Kengor Writes . . .
Paul Kengor is a professor of political science and the executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. Paul Kengor is the author of God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life (2004), The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism (2007), The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007) and The Communist — Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor (Threshold Editions / Mercury Ink 2012).
The New Socialists — The Green Red Deal
Watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside.
Leftist environmentalists hate that. And yet, they do little to eschew the label. Quite the contrary, they earn it in spades.
They have from the outset. Whether sheer coincidence or because the Devil has a sense of humor, Earth Day always marks Vladimir Lenin’s birthday. The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, just happened to be the centennial of Lenin’s birth.
Given that interesting confluence of dates, it seems more than ironic that so many former Communists, when the Cold War ended, ran for the woods. It was the ideal ideological refuge. Rocks and frogs cannot tell the Commie “environmentalist” to go jump in a lake. They can’t tell the central planners to take a hike back to their air-conditioned offices in Manhattan or coffee shops in Berkeley. Thus, for socialists, here’s the perfect constituency to wield government power and manage people and property.
If Marx and Engels were alive today, they would be writing manifestos on ecological “social justice” at some silly university. Today, their disciples at People’s World urge left-wingers everywhere to “Get on board the . . . Climate Train.” The head of Communist Party USA hails modern ecological warriors as “climate justice activists” battling for a crusade of “green socialism.”
That brings us to, obviously, the latest manifestation of socialist ideology cloaked in green environmentalism: the so-called Green New Deal uncorked in February by its new champion in Congress, America’s “democratic socialist” star, Miss Socialist USA, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The entire spectacle was stunning to behold. And since the announcement at the end of last week, conservatives everywhere have teed off, taking their whacks at this ill-begotten creation.
Amid the many reports, one of the best distillations of this environmental swill was done by Americans for Tax Reform, which posted a PDF of Ocasio-Cortez’s talking points prior to the press conference for the February 7 morning launch. If you haven’t seen it, read it and weep. Actually, read it and laugh. It reads like something out of The Onion or The Babylon Bee.
One is tempted to call the proposal juvenile, but sophomoric seems a better word because it plays to the college-girl image that Ocasio-Cortez ironically wants to shed. Actually, the proposal may well forever torpedo her ability to be taken seriously. It makes one wonder if certain forces in the Democrat camp conspired against the young woman, perhaps one of the surprise Democrats who applauded Trump’s line denouncing socialism in the State of the Union — that would include Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and (it was reported in no less than the disgruntled Communist press) even Elizabeth Warren.
Did a Machiavellian Ms. Warren, perhaps working with her old Massachusetts colleague, Ed Markey, conspire to try to kill the presidential possibilities of Ocasio-Cortez? If not Warren, then maybe Schumer and Pelosi, who perhaps feel threatened by this young congresswoman that DNC chair Tom Perez calls “the future of our party”?
If that sounds over the top, well, take a look at Ocasio’s talking points from last week, which really ought to constitute political suicide:
“Build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.”
“Upgrade or replace every building in the U.S. for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.”
“A 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War II to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
“National, social, industrial, and economic mobilization at a scale not seen since World War II.”
As for paying for this “massive transformation of our society,” look at this breathtaking display of economic illiteracy: “The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments, and new public banks can be created to extend credit.” No fear, says Ocasio-Cortez, “the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity.”
The needed greenbacks from the Green New Deal will fall from the rejuvenated air like manna from Gaia.
Conservatives have lampooned the notion of attempting to lay a vast array of railways across the Pacific from California to Japan. It would be easier to invent Star Trek teleporters.
And yet, lest you think that Ocasio-Cortez and friends really want to ban airplanes, forget it. The jets will be there for the leisure of the limousine liberals, the champagne socialists, for the planners, for the rulers rather than the ruled, for the masters rather than the masses. The Proletariat, the rabble, what Marx called the lumpen proletariat — they will get sandwiched into the boxcars. The smart people, the party apparatchiks, they fly first-class.
Invoking FDR, JFK, Ike, and Kamala and Bernie, Ocasio-Cortez sums up her program in the name of “social and economic justice and security through 15 requirements.” The whole concoction reads like it was crafted at a corner Starbucks by college kids marshaled from Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter following. And no doubt, this proposal by Ocasio-Cortez and allies is a mass indictment of our universities and education system.
The old Al Gore’s environmental manifesto was pretty extreme too. He likewise spoke of changing human nature and Americans undertaking a “wrenching transformation” of their society. Also evoking World War II, Gore warned of an “environmental holocaust” and “ecological Kristallnacht.” Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance betrayed an Al Gore not in balance.
But even Ozone Al’s ideas weren’t as excessive as this heap of ecological-ideological mumbo-jumbo dished by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. This poor girl has embarrassed herself. This genuinely ought to be a career-killer.
Yes, I know that for liberals what matters most are intentions and identity. Identity politics is the altar at which they worship. They’ll vote for her. But vast numbers of Americans, including virtually anyone in the business world or private sector with a rudimentary sense of how stuff works, will judge this a disqualifier for higher office, especially the White House.
