The Biden–Sanders unity agreement revealed on July 8 is, even for those of us prepared to fear the worst, an astonishing lurch to the far left by the traditionally centrist-left party it claims to unite.
The environmental section of the 110-page document begins: “Scientists inform us that net-zero carbon emissions are required to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.” (That there may not be a climate crisis, as many scientists also inform us, is naturally not an idea that is considered.)
President Donald Trump is accused of “systematic efforts to undermine, discredit, dismiss, fire, disempower, and diminish the contributions of scientists [that have] profoundly damaged America’s standing in the world” (in both environmental and epidemiological matters).
Trump is excoriated for the “dangerous and destructive” retirement from the Paris Climate Accord. There’s a miraculous rebirth of the 2008 promises of candidate Obama of vast job creation in the manufacture of the (unspecified) instruments of sustainable energy, with huge numbers of “unionized, well-paid” jobs. (These promises, as will be recalled, were a mirage and nothing of the slightest value came of them.)
There will be a “core and cohort” of people toiling on the front lines to deal with climate change. There also will be a National Health Service Corps, National Resilience Program (“to fund resilience”), an Office of Climate Mobilization, “disorder counselors in rural America,” and a conference convened by the new president where “all countries must submit and implement ambitious enhanced decarbonization strategies.” (How implementation from such docile little jurisdictions as China, India, and Russia will be enforced isn’t explained.)
There will be a new electricity grid built by people at high wages to produce lower-cost electricity because of “efficiencies the government will install” in the homes of the nation. Agriculture will produce “zero [carbon] emissions,” although the awkward question of the bovine flatulence that even the Green New Deal acknowledged to be a problem, causing Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to advocate the end of beef-eating, was mercifully not raised.
There naturally will be “racial and socioeconomic equity in climate programs, and more robust and meaningful consultation with natives,” and others.
The criminal justice section is considerably better as it excoriates the world-leading U.S. imprisonment-per-capita numbers and proposes less-severe sentences, more thorough programs to reintegrate discharged prisoners, improved education within prisons, reduction of civil asset forfeitures, the end of the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine, and the end of private prisons (where practically no services are provided except the prevention, by gunfire, of escape).
The report proposes the abandonment of the war on drugs, an idea of some merit, but vaguely proposes that the problem be attacked by “prevention.” There are the customary demands for improved policing, and the transference of much police work to social agencies (which the police would welcome).
But there’s absolutely nothing about the core of criminal justice reform: removal of the prosecutors’ right to threaten unfounded indictments in exchange for suborned and extorted evidence, while giving cooperating witnesses immunity from charges of perjury.
There is the promise of increased authority for the Department of Justice to reform itself, but that is like inviting a society of burglars to propose reforms in residential security. It is precisely the hypocrisy one would expect of a committee led by former Attorney General Eric Holder.
The report declares that “the economy is rigged against the American people,” that “Obama’s recovery” has been squandered by Trump, and deplores his “abject failure to respond competently to the COVID crisis.”
The Democrats “stand ready” to invest billions of dollars to pull the country out of the “Trump recession,” in infrastructure, day care, and education, and will “supercharge investment in the Housing Trust Fund” and “end homelessness” by improved veterans’ benefits and a more generous approach to the LGBTQ+ community, (victims of “the Trump administration’s discriminatory actions,” which aren’t otherwise specified).
Trump is accused of “systematic criminalization of poverty,” and of having bungled trade, and of launching “a trade war with China that (he had) no plan for winning.” That he’s favorably renegotiated the previous administrations’ principal trade agreements, including with China, is unmentioned.
“Mega-mergers” and all “corporate concentration” will be opposed as the Biden-Sanders regime “equalizes established pathways for building wealth.” Inevitably, the authors attack “systemic racism and entrenched income and wealth inequality,” and Trump’s promotion of “runaway income and wealth inequality” and the “scourge of anti-Black racism.” (Never mind that under Trump prior to the COVID pandemic, there were more than 500,000 positions to fill than unemployed and the lowest 20 percent of income earners were gaining in percentage terms in income more quickly than the top 10 percent.)
Scattered through the plan are promises for a vastly “more progressive tax,” and “affordable, transparent, trustworthy banking,” (like Clinton’s requirement of noncommercial mortgages), and reimposition of the (catastrophic) Dodd-Frank Act regulating (i.e., stifling) the securities industry.
The Biden-Sanders regime will “increase Social Security benefits” but will reject every effort to amend Social Security by changing the retirement age, the cost-of-living adjustments, or the benefit structure, while achieving “solvency and strengthening it in perpetuity.”
Charter schools will effectively be suppressed, on the pretext that they seek to be profitable, and the monopoly of the corrupt and indolent teachers’ unions (staunchly pro-Democrat), will be reinforced. Public college and university tuition fees will be canceled for families with less than $125,000 annual income, and student loans will be alleviated by an immediate $10,000 per borrower, while billings will be capped at 5 percent of income and end after 20 years.
Trump “lied to the American people” about the coronavirus and is “responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans,” as he “failed to act on the advice of Congress to maintain a strong stockpile of critical medical supplies.” The unity document clings to the Democrats’ grateful espousal of a general shutdown with their nonsense of “test, trace, and quarantine.”
In fact, the Obama administration left a completely shriveled emergency health crisis response capability and Trump mobilized a prompt response, even as Biden advised that the president’s suspension of flights from China on Jan. 31 was “xenophobic.” This document promises a “platinum-level, federally administered health insurance option with no fees and low deductibles.” This is hard to distinguish from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s $52 trillion health care proposal.
The immigration section promises to end the “National Emergency and the unnecessary, wasteful, and ineffective wall,” and Trump’s “cruelty and dehumanizing” policies (Illegal immigration has been reduced by almost 90 percent.). Merit-based immigration will be rejected, all round-ups of illegal entrants will be stopped, relatives of those illegally in the country now will be admitted, and billions will be poured into Central America and the Caribbean to reduce the impulse to decamp to the United States.
There will be “a roadmap to citizenship” of the illegals who are already here, which is reasonable for most of them, but the policy is open borders and come one, come all, although that’s not explicitly stated. In this, as in many other areas, the unity document dissembles.
The enactment of these recommendations in any policy area would be a disaster. The adoption of all of them would bankrupt what would almost immediately turn the United States into an economically stagnant cauldron of violence and institutionalized national self-hate.
As in many dramatic and operatic tragedies, the chief protagonist, having defeated all rivals, commits suicide. This isn’t America’s manifest, or even comprehensible, destiny.
These people absolutely must not be elected.
Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, and, most recently “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other.”
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