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Op-Ed

Ehrlich: Our Country Has Gone Off the Rails and Democrats Could Make Things Even Worse

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Wherever I go, THE QUESTION is increasingly asked: What is the ultimate goal here?

This query refers to the left’s 18-month all-in experiment in woke-gone-wild federal pre-emption and spending like drunken sailors — with the usual apology to drunken sailors.

To be sure, the experiment has been, shall we say, less than successful. A more brutal assessment: The country has gone off the rails.

The humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan still haunts us. Inflation is waging war on the working poor. The southern border is chaotic and porous. Violent crime and tolerated lesser crime spike in our major cities. Gas is north of $5.00 a gallon and shows no signs of letting up. Hunter’s laptop is real. Baby formula is scarce. Defunded police are dejected and under pressure, and therefore less willing to engage. There are suddenly more than two genders. The FBI now investigates parents at school board meetings. And about that 401K you were relying on to retire next year…

But it could be worse — and I’m not kidding. Think about the jam we would be in if there were 51 Senate votes available to federalize local and state elections, end the filibuster and Electoral College, pack the court, and spend yet another couple trillion dollars we do not have on paying people not to work.

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The American public is accordingly upset, while the lefty cable stations openly ponder the existential threat that a perceived bunch of white supremacists (aka Republicans) will control the next Congress. But still, the question remains: Was there ever a master plan for all that has gone south in so brief a period of time?

Two not mutually exclusive possibilities come to mind.

The first pertains to the immediate (and irrational) reversal of any and all policies associated with former President Donald J. Trump. Here, a Democratic campaign slogan (“resist”) morphed into policy seemingly overnight. And so the public was asked to forget the niceties associated with so many Trump-era policies that were working.

In no particular order, “Remain in Mexico” was reversed in favor of catch-and-release. And the Keystone Pipeline was shut down. And due process was again removed from Title IV campus investigations. And gas leases on federal lands were frozen. And the U.S. rejoined the Paris accords and has even attempted to restart the Iranian nuclear deal. And a brand new Biden administration indulged woke talking points thrown back at our diplomats by the malign agents of Beijing.

Is the Biden administration weakening America?

The private jet-loving John Kerry was again let loose on the world. And free speech was made the focus of a federal disinformation board (now temporarily suspended). And, unbelievably, the U.S. even resorted to asking Venezuelan despot Nicolás Maduro for oil assistance.

The bottom line: If Trump did it, Biden undid it — just like he promised. Just like the bicoastal elites wanted him to proceed.

The second reason for the sudden and disastrous weakening of America is equally obvious if you simply go back to the last progressive administration and read what that president actually said.

At that time, Barack Obama and, yes, the same John Kerry, paid the Iranians to begin nuclear negotiations. There, “Occupy Wall Street” and the blueprint of a Green New Deal made their initial imprints on corporate C-suites around the country. There, the 44th president himself was not afraid to say that high oil and gas prices would be good for a transformed economy. There, the federal government was seriously weaponized (recall the bad ol’ days of Lois Lerner’s reign at the IRS and Jim Comey at the FBI).

So there you have it. First, undo all things Trump irrespective of their success. Second, continue the great transformation of the American economy — and culture — begun under Mr. Obama. And then things will be great. Trust us.

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Alas, things aren’t great. The country is polarized and broken. The angst is especially felt in blue-collar America, although you wouldn’t know it from the nonchalant, “let them eat cake” assurances coming from our bicoastal elites.

Still, looking at the respective party turnouts in primaries to date, it appears at least half the country is in a real bad mood. These folks did not sign up for all this hurt. Plenty more of them will be heard from again in November. And likely in 2024.

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 U.S. 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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