During a recent broadcast, I said that once Elon Musk takes control of Twitter, “Twitter will be flooded with hate, and a lot of it will come from people on the Left who want to show how hate-filled it is. It’s like their...Read More
Category: Dennis Prager
The West has gone through many eras — the so-called Dark Ages, the Renaissance, the Age of Reason, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Age and the Post-Modern. The present era is the Age of the Absurd. In terms of the absurdities...Read More
A few months ago, for the first time in the history of La Cañada, California, a city just west of Pasadena and the home of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a new branch of a renowned Jewish institution opened. La Cañada had...Read More
On the eve of Passover, on Good Friday, The New York Times published an opinion piece on God, the Bible and Passover. This would not be noteworthy except for the fact that the piece mocked all three. The two titles of the piece...Read More
As I have documented on a number of occasions, the Left ruins everything it touches. There is no exception. From universities to high schools and now including even elementary schools, to late-night TV, to sports, to the arts and, increasingly, science, the Left is a destruction machine.
And nowhere is this damage more evident or tragic than with regard to women.
In fact, nothing demonstrates the power of left-wing ideology as much as what this ideology has done to women. So powerful is leftist ideology, it is more powerful than women’s nature.
Here are five examples:
No. 1: The Desire to Bond with a Man
For all of recorded history, virtually all women sought a man with whom to bond. Of course, a progressive would argue that this was true only because all societies implanted this desire in women or because societal pressure gave women little choice about the matter. It is not, progressives would argue, innate to female nature to yearn for a man.
But whatever the reason — innate nature or societal expectation — it is a fact that women desiring a man was virtually universal.
Then along came modern left-wing feminism, which communicated to generations of young women through almost every influence in their lives — most especially teachers and the media — that a woman doesn’t need a man. In the witty words of one feminist aphorism, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”
Unfortunately, however, the reality is most women need a man just as most men need a woman. Most men don’t fully grow up without a woman, and most women don’t fully grow up without a man (I am, of course, referring to heterosexual women and men). If you need proof, ask almost any married person, man or woman, if marriage matured them.
No. 2: The Desire to Marry
Along with wanting a man, the vast majority of women wanted to marry. It was assumed that wanting that public commitment to and from a man was part of female nature. Yet, the Left has successfully undone that part of women’s nature, too.
As a result of feminist and other left-wing indoctrination, the belief that a woman doesn’t need a man led to the inevitable upshot: marriage isn’t necessary. And it might even be a tool of oppression. And as a result of that, a smaller percentage of American women are marrying than ever before.
This has serious social consequences. We have long known that single men perpetrate most of the violent crime in society. Single men are a societal problem. What we have not acknowledged — and perhaps not even known — are the deleterious effects of women not marrying.
While single women don’t commit nearly as much violent crime as single men do (though they may be starting to catch up), single women are increasingly a societal problem. The most obvious problem is that women who have children without ever marrying their children’s father — or another man — produce a highly disproportionate percentage of social misfits. But many women who never give birth nor marry also constitute a societal problem. They are more likely to be angry and to express that anger in support of radical causes that undermine society. As Barron’s reported, while overall a mere 14.2% of the population contributed to “racial justice causes” such as Black Lives Matter in 2020, “nearly half of single women in the U.S. — a larger percentage than single men or married couples — supported or were actively involved in racial justice protests.”
As reported by one women’s activist organization, Women’s Voices Women Vote, already in the 2012 election, “the marriage gap dwarfed the gender gap…”
No. 3: The Desire to Have Children
At least as much as wanting to bond with a man and wanting to get married were deemed a part of women’s nature, the desire to have children was regarded as even more embedded in female nature. Yet, incredibly, leftist ideology is even succeeding in eliminating that part of women’s makeup. More women than ever before — abroad as well as in America — are choosing not to have children. See, for example, the article, “More women like me are choosing to be childfree. Is this the age of opting out?” published, appropriately, in The Guardian. The author ends her piece this way: “I’ll say it plain: I don’t want children, I never have, and it doesn’t feel like any kind of lack. To me, it just feels like being alive.” She speaks for an increasing number of women.
