Friday, July 19, 2019

Tom Friedman Laments

If Tom Friedman sees it, then everyone must be able to see it. Today’s Democratic Party seems hellbent on re-electing Donald Trump. The party has embraced radical policies that are designed to provide every manner of benefit to those who do not belong here while ignoring those who do. (via Powerline and Maggie’s Farm)

What are Democrats offering to America? Friedman is dismayed to list their policy proposals, from the first presidential candidate debate:

I was shocked that so many candidates in the party whose nominee I was planning to support want to get rid of the private health insurance covering some 250 million Americans and have “Medicare for all” instead. I think we should strengthen Obamacare and eventually add a public option.

I was shocked that so many were ready to decriminalize illegal entry into our country. I think people should have to ring the doorbell before they enter my house or my country.

I was shocked at all those hands raised in support of providing comprehensive health coverage to undocumented immigrants. I think promises we’ve made to our fellow Americans should take priority, like to veterans in need of better health care.

And I was shocked by how feeble was front-runner Joe Biden’s response to the attack from Kamala Harris — and to the more extreme ideas promoted by those to his left.

And then, Friedman offers his own policy prescriptions, via, Powerline:

So far so good, but the real comedy comes later in the column when Friedman recommends what policy ideas Democrats should be for:

“I’m disturbed that so few of the Democratic candidates don’t also talk about growing the pie, let alone celebrating American entrepreneurs and risk-takers. Where do they think jobs come from?”

Friedman hasn’t been paying attention. Didn’t he listen when President Obama said “You didn’t build that”? (Ditto Elizabeth Warren.) Liberals no longer believe in entrepreneurship and “growing the economy” (in Bill Clinton’s clunky phrase). It’s the Bernie-Lizzie Party now: the system is rigged! Only redistribution and punitive taxation on the prosperous will satisfy the sanctified envy and blood lust of the ascendent left. The Democratic Party is back to loving workers but hating employers. A winning formula I’m sure.

And the Democratic Party has become the risk averse party. It has become a party of rent seekers, of the entitled many that want to live off of guaranteed government largesse. 

Friedman proceeds to pretend that the Revolution can wait. Say what? Surely, he is right, but don’t you find it somewhat bizarre that a shopworn slogan from the 1960s should be rearing its ugly head again? The Vietnam counterculture went all-in for revolution. It was a heady time. Young people believed that Communism and Socialism were the future. They were actively rooting for a Viet Cong victory over the armies of American imperialism. 

Anyone who is barely sentient knows that the great revolutionary hope has died. It died years ago when the Berlin Wall fell and when China decided to toss Maoism into the dustbin of history. No serious human being today is militating for the overthrow of the capitalist order. This does not mean that no one is fanning the flames of rebellion. 

Those who are-- you know who they are-- are not merely sore losers. They are not merely imbeciles and morons. They are not merely impervious to the verdict of reality. No, they invested their lives and their minds in a radical leftist ideology and they do not know anything else. They are not merely incapable of recognizing that they were wrong. They are incapable of thinking differently. They are locked in a mental cage of their own making.

Anyway, Friedman does eventually trot out his own favorite Democrat, the governor of the great state of Rhode Island, one Gina Raimondo:

Ask Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island’s governor, and my kind of Democrat. She was just elected in 2018 for a second term. In both her elections she had to win a primary against a more-left Democrat. When Raimondo took office in 2015, Rhode Island had unemployment near 7 percent, and over 20 percent in some of the building trades.

“When I ran in 2014, there was a temptation to appeal to particular constituencies — gun safety, choice, all things that I believe in,” Raimondo recalled. “I resisted that temptation because I felt the single greatest issue was economic insecurity and people who were afraid they were never going to get a job. So I said there are not three or four issues, there’s one issue: jobs.” Unemployment in Rhode Island today is about 3.6 percent.

Raimondo has faced a constant refrain from critics on her left that she is too close to business. “I created an incentive program for companies to get a tax subsidy if they created jobs that pay above our state’s median income or jobs in advanced industries,” she noted. “I have cut small-business taxes two years in a row since 2015. I am not ashamed of any of that.”

Because, she continued, “I listen to people every day, and you hear what they are worried about. People say to me, ‘Governor, I just got a real job.’ And I’d ask them, ‘What is a real job?’ And they’d say, ‘It’s a job where I can support my family with real benefits.’ So I named our state job-training program ‘Real Jobs Rhode Island.’” It will be impossible to “sustain a vibrant democracy with this level of inequality.”

We might ask whether this story is unique to Rhode Island. Or whether it merely reflects Trump administration policies. After all, the drop in unemployment has accompanied the Trump economic boom. It is not merely a product of Friedman’s favorite governor.

And yet, before we join the Raimondo for president campaign we feel obliged to recall the sorry state of Providence schools. Fair enough, the governor is not responsible for the city school system, but still, in such a well governed state, led by a political party that Friedman likes, you would expect that a coalition of democratic politicians and labor unions could have produced a decent education for children in the state’s largest city.

Apparently, such is not the case. I refer to my previous post on the topic. Link here.


UbuMaccabee said...

Tom Friedman just discovered that the Democratic Party has become a leftist, not a liberal, party. He'll never develop the intellectual conscience to understand the causes of this transformation (Ithaca delenda est) or the long-term consequences of ruining our great nation. And like all liberals, he'll never have the courage to actually do anything about opposing leftism; instead, like all liberal cowards, he'll attack the conservatives who are actually working tirelessly to stop leftism. But at least he is 1% awake. Another useless fool and charter member of the good intentions paving company.

Sam L. said...

Tom Friedman doesn't know what he doesn't know, and has no ideas on how to correct that.
Or perhaps he is willfully ignoring what goes on around him.

trigger warning said...

"Only redistribution and punitive taxation on the prosperous will satisfy the sanctified envy and blood lust of the ascendent left."

No surprise that prosperous Tom Friedman is alarmed. When they come after his money, it's "blood lust".

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Friedman seems shocked and disturbed. Little else.

I am not surprised.

No doubt it’s a “crisis.”

What I am truly amazed by is the Democrat/Left cheering for the Chinese model (to which Friedman ascribes).

That’s #$%@ed up.