Again, one must wonder if Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has been set up.
That aside, the less laughable and more insidious aspect of this are the genuinely radical roots. To that end, interested observers should dig deeper into the origins of the Green New Deal. This thing didn’t just roll off the turnip truck when Ocasio-Cortez strolled into Washington a few weeks ago.
For a gander at the wider tentacles of this beast, check out the “About” section for the Green New Deal at the website of the Green Party. One sees instantly that this is far more about socialism than environmentalism. Below the tab for “Hands Off Venezuela” are the Four Pillars of the Green New Deal. Point one focuses on the Economic Bill of Rights:
“Our country cannot truly move forward until the roots of inequality are pulled up, and the seeds of a new, healthier economy are planted. Thus, the Green New Deal begins with an Economic Bill of Rights that ensures all citizens:
- The right to employment through a Full Employment Program that will create 25 million jobs by implementing a nationally funded, but locally controlled, direct employment initiative replacing unemployment offices with local employment offices offering public sector jobs which are “stored” in job banks in order to take up any slack in private sector employment. . . .
- Worker’s rights including the right to a living wage, to a safe workplace, to fair trade, and to organize a union at work without fear of firing or reprisal.
- The right to quality health care, which will be achieved through a single-payer Medicare-for-All program.
- The right to a tuition-free, quality, federally funded, locally controlled public education system from pre-school through college. We will also forgive student loan debt from the current era of unaffordable college education.
- The right to decent affordable housing, including an immediate halt to all foreclosures and evictions. We will:
- Create a federal bank with local branches to take over homes with distressed mortgages and either restructure the mortgages to affordable levels, or if the occupants cannot afford a mortgage, rent homes to the occupants;
- Expand rental and home ownership assistance;
- Create ample public housing; and,
- Offer capital grants to non-profit developers of affordable housing until all people can obtain decent housing at no more than 25 percent of their income.
- The right to accessible and affordable utilities — heat, electricity, phone, internet, and public transportation — through democratically run, publicly owned utilities that operate at cost, not for profit.
- The right to fair taxation that’s distributed in proportion to ability to pay. In addition, corporate tax subsidies will be made transparent by detailing them in public budgets where they can be scrutinized, not hidden as tax breaks.”
After that comes pillar two, on “A Green Transition,” followed by the remaining two pillars, on “Real Financial Reform” and “A Functioning Democracy.” Thus, only a quarter of the four pillars for the Green New Deal actually deals with green deals. The vast majority is old deal socialism. Among the remaining two pillars are calls for: “Establish a 90 percent tax on bonuses for bailed out bankers”; “enact the Voter Bill of Rights”; “making Election Day a national holiday”; “abolish the Electoral College and implement direct election of the President”; “restore the vote to ex-offenders who’ve paid their debt to society”; “protect local democracy and democratic rights by commissioning a thorough review of federal preemption law and its impact on the practice of local democracy in the United States”; “create a Corporation for Economic Democracy”; “repealing the Patriot Act”; “ending the war on immigrants”; “rein in the military-industrial complex by reducing military spending by 50 percent and closing U.S. military bases around the world”; etc. Get the picture?
What in the heck does this have to do with the environment? Nothing, of course. But this is how the left has long exploited the environment for its own purposes of revolution and radical transformation. Not a word of this is a surprise to anyone who has followed left-wing environmentalists.
Green on the outside, red on the inside. Welcome to American socialism’s new Green Red Deal.
Abortion Racism in Pennsylvania — Where Abortion Wears a White Hood
Democrats are losing it over abortion. Sure, they’ve long been bad on the issue, but they’re suddenly escalating the vitriol. And by “Democrats,” I’m referring to elected ones. You could always find unhinged “pro-choice” liberals doing vulgar things. Elected Democrats, however, have tended to show a little more restraint. Not any more.
Look at Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York, or Gov. Ralph Northam in Virginia, the latter of whom generously promises that an infant that survives an abortion will be “kept comfortable” amid final gasps without attempts at resuscitation. In Alabama, Democratic state rep. John Rogers accepts abortion with a shrug: “you kill them now or you kill them later.” Here in Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf is the nation’s first governor who was a Planned Parenthood escort — those macabre volunteers who ensure that distraught girls approaching an abortion facility walk in with cash and walk out without a baby. In fact, here in Pennsylvania, we have not only a governor who was a Planned Parenthood escort, but a state rep., Brian Sims, which brings me to the focus of this article.
In a breathtaking spectacle, Sims proudly filmed himself outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia — the Locust Street Surgical Center — verbally accosting an older woman who was praying the rosary. For eight painful minutes, this former college football player turned angry LGBTQ activist, and he gives this woman an oral drubbing. He repeatedly tells her she is “shameful” and “disgusting.” “There is nothing Christian about what you’re doing,” he lectures. “There’s nothing loving or kind,” he says of her. He lambastes her “broken morality.” He asks for her address so people can “protest in front of her home,” as if hounding her there wasn’t sufficient. More must be done, with perhaps a larger and angrier mob.