No. 4: The Desire to Have Sex with Commitment
Another part of women’s nature that the Left has undermined is the desire of women to have sexual relations with a man who might commit to her. Or, at the very least, to have sex only with a man to whom she has some emotional attachment. Left-wing feminist ideology has even been able to undermine that. Three generations of American women have been indoctrinated into believing that their sexual nature is the same as that of a man. Therefore, she can have “hookups,” i.e., non-emotional, non-committal sex, just like men can with no emotional fallout. And so, many young women do. But a far greater percentage of them experience regret or even depression than do young men who engage in “hookup” sex, a form of sex that is indeed part of male nature.
No. 5: The Desire to Protect Children’s Innocence
Perhaps the most amazing thing progressive ideology has done to women is to subvert the innate female desire to protect children, specifically children’s sexual innocence. The movement to teach very young children about sex, about “gender fluidity,” expose them to “Drag Queen Story Hours,” etc., is overwhelmingly led by and composed of women.
Leftism would appear to demonstrate that ideology can trump human nature. Such is the power of social indoctrination. One inevitable result is a generation of more depressed young women and more regretful middle-aged women than ever before in American history.
The Left ruins everything it touches. You can add women to the list.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.Read More
The second of my two sons got married last week, and it prompted me to consider the question: What brings parents more joy: their child getting into a prestigious college or their child getting married (presumably to a good person)?
Three things prompted this question: my joy and pride, the joy of those who attended the wedding and the number of people who attended.
First, my joy and pride.
From a very early age, using a happiness scale of one to 10, I have never aimed to be a 10. I always assumed that those who experience 10s are also likely to experience threes. So, I have hoped and aimed to be a constant 7.5. That I have achieved this has been an enormous source of emotional stability in my life — and much appreciated by my wife, friends and colleagues. Someone who is a consistent 7.5 is generally a pleasure to be around.
So, it was with some surprise when I realized, on the day of my son’s wedding, that I was as close to a 10 as I’ve ever experienced.
It prompted me to review the epic days of my life.
With regard to one’s children, for most people those days are:
The birth of one’s child(ren).
The marriage of one’s child(ren).
The birth of one’s grandchild(ren).
As a traditional Jew, two days should be added to the list:
The bris (ritual circumcision of a baby boy on his eighth day of life) — a day of unique religious and communal significance in Jewish life — and the bar/bat mitzvah of one’s son or daughter.
For me — and many people I have since spoken to — the marriage of one’s child is the happiest of all these days. And I have experienced all of them.
As for pride, that, too, was extraordinary. I was never as proud of my two boys as I was on the days they were married. They chose to be men. They chose not to remain what most single men remain — boys.
Second, the joy of the guests.
I am quite certain that the guests — most of whom I knew well — were also experiencing more joy than they would at any of the other milestone events of someone other than their own child. For example, many, perhaps even most, of those who attend a bar- or bat-mitzvah celebration of a friend or relative’s child do so more out of obligation than out of joy.
Third, the number of attendees.
With the possible exception of one’s funeral (which is not on the milestones list because it doesn’t happen during one’s lifetime), more people attend weddings than any other event in life. In other words, one will likely spend the wedding day with more friends and relatives than on any other day of one’s life. That alone provides ample evidence of the unique significance of marriage.
These observations are what prompted me to ask the question of this essay. Given how uniquely important people consider marriage to be, as illustrated by the unique significance of weddings, would most parents derive more joy from their child’s wedding or from their child’s acceptance to (or graduation from) Harvard or some other prestigious college? Or, to put the question another way, do most parents deem their child getting married or getting into a good (or perhaps even any) college more significant?
Every parent should ask themselves these questions. But I suspect few do because far more parents, in raising their children, emphasize college over marriage.
Even parents who answer that they think both are equally important and would provide them with equal joy have to answer this question: Did (or do) you make it clear to your child that you consider getting married as important as getting into a good college?
I have no doubt that few parents — whether they consider the two equally important or even if they consider marriage more important — emphasize marriage nearly as much as they emphasize getting into a good college.
The proof is the number of young people who think career is more important than marriage and the relatively low number of Americans getting married — the lowest percentage in American history.
