The statement President Donald Trump made that rendered his impeachment inevitable was not on July 25, 2019, when he said to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it.”
It was on Feb. 6, 2019, when he said to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the assembled members of Congress during his State of the Union, “America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
Ronald Reagan was as much an enemy of socialism as any president, but even he never looked the domestic opposition in the eye and explicitly declared war against the Democratic Party’s militant left for all the world to hear. But then, by the end of Reagan’s presidency in the late 1980s, even the oldest member of The Squad was still in high school; the few hard leftists among House Democrats were no threat to the power of their party’s leadership, as The Squad and its following are today.
In response to Trump throwing down the gauntlet, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s strategy has been to conduct private depositions to determine the specifics of their preferred narrative, then burn it into the brains of Americans in the impeachment of this president, with an eye toward winning big in 2020 – regaining the White House, and possibly even the Senate, and retaining the House.
As they shift to public testimony, the impeachment resolution House Democrats passed last week deprives the chamber’s minority party of important powers, and the president of self-defense rights – a stark contrast to the precedents of both the Nixon and Clinton proceedings.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted it as “no due process now, maybe some later,” adding that “‘only if we feel like it’ is not a standard that should ever be applied to any American and it should not be applied here to the president of the United States.”
Using Alinsky’s Weaponry To Combat Socialism
But this is a president who used his appearance at a Joint Session of Congress to give the left a taste of its own medicine and execute Saul Alinsky’s rule 13: freeze and polarize your target. As Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals” points out, in a complex society “the problem that threatens to loom more and more is that of identifying the enemy.” You must “pin that target down securely.”
Alinsky added: “One of the criteria in picking your target is the target’s vulnerability”; some segments of America may be smitten with socialism, but it remains greatly vulnerable if it is clearly identified. Most of the country continues to recognize the destructiveness of giving government massive new control over property and economic activity.
The father of leftist community organizing also advised that the target “must be a personification, not something general,” but in the minds of many, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s name, and those of her congressional allies, are synonymous with socialism. What’s more, Trump’s numerous Twitter attacks against AOC, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and other far-left Democrats have indeed personified his attack on socialism.
In polarizing the target, Trump has also appropriated the Alinsky way, following Alinsky’s recommended model, Christ, in declaring “He that is not with me, is against me.” The president made it clear he was not interested in having the country meet socialism half or part way; instead, it is an enemy that must be defeated, not appeased or contained. No compromise with the champions of “government coercion, domination, and control.”
Alinsky also taught that the one thing to do to an enemy “that is certain to get him to react” is “to laugh at him. This causes an irrational anger.” Trump has been applying this Alinskyite technique with his outrageous characterizations of figures on the left, including comparing AOC to Eva Peron, calling House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California “Shifty Schiff” and “pencil neck,” referring to presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg as “Alfred E. Neuman,” and nicknaming Pelosi “High Tax, High Crime Nancy” and “Crazy Nancy.”
In reaction, Democrats have indeed displayed symptoms of “irrational anger”; they’re making miscalculations, such as Schiff’s public reading of a fake version of the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky, the concerted faith congressional Democrats placed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings – and perhaps the House impeachment itself, should it backfire and produce soundbites Trump can use in campaign advertising as evidence of Democrats’ unfair treatment of him.
Lenin made it very clear toward the close of 1917 that if socialism is your objective, you are in a war.
“No mercy for these enemies of the people, the enemies of socialism, the enemies of the working people! War to the death against the rich and their hangers-on, the bourgeois intellectuals,” he wrote. These enemies of socialism “must be ruthlessly punished for the slightest violation of the laws and regulations of socialist society. Any display of weakness, hesitation or sentimentality in this respect would be an immense crime against socialism.”
Absent the call for physical violence, it’s not all that removed from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s rhetoric of demonizing the successful. “The rich are not like you and me,” she said, lifting from a famous purported exchange between Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. “The really, really billionaires are making their money off their accumulated wealth, and it just keeps growing.”
Far beyond “the slightest violation of the laws and regulations of socialist society,” Trump has sounded an existential war cry against socialism. It is above all for this that this president is being targeted with impeachment. And if Democrats succeed in blemishing him and winning big at the polls a year from now, their hope is that they will also mortally wound the movement to preserve, strengthen and spread economic freedom, and the values of Western civilization that have guided the U.S. since its founding.
That would make it a victory over not only Donald Trump, but his Republican Party successors committed to those same American values of liberty in the post-Trump America.
— Written by Thomas McArdle
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