During the coronavirus red-zone lockdown in Brooklyn, I bought some items at a store that just narrowly missed being shuttered. The Russian clerk behind the counter griped that he only had unwieldy paper bags to give me instead of the usual plastic ones. “They took them away from us,” he said.
“They’re taking away a lot of things,” I replied.
To which he rejoined, “Next, they’re going to take away our freedom.”
As a Soviet émigré, he should know. American emigrants from former communist and socialist countries, and from current ones like Cuba and Venezuela, are watching this election cycle unfold with dropped jaws and dread. And they are appalled by the prospect of having the tyrannies they escaped from follow them and reappear in the most unlikely of places.
Every four years, presidential candidates mount their soapbox and declare the urgency of their particular campaign. In 2008, when former President Obama ran on a platform of wanting to “fundamentally transform” America, unsuspecting voters, many entranced at the opportunity of proving their non-racist bona fides, voted in the first Black President. Chances are they were hardly prepared for the leftist agenda they voted him in with.
Since then, the fundamental changes introduced by progressives within the Democratic Party, the media, tech giants, major corporations, unions, academia and others have been deemed sacrosanct and have become the starting point for future policies.
Those behind their creation don’t want to see any of their pre-Trump-enacted policies (those not dismantled by President Trump) merely preserved; they want to see them enlarged. And enlarged to the tune of billions and billions of dollars. So that Obamacare becomes Medicare for All, environmental regulations become the Green New Deal, and financial aid for college students becomes the College for All Act. Projected far-reaching changes extend to religious liberties, federal housing, the minimum wage, immigration reform, police reform, foreign relations, and the list goes on and on.
All this combines to prove that it is not cliché to declare the 2020 presidential election the most important one of our lifetimes. Biden is now running on the most progressive platform of any Democratic nominee in history. And no one can feign ignorance this time around.
A recent Gallup poll found that while 57% of Americans have a negative opinion of socialism, 65% of Democrats say that have a favorable view. This is a frightening prospect for Americans who champion their country’s free market economy and who watched the Trump administration resurrect it with unparalleled success after the Obama years. Pre-pandemic levels saw Trump’s economy, with tax and regulation cuts, soar to historic heights for jobs, income and stock prices.
But it is not just America’s economic security that is threatened by the advent of a Biden administration. The BLM movement, progressive Democratic politicians like those from the Justice Democrats, universities, and a Pravda-like media have changed the cultural composition of our society and with it our ability to protest. They have created an alarming narrative impugning American exceptionalism and creating an atmosphere of intimidation and political bullying against their detractors.
With all this at stake, it is inexplicable that voters who cherish the freedoms of this country would reject Trump because of his brash personality or his erratic twittering. This is a sort of brashness that would be celebrated by his critics if it came from anyone other than the larger-than-life figure in the White House, one who actually makes good on his promises.
And with Trump’s indisputable record as the most pro-Israel president the White House has ever seen, coupled with his outreach to American Jews, specifically in the realm of combating anti-Semitism, it is even more inexplicable that American Jews would reject Trump by a margin of 70%.
The split down religious lines between American Jews, with Orthodox Jews overwhelmingly backing Trump, is so immutable that championing Trump among them either preaches to the choir or falls on deaf ears. And no amount of gratitude for America’s philo-Semitic leader can sway a crowd that rejects the Talmudic teaching of the importance of action over words. Or who value the Progressive Agenda over the Ten Commandments.
To those few who are still sitting on the political fence — you do not want to fall off the wrong side of this one. These past few months have demonstrated that Americans, and especially American Jews who value the freedoms of religion and speech, can no longer take those liberties for granted. Indiscriminate and hypocritical restrictions enacted by those allied with Biden underscore the urgency to halt the progression of progressives.
If the friend of my enemy is my enemy, it’s essential to identify those allied with the Democratic candidate — be they in government, media, academia, the entertainment industry, corporate America, or even among our enemies overseas. Because they exult in a Machiavellian counterculture that disdains individual liberty while professing fealty to the everyman, celebrates social ills that were condemned for millennia, and tolerate violence in place of law and order. If Biden is their man, that should be enough reason for decent, law-abiding citizens to run the other way.
The pandemic has turned 2020 into this century’s annus horribilis. It upended many of the achievements of the Trump presidency, one that saw unprecedented economic growth and international stability. And this, despite unrelenting vilification — vilification owing precisely to the President’s triumphs. But if it upends a second Trump term, the repercussions will last well into this century and beyond. And those who truly love this country will have to face the prospect of an America before and after 2020.