Therefore, for your sake as well that of your children, you might want to regularly tell your children that as much as you value their getting into a good college, you value their getting married even more (or, if you prefer, just as much). Tell them that as happy and proud as you will be on the day they graduate college, you will be even happier and more proud of them on the day they marry. For most people, that is a fact.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.Read More
America is caught between an external and an internal threat. The external is an economically aggressive and America-hating China and a nuclear-equipped, America-hating Russia; the internal is a non-nuclear, America-hating Left. (As I always note, “Left” is not the same as “liberal”; in fact, leftism poses a mortal threat to liberalism. The greatest contemporary tragedy in American life is that most liberals are unwilling to acknowledge this and continue to vote for the Left.)
To use one of the Left’s favorite terms, the Left poses an existential threat to America. Russia, unless it starts a nuclear war, does not. I should add that I do not discount the latter possibility. I was a high school freshman during the Cuban missile crisis, but I do not remember anyone my age or among my parents’ peers who believed the Cuban crisis would lead to nuclear war. I am less certain today. Russian President Vladimir Putin does not seem to be as rational as Nikita Khrushchev was, and Khrushchev had nowhere near the passion about Cuba that Putin has regarding Ukraine.
The Left may hate Putin, but hatred of America unites the Left and Putin. Again, this is not the case with liberals, most of whom love America. To illustrate this point, take the example of Superman. It was liberals, in 1938, who created Superman, an America-loving, American values-affirming (“Truth, Justice, and the American Way”) superhero. And it was leftists who destroyed Superman as an American hero. In 2011, they ended his American identity: Standing in front of the United Nations, Superman announced that he was renouncing his American citizenship to become a “citizen of the world.” “I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy,” he announced. Ten years later, DC comics announced that Superman’s motto would no longer be “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” but “Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow.”
Every left-wing movement in the world despises America — and for good reason. America has stood for everything the Left opposes. It is the most capitalist, most religious, and most nationalistic major democracy. America’s unique success has been the greatest possible rebuke to left-wing ideology. America must therefore be brought down. Specifically, it must abandon its capitalist economy, its Judeo-Christian values and its nationalism (as expressed, for example, in Americans’ celebration of the flag and national anthem; in Americans’ celebration of national holidays such as the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving; in Americans’ opposition to anything hinting of world government; and in Americans’ belief that their country is “the greatest country in the world”).
So, then, America finds itself today attacked by three anti-American forces: Putin and China externally and the American Left internally.
If there is no nuclear war with Russia, by far the greatest of these threats emanates from the American Left. It has successfully de-Americanized and ruined every major institution it has touched: nearly all educational institutions from elementary schools through universities; virtually all major mainstream news media; the intelligence agencies (51 heads of intelligence agencies declared revelations of Biden family corruption emanating from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop “Russian disinformation”); the economy (the worst inflation rate in nearly half a century is the result of the cavalier spending of trillions of dollars and the Left’s energy policies which, within a few months, transformed America from energy-exporting to energy-importing); and even medicine (the American Medical Association and more and more medical schools are fully “woke”).
The only way to save America from its internal existential threat is for liberals to understand that the threat to their core values emanates from the Left, not the Right. Just to cite two examples, it is not the Right that opposes liberalism’s commitment to free speech; it is the Left that cancels people for saying anything the Left differs with — including stating obvious scientific and moral truths, such as that it is unfair to women to allow biological males to compete in women’s sports. And it is not the Right that opposes liberalism’s commitment to racial integration; it is the Left (holding the same position as the Ku Klux Klan) that calls for all-black dormitories on college campuses and all-black graduations.
America cannot defeat Russia and China without the help of other nations. And America cannot defeat the Left without the help of liberals. To put it in political terms, if America’s liberals voted their values, the Democratic Party would not win another major election — and it would either become irrelevant or decide to return to its liberal roots. Only America’s liberals, working in common cause with conservatives, can save America. Then America can deal with any threat — internal or external.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.Read More
As a result of the Russian invasion and partial destruction of Ukraine, the question “What is in America’s interest?” is the question of the day. Specifically, how much should America get involved in defending Ukraine?
On the Left, the question “What is in America’s interest?” is moot.
On the Left, “America’s interest” is regarded as essentially a chauvinistic, nationalistic, even fascistic term.
If the Left were concerned with what is in America’s interest, it would not advocate — and, under President Joe Biden, implement — open borders. It is not in America’s interest to allow millions of people to illegally enter the United States.
If the Left were concerned with what is in America’s interest, it would not advocate — and, under Biden, implement — policies to change America from an energy-independent country into an energy-dependent country.
