There may be a major silver lining for conservatives and for America's future thanks to the foreign and domestic policies of President Obama and the Democrat-controlled House and Senate: For the first time in their lives, millions of Americans are coming to understand the left.
It is difficult to overstate how important this is. For decades, the left has largely controlled the news media, the arts, the universities and the entertainment media. And vast numbers of Americans have imbibed these leftist messages and the leftist critiques of conservatives. What these Americans have never been able to do is to see what the left would actually do if in power.
Of course, all one had to do was look at California and see how a left-wing legislature brought the country's largest state economy to near insolvency and bankruptcy, chased away many of its most productive citizens and wasted tens of billions of dollars thanks in large measure to union domination of the state's politics.
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But most Americans do not observe other states. Most Americans are preoccupied with their lives and, unfortunately, with what is on television.
Now, this has all changed. Americans are watching California enacted on the national stage.
And it is scaring all but the ideologically committed left – a rather small, if profoundly influential and powerful, minority. This is why last week, Gallup reported an extraordinarily dramatic and quick shift of independent voters' electoral preferences. In the Gallup Poll's words: "Over the course of the year, independents' preference for the Republican candidate in their districts has grown, from a 1-point advantage in July to the current 22-point gap."
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In half a year, there has been a 23 percent shift from Democrats to Republicans among independent voters. And nothing particularly bad had occurred – no further economic meltdown, no terrorist attack from abroad (the poll preceded the Fort Hood attack).
Now Americans see the left's policies for what they are:
- The left wants America to abandon its defining commitment to individualism and replace it with a European-style nanny, or welfare, state. At most Americans' core is an abiding belief that we are supposed to take care of ourselves, our families and our neighbors, and not rely on the state to do so.
- The left is naive about evil. Most Americans deemed communism evil; the left ridiculed President Ronald Reagan for calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire" and often undermined the fight against the communist world. So, too, the left is naive about Islamic terror and undermines the fight against it.
The smoking gun was the nearly universal denial by the left that his Islamic beliefs had anything to do with Maj. Nidal Hasan's mass murder of fellow servicemen at Fort Hood. One of many examples was this reaction to the shootings by Evan Thomas, editor at large at Newsweek: "I think he's probably just a nut case. But with that label (Muslim) attached to him, it will get the right wing going. ..."
- The left is more interested in redistributing wealth than in creating it. This should have been as obvious to Americans as the brightness of the sun. Finally, Americans are coming to realize that the left's goal is now, as it always has been, equality, not prosperity.
- The left is far more interested in power than the right is. This, too, should have been self-evident, but finally, people are realizing that those who are preoccupied with creating an ever-expanding state are obviously far more interested in amassing power than those who want a smaller state.
- The left is preoccupied with America being loved, and in pursuit of that end, compromises some of America's core values. Examples abound here, too. To cite a few: the Obama administration's neglect of those in Iran risking their lives for freedom in that tyranny; the administration's refusal to meet with the Dalai Lama when the Tibetan leader visited Washington, lest the president annoy China's dictators; the American government siding with Hugo Chavez against the Honduran government, which had legally removed a Chavez clone from the Honduran presidency; and the president's obsequious apologies for America wherever he goes.
A motto of my radio show and of my life is "Clarity is our friend." It is certainly so here. Clarity about the left will be a blessing to America.