America used to practice centrist, two-party politics. The object of the game for both parties was to capture the center.

What defined America’s political center was that if Democrats moved a step farther to the left, then so would Republicans. If Republicans moved a step to the right, then Democrats would inch to the right to gain centrist voters that the other party had abandoned.

Over many decades, this became a game of musical chairs. The Democrats began as America’s party of states’ rights and small federal government. The Republicans began as the party of big government in Washington, D.C.

By the 20th century, however, both parties offered voters progressive presidential candidates, a shared globalist foreign policy in which political differences “ended” at our shoreline, and a mutual compromise on liberal welfare-state capitalist economics.

This produced political dissatisfaction that in 1964 Phyllis Schlafly called “A choice, not an echo.” Elections meant little, she argued, when both parties supported almost identical liberal policies; when Republicans appeared to be little more than “Democrat Lite”; and when, as Speaker Newt Gingrich described, the leading “moderate” Republican was merely “the tax collector for the welfare state.”

Schlafly wanted to give voters a conservative choice in Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, who inevitably lost in 1964 following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. But Goldwater cracked open the Democratic “solid South” power base, and inspired future conservative President Ronald Reagan, who in turn inspired future nationalist President Donald Trump.

We today have a choice, not an echo, thanks both to President Trump and to the Saul Alinskyite radical leftwing transformation of the Democratic Party, which has sharply polarized voter choices. Consider just a few of the hundreds of today’s right-left polarizations:

(1) President Trump wants to build a wall along our 2,000 mile southern border with Mexico to restrict an invasion of illegal immigrants, many of whom are waging chemical warfare against the United States. What else can one call a tsunami of fentanyl, heroin, and other opiates (90 percent of them smuggled across our southern border) which in each of the last three years has killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War?

Democrats in past years voted to support border controls, then under Trump have restricted attempts to build border barriers. But now, two leading 2020 Democratic presidential contenders – Irish-American Latino impersonator “Beto” O’Rourke of Texas and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York – have given support to tearing down the few hundred miles of fencing already built piecemeal along the border.

The voter choice in 2020: Mr. Trump’s border wall, or Democrats in effect promising no border at all.

(2) The border wall issue reflects the larger question of national sovereignty. President Trump asserts American nationalism, much as voters of the United Kingdom asserted their own nationhood by voting “Brexit” from the European Union that was turning Great Britain into a colony with no control over its own laws, regulations or border. By dismantling America’s immigration controls and border, Democrats have already given illegal sanctuary to 22 million immigrants entering the United States in recent years.

Democrats (in HR 1) now aim to impose nationwide the lax California election laws that make it easy for pro-Democrat non-citizens to vote and create an illegitimate Democratic permanent majority in control of America.

(However President Barack Obama, by Executive Order, ended the “wet foot-dry foot” policy that gave asylum to Latinos fleeing Communist Cuba, apparently because Cubans who lived under socialist dictatorship tend to vote Republican.)

(3) The Democrats – party of the slave owners, Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow and Bull Connor – have always been America’s racist party, using race to divide, conquer and pit people against one another. Nowadays, the politically correct race hatred they preach tears America apart by targeting “privileged whites” and Jews.

Days ago, a self-described socialist neophyte Congresswoman on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), accused veteran diplomat Elliott Abrams of not being “truthful,” then prevented his response to her slander.

Somali-born Omar is Muslim and a virulent anti-Semitic existential foe of Jews and Israel. Abrams is Jewish, a supporter of Israel and a neoconservative (whose Democrat parents sent him to New York City’s ultra-leftist private Little Red Schoolhouse). Abrams is President Trump’s Special Representative for Venezuela; Omar supports Venezuela’s illegitimate Marxist dictator Nicolas Maduro.

Democrats openly aim to transform America by erasing its past, present, future, Constitutional rights and laws, borders, entrepreneurs, private property and free enterprise. In 2020 we have a real choice, not an echo.

Lowell Ponte is a former Reader’s Digest Roving Editor. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other major publications. His latest book co-authored with Craig R. Smith, “Money, Morality & the Machine,” reveals how bad money drives good morals out of society and how you can protect your family from the future of “Star Trekonomics.” For a free, postpaid copy, call toll-free 800-630-1492.

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