If the Left were concerned with what is in America’s interest, it would not advocate lying to its youth by telling them that America is systemically racist, that it was founded in 1619, that it fought the Revolution to preserve slavery and that the Founders were immoral racists. It would not advocate defunding police departments. It would not have advocated depriving young children of education for two years.
The Left everywhere despises America. And the American Left is no exception. Most liberals love America, but they vote for the Left. So, their love is irrelevant.
Let’s now turn our attention to the Right.
Unlike the Left, people on the Right are preoccupied with the question, “What is in America’s interest?” That is why the Trump-era slogan “America First” so resonated with conservatives.
Conservatives believe, correctly, that open borders lead to the end of a country as a distinct national entity. (The Left believes it, too, by the way.) They want America to be energy independent so as not to depend on other countries — especially countries such as Iran, Russia and Venezuela — for its energy. Whatever the distant future risks of carbon emissions may be, they do not compare to the present risks of an energy shortage, energy dependence and runaway inflation. And they believe that America, despite its flaws, has been exactly as Abraham Lincoln described it: “The last best hope of Earth.” Therefore, teaching young Americans that America is the very opposite is not only a lie, but it will also destroy the foundations of this country.
In foreign affairs, however, conservative answers to the question, “What is in America’s interest?” are neither as clear nor as unanimous as they are concerning domestic issues.
Take the present crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
One hopes that virtually all conservatives (and virtually all people across the political spectrum) regard the invasion as evil. Whoever doesn’t has a malfunctioning conscience.
Yet, some people, on the Right as well as the Left, do not put the entire blame for the war on Putin. Their chief argument is that Putin felt threatened by the possible expansion of NATO into Ukraine.
That anyone outside of Russia would offer this argument is depressing. Do the people who make this argument believe that Russia has a legitimate fear of an attack by a NATO country? Or do they believe that Putin fears an attack by a NATO country?
If Russia is ruled by a paranoid dictator without a conscience (as evidenced by his murdering Russian dissidents and the ongoing laying of Ukrainian cities to waste), his paranoia is not to be honored. To cite the example of Hitler again, he sought the annihilation of the Jews because he feared them; he constantly reiterated his paranoid belief that the Jews sought the destruction of Germany and of the Aryan race. Paranoid dictators need to be confronted, not patronized.
Moreover, in 1994, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons (inherited from the former Soviet Union). It signed an agreement called the Budapest Memorandum with Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. in which it agreed to dismantle its nuclear weapons and delivery systems (bombers and missiles). In return, Ukraine was assured that Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. would refrain from threatening it and respect its “independence and sovereignty and the existing borders.”
In other words, the only threat between Russia and Ukraine was Russia threatening Ukraine.
One should also add that between 1932 and 1933, Soviet Russia murdered between four and six million Ukrainians in what the Ukrainians call the Holodomor (Ukrainian for “murder by starvation”).
Still, the argument goes, the Ukrainians provoked Putin by courting NATO membership.
NATO notwithstanding, the primary “not in America’s interest” argument goes like this: “What Putin is doing is wrong, but essentially it is none of our business. The United States has no interest in Ukraine.”
To this argument, one can ask: Other than an attack on America, when and where does America have an interest? And why? If a Russian dictator can invade and decimate another country in an act of unprovoked aggression and it not be in America’s interest, what about China invading Taiwan, or Iran unleashing nuclear weapons against Israel, or North Korea doing so against South Korea? Why are Taiwan, Israel or South Korea more “in America’s interest” than Ukraine?
And, finally, what about the moral question? Is morality “in America’s interest”? I have supported the notion of “America First.” But as a conservative and as a religious conservative, I do not believe in “America Only.” For the same reasons, I believe in “my family first,” but I do not believe in “my family only.”
We should not send NATO troops into Ukraine, but we should allow Poland to supply Ukraine with fighter jets. Anyway, why is that different from our supplying Ukraine with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons? If Russia having nuclear weapons prevents us from even allowing a third country to send jets into Ukraine, the lesson is simple and clear: If you want to paralyze the West, develop (or steal) nuclear weapons. Then you can destroy any country you choose.
