It only takes a moment to realize that 2020 is not about Trump v Biden.
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
Before we go any further with each other today, allow me to tell you where I sit, before I tell you where I stand. In 2016, Trump was my 18th choice among the 17 Republican candidates for the nomination. Then the Dems nominated Hillary Clinton; what was this registered Unaffiliated voter to do? When I expressed my view at the time that the choice was between a known lifelong criminal and a possibly dangerous buffon, I infuriated everyone. I was being honest, and paid the price for it. And here I go again.
The upcoming election is between Trump and the Progresive wing of the Democratic party; Biden is just a placeholder. This election has nothing to do with small v big government, fiscal responsibility v soaring deficits, or conflicting foreign policies. With Biden in his basement, it looked like it was going to come down to Trump v Trump, with the Democrats betting that Biden’s verbal stumbles were going to be overlooked in the face of Trump’s Tweets and flights of factual fancy. And it looked like the Dems were winning.
But in what might be a repeat of 2016, the Dems might be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Biden in the Basement might very well beat Trump on the Stump. But can AOC and Bernie, with a side of Pelosi, beat Trump? Throw in the mayors of Portland and Seattle, and any government entity that does not denounce and defeat politically-based or simply criminal violence in their areas on the side with AOC, Bernie and Pelosi. That’s the actual contest. Until recently, the Progressive wing of the Democratic party stood for new expenditures for free education, healthcare and housing, different approaches to a Universal Basic Income, worker involvement on corporate boards, and climate change changes, all paid for by some combination of increased taxes and higher annual borrowing. Now that wing is adding defunding the police, and having them stand down in the face of clear, damaging and repeated violence against people and property. And this inexcusable violence is increasing at an alarming rate.
We all remember the Democratic debates, where it seemed that Biden, a pale second coming of Obama, won the nomination because he was not on the left of the already left-of-center party. Sure, he tilted a little in the direction of the Progressives then, but all of those in the know were sure that he would lean back towards the center after he won the nomination. Not so much. Biden is in part changing his rhetoric, tilting ever leftward, and in larger part being painted with the progressive brush that is coloring much of the Democratic party as being sympathetic to, if not in cahoots with, Antifa and Antifa-like tactics, and the Marxist core of the Black Lives Matter movement. The party where its chosen Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler, said that claims of Antifa violence in Portland are a “myth.” That party. With apologies to James Carville, when physical safety is at stake, it is no longer about, “The economy, stupid.”
Gun sales are soaring, especially among first-time buyers. With disproportionate sales to Blacks. Why? (Answer coming.) Talks shows, letters to the editor, and personal conversations are being laced with concern about physical safety. Claims that the protests are “mostly peaceful” are falling on deaf ears as we are being shown photos of looted businesses and burning government offices. We are beginning to resent being told that after two months of violence in, for example, Portland, that federal “Stormtroopers” (Nancy Pelosi’s word) are the cause. At the end of June, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to “defund” the city’s police. Not surprisingly, crime is on the rise. That’s a reason why people are buying guns.
During the Vietnam War protests, one of the rallying cries was, “Bring the war home.” The idea was to make the waste, horror and devastation real to the folks at home. TV did a lot of that, making it the first televised war in US history. Right after dinner, we could see seemingly endless body bags, civilians being shot, and entire villages being destroyed–while interviewing some of the surviving villagers. When the current riots, the burned businesses, the occupied police stations and killings and injuries were isolated to one or two cities, few people were concerned. Then Antifa announced they were coming to suburban neighborhoods, and we should believe them. A few days ago, armed Antifa types protested in a suburban neighborhood a few miles away from my home in Colorado Springs, targeting a cop who killed a Black youth, and was cleared by a local grand jury and the FBI. The idea was to intimidate the cop and his family, and, by extension, the neighborhood. The police responded in part by locking down the neighborhood, advising people to stay home, behind their locked doors. About a week prior, up the road in Denver, another Antifa type protest was allowed to violently shut down the annual and permitted Back The Blue demonstration. Where were the cops when it came to protecting the innocent and law-abiding citizens? Absent. That’s why people are buying guns.
TV brought the Vietnam War home to people who had never ridden in a Huey (while sitting on their helmets to protect their butts from small arms fire), maneuvered through elephant grass, or taken a shower with a sliver of soap during monsoon season. Antifa and other violence prone protesters are bringing their terror to a neighborhood all too close to all too many of us. As with the Vietnam War, Antifa’s goals are dubious at best. In Vietnam, we were supposed to be saving Southeast Asia from Communism. What is Antifa and its apologists saving us from? And who is going to save us from Antifa? Is that being left up to us?
If you are getting the idea that I am angry, you are dead right. I am angry that once again, I am faced with an ugly choice between two less than desirable presidential candidates. I am angry that Supreme Court nomination and House Judiciary Committee hearings are sideshows that would embarrass the unembarrassable huckster and sideshow inventor, P. T. Barnum. I am angry that I feel the need for improved sights on my AR–and I have to wait months for them because so many of the folks feel the need to better protect themselves and their families. Perhaps most of all, I am angry that I feel the need to do an episode on this subject. This spreading violence should never have been allowed to be a concern in anyone’s mind in the first place.
Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.