendly congressional majority and president in control in Washington, D.C.

Still, there is room for optimism. The resistance is picking up steam. And it’s not just right-wingers concluding that they did not sign up for a Biden-Bernie agenda on steroids.

Red-State Governors

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The left’s continuing support for masking up and shutting down is being opposed with renewed vigor by many Republican governors. These good men and women are happy to read the science — genuinely follow the science — and resist the Twitter mob’s latest narratives, in the process taking on the combined power of the Biden administration, the legacy press and cancel-culture agents of all stripes and sizes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis probably said it best: “[In Florida] people are going to be free to choose to make their own decisions about themselves, about their families, about their kids’ education and about putting food on the table.”

The Gavin Newsom Recall

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has blithely presided over a rapidly degrading state, one that not so long ago was noted for its beauty, tourism and economic vitality. Space limitations do not allow for a list of Newsom’s most serious offenses, but suffice to say the recall is bipartisan in nature.

Is there cause for hope about America's future?

Indeed, Newsom’s hands-off attitude toward quality-of-life issues (and situational enthusiasm for masking) has even a sampling of San Francisco Democrats crying foul about the rapidly decaying condition of their once-spectacular city.

The Education Resistance

A grassroots movement of parents, politicians, and (a few) teachers is striking back at uber-left school boards and their revisionist initiatives. This resistance includes Asian, Hispanic and African-American parents who would rather their school boards stick to educating their children rather than indoctrinating them.

Note this parental awakening occurred during the pandemic as mom and dad were given access to what their children were being taught at taxpayer expense. This unplanned peek behind the curtain may be the only positive aspect of classroom closures over the past eighteen months.

The Defund Disaster

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Guess that Seattle-based “Summer of Love” absurdity had a short shelf life. To absolutely no one’s surprise, progressive moves to eliminate cash bail, limit police immunity and defund police agencies in our most dangerous cities have resulted in huge spikes in all types of crime, especially the violent variety.

Chicago is a prime — but just one — example. Sixty-two people were wounded and 11 killed there just last weekend, including a 29-year-old police officer.

The urban poor are, of course, the primary victims of this failed experiment. How ironic that so many folks within these marginal communities are leading the effort to “re-fund the police.”

The bloodbath that is the defund initiative reflects what happens when public safety is compromised by woke politicians who enjoy private security and more times than not reside in safe communities far removed from where their dangerous experiment in public insecurity plays out.

Future generations of pundits will one day ask how a civilized people came up with this truly cruel and utterly nonsensical idea.

Commonsense Voting Reforms

Despite the very best efforts of the media (and Democratic members of the Texas legislature), voters are beginning to look beyond the ludicrous hype (“Republicans want to return to Jim Crow”) and better understand the gist of election integrity bills. More than a few have concluded that progressive voting-rights rhetoric fails to match facts on the ground — and language in the bills.

It is here that requiring voters to cast ballots in their assigned precincts, requiring the same signature on the outside as well as the inside of a mail-in ballot, cleaning up the rolls of deceased or otherwise ineligible voters and requiring a photo ID to vote are viewed as far more commonsense than “racist.”

If only somebody at Major League Baseball had taken the time to read Georgia’s new voting law prior to the All-Star Game debacle.

Cries for Freedom from Cuba and Iran

How invigorating to observe long-oppressed people taking to the streets in protest of socialist tyranny. How refreshing to see the Stars and Stripes carried along the boulevards of Havana and Tehran. How exciting to see senior GOP leadership declare solidarity with the Cuban freedom movement. How dispiriting to watch as the Biden administration turns its back on these disfavored refugees.

Think of these feel-good developments and the resulting momentum the next time our daily news cycle bums you out. There truly is a break in the clouds. Can you say, “comeback”?

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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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 counsel at the firm of King & Spalding in Washington, D.C.




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