If conservatism means “America First,” count me a conservative. But if conservatism means “America Only,” count me out.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.Read More
For more than 40 years, the environmentalist movement has been warning that global warming is the result of mankind’s burning of fossil fuels and poses an “existential threat” to human and other biological life.
This is one of the many grandiose lies the Left uses to reshape, if not destroy, Western civilization. Other grandiose lies used to achieve that result include America being systemically racist; that violent crime is the result of racism and poverty; men give birth; sex and gender are “nonbinary”; and that former President Donald Trump was a Russian asset.
It should now be obvious that the “Greens,” the environmentalist movement — not global warming — poses an existential threat to humanity. For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the world faces the possibility of a nuclear war. Russia is explicitly threatening use of nuclear weapons should the West come to the defense of Ukraine and has put its military on nuclear alert. Given the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin is deranged, the threat is far more real than it was in 1962 when Nikita Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union. Putin believes he embodies Russia (just as Hitler believed he embodied Germany). Khrushchev did not believe he embodied Russia.
Were it not for the green movement, Putin would not have been confident that he could get away with invading Ukraine. During Trump’s presidency, and due to his policies, the United States became independent of foreign oil for the first time. Within months of assuming power, the Democratic Party, an extension of the environmentalist movement, forced America to revert to dependence on foreign oil, including Russian oil. Beholden to the environmentalists, candidate Joe Biden made promise after promise to curtail oil and gas production: no new fracking on government land, no drilling in the Alaskan Arctic, and shutting down the Keystone pipeline.
Putin got the message.
So, thanks to environmentalists, not only is America once again dependent on foreign oil, Germany is dependent on Russian oil. Angela Merkel, another in a long line of foolish Germans, even shut down Germany’s nuclear reactors — which the greens in Germany applauded. They applauded it — despite the fact that nuclear energy is the only viable non-carbon energy that can sustain a country — because the environmentalist movement is not nearly as interested in the environment as it is in restructuring society. The environmentalist movement is as interested in protecting the environment as the communist movement was in protecting workers or the defund-the-police movement is in protecting blacks.
The Democrats came into power in 2021. The average closing price of oil in 2020 was $39.68 a barrel; the closing price of oil in 2019 was $56.99 a barrel. As of this writing it is $138.00 a barrel. The extremely high price of energy — a direct result of the environmentalist policies of the Democratic Party and the liberal and Left parties in Europe — is one of the two primary reasons for the ever-increasing rate of inflation. (The other reason is the result of another Democrat policy: the printing of trillions of dollars.)
Serious inflation leads to very bad things. The Nazis did not come to power because of their antisemitism or even because of the Versailles Treaty as much as they did because of the terrible inflation under the Weimar Republic.
And any day now, the Biden administration will announce an agreement with Iran that will enable Iran to take in billions of dollars for its oil. Yet another victory for Biden, the Democrats and the environmentalists. This agreement, brokered — incredibly — by Russian diplomats, will enable Iran to sponsor worldwide terror, resuscitate Iran’s economy and continue its quest for nuclear bombs.
But none of this matters to Biden, the Democratic Party, The New York Times or any other left-wing institution — so strong is the grip of the environmentalist cult and so influential are the uber-wealthy environmentalists who support the Left. They would rather see Ukraine destroyed, the potential for a nuclear war and the decimation of the world economy than allow fracking, drilling or even an oil pipeline between Canada and the United States.
Concern for the environment is a good thing, but the environmentalist movement is not.
Environmentalists use the environment to create a social revolution just as communists used workers to create a social revolution.
Its activists are fanatics.
Its consequences are nihilism.
Environmentalists are, intentionally or not, in collusion with Putin to undermine America and the West.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.Read More
No. 1: The NATO excuse
A widely offered explanation for the Russian invasion of Ukraine is that Russia — which at this time essentially means President Vladimir Putin — fears the expansion of NATO to its borders, especially Ukraine. The argument is often presented as an analogy: How would the United States react if Mexico had a mutual defense pact with Russia and received weapons from Russia?
A second explanation is that Russia is “paranoid” as a result of its having been devastated by the invasions of Napoleon’s France in the 19th century and Hitler’s Germany in the 20th. This was the excuse that many professional excuse makers made for the Soviet Union’s shooting down — without any warning — Korean Air Lines flight 007 in 1983, killing all 269 passengers and crew.