I’m always amazed by the lack of charity and understanding by self-proclaimed “tolerant” liberals so intransigent that they can’t even concede that pro-lifers are motivated by a benevolent concern at least worthy of respect. They’re so hell-bent on the righteousness of their cause that they assume nothing but malice on the part of their opponents — whose primary objective is simply to try to save defenseless unborn babies. They rage against them. There’s something diabolical about it.
And make no mistake, a spiritual battleground wages at these clinics. I’ve witnessed it. I’ve watched the escorts engage the people praying. A few months ago, on a bitterly cold day, I joined a group outside the Planned Parenthood abortion center in Pittsburgh. Sims’ caricature could not be more inaccurate and viciously unfair. One of those praying told me that the previous week he stood beside an elderly woman who kneeled on a frozen sidewalk on her aching legs while a dude inside strummed a ukulele and grinned at her. “We’re freezing outside in the snow, with 80-year-old women praying and kneeling on payment covered with ice,” he told me, “and they’re inside, staying warm, and mocking us. You could feel the evil.”
The pro-lifers, particularly those from churches, are almost always a model of charity, sacrifice, and mortification. Moreover, it’s the pro-lifers, not the clinic workers or Planned Parenthood volunteers, that are there to comfort the crushed girl as she leaves the clinic and prepares for a life of emotional, spiritual, and, possibly, physical trauma because of what the abortion advocates did to her inside.
Sims’ nasty charges are wrong on so many fronts, but I want to underscore his most outrageous accusation against pro-lifers, namely: the “BLATANT RACISM they spew.” He leveled that surreal charge repeatedly in his video. This “old white lady,” he says of her dismissively, as if that label merits automatic denigration, is “extremely racist.” He accuses her of a “racist act of judgment.”
What in the world is Sims talking about?
If you’re looking to affix racism, you would be far more justified looking in the direction not of those defending the unborn babies, but of those terminating them. There’s far and away a disproportionate number of unborn African-American children killed by abortion. The escorts guide in and funnel their mothers. Sims’ wild claim has great irony given that Planned Parenthood is the spawn of Margaret Sanger, who I’ve written about frequently, including her work with the “Negro Project,” her gospel of “race improvement,” her May 1926 speech to the Silverlake, New Jersey chapter of the KKK.
The vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics are located near African-American populations. The infamous Gosnell “House of Horrors,” a sick slaughterhouse of unborn black children, resided just down the street from where Sims engaged in his antics accusing pro-lifers of racism. It’s downright stunning that Sims either cannot see that or, in turn, casts the finger of racist shame in the complete opposite direction.
Well, given Sims’ claims to be worried about racism, and given that he’s a Pennsylvania legislator, I ask him this simple request as a fellow Pennsylvanian: Could he please ask the clinic for data on how many of its abortions have been of minority babies?
I asked that question of an analyst who does research on this issue in Pennsylvania.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a breakdown for that particular clinic, or for just Planned Parenthood, on how many patients are African-American,” she told me. “Here are some statistics we do have statewide.”
According to the latest abortion statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in 2017 there were 30,011 abortions performed in Pennsylvania. Among them, 14,726 were to white women, 12,865 were to African-American women (43 percent), and 3,038 were to Hispanic women (10 percent).
Thus, 53 percent, or a majority of abortions, were of minority women and unborn babies. Even more remarkable is the sheer disproportion: only 11.9 percent of Pennsylvania women are black and 7.3 percent are Hispanic. Pennsylvania is 82 percent white. Abortion in Pennsylvania, like everywhere else in America, victimizes minorities by leaps and bounds.
If abortion was a person, it would wear a white hood, and be the deadliest Klansman in this nation’s history.
And who’s leading the assault? Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood performs half of the abortions in the state of Pennsylvania. It operates nine of the 12 largest abortion clinics in the state. The facility where Sims harangued that woman is the largest in the city of Philadelphia. Philadelphia is the fifth largest city in America. (The state’s second largest city, Pittsburgh, is 65th. Philly is the epicenter of abortion in Pennsylvania.)
And who does Brian Sims finger as the bad actor in all this? The “racist”? He points to the likes of the woman outside the clinic praying to God that this industry of death will stop — that this “black genocide,” as Dr. Alveda King calls it, will end. He says “shame” on her. She’s the one he finds “disgusting.”
And finally, aside from the race issue, that particular clinic that Sims stood in solidarity with isn’t good for women of any ethnicity. That Locust Street facility is guilty of many violations against the women whose babies it has ripped from their wombs. It has been cited for numerous code violations, failing over half of its last 23 patient-safety inspections. And yet, it has never been shut down.
Now that’s shameful and disgusting, Rep. Sims.
In fact, maybe we should be grateful to Sims. In bringing national attention to himself, he’s bringing national attention to this clinic and this scandal of abortion racism. *