“The Russians are paranoid” became a widespread explanation. Seymour Hersh, the best-known New York Times investigative reporter for decades, wrote a book on the shooting down of KAL 007. As described in a 1986 New York Times book review, “On the Soviet side, writes Mr. Hersh, there was paranoia.”
When I was a graduate student at Columbia University’s Russian Institute, I regularly encountered the “paranoid” explanation for Soviet/Russian policies. It struck me then, and even more so now, as pathologic or false, or both. Russia is by far the largest country on Earth, spanning approximately one-ninth of all the world’s land surface. When that fact is combined with Russia’s vast nuclear weaponry, the “paranoia” explanation for Russian aggression is rendered absurd.
It is even more absurd when one considers the countries Russia allegedly fears will invade them. Which one of their Western-border countries –Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine — is likely to invade Russia? Wasn’t every one of them invaded by Russia? Shouldn’t every one of (SET ITAL) them (END ITAL) be paranoid?
We’ll end the “paranoid” discussion with this rule of history: Generally speaking, wars are either between two police states or between a police state and a free state. And the latter are nearly always initiated or provoked by the police state. Russia has nothing to fear from its neighbors. Its neighbors have plenty to fear from Russia.
2. America is watching, not intervening.
I know of no American, on the Right or the Left, who has called for sending the U.S. military into Ukraine. But every American should feel awful — morally and as an American — about America sitting by and watching the first major invasion of a peaceful country since Hitler and Stalin. One reason is that since World War II, the weaker nations of the world have all held onto the hope that should they be attacked by a stronger nation, Americans would come to their aid.
America is aiding Ukraine with arms and economic sanctions, but as I watch peaceful Ukraine devoured by aggressive Russia, I can’t help but think that it appears that evil will triumph — and lead to more evil on Earth. I have never agreed with the throwaway line, “America is not the world’s policeman.” Does the world not need a policeman? And if not America, who? China? Russia? The U.N.?
If the strongest boy in high school, one whom the weakest boys and girls looked to for protection, decided one day to watch rather than to protect them as they were beaten by the school bully, even if there was good reason for the lack of intervention, wouldn’t that be a very sad day? And wouldn’t it affect the way the protector saw himself?
Most Americans see themselves as protectors of the weak against bully nations. This is the first time in our lifetime that America has abandoned that role.
No. 3: A comedian is the world’s most courageous political leader.
By general consensus among the world’s media and world’s nations, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the most courageous leader in the world today.
For many people, this is particularly remarkable since Zelenskyy’s professional background is that of a comedian. It strikes most people as amazing that a comedian turns out to be the world’s most inspiring leader.
That, of course, was the reason so many dismissed Donald Trump when he ran for president: “He has no political experience, he’s just a wealthy real estate developer.” However, that real estate developer also turned out to be the most courageous leader in the world. Honest haters of Trump must at least acknowledge his courage — just as supporters must acknowledge his lack of a filter between his brain and his mouth.
It was Trump who had the courage to demand that our NATO allies live up to their obligations with regard to military spending. Ironically, thanks to Putin, the NATO countries are finally doing so. It was Trump who uncovered a deep state of corruption in nearly every major American governmental institution. It was Trump who took on the mainstream media, regarded by half of America as little better than Pravda, the Soviet newspaper. It was Trump who had the courage to do what president after president and Congress after Congress called for but never acted on: moving the American embassy in Israel to Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem. He did this despite the opposition of almost every world leader and his own State Department. If that’s not courage, what is?
And it remains a fact that Putin did not invade Ukraine while Trump was president. Putin feared Trump. Neither Putin nor anyone else fears President Joe Biden.
It is therefore not at all surprising that a comedian is the world’s most courageous leader. It is surprising that people still think a lifelong political career produces leaders. Biden is a lifelong politician and, as his behavior during COVID-19 showed, may well be the least courageous president in American history.
4. Western environmentalists made the invasion possible.
It is overwhelmingly likely that American and European environmentalists made the Russian invasion of Ukraine possible. Under Trump, America became energy independent and was even able to supply Europe with energy. But the environmental movement, which dominates the Democratic Party and nearly every Western European country, has made Russia the major supplier of natural gas to Europe, and especially to the most important country on the European continent, Germany.
The environmentalist movement uses climate change to achieve its primary objectives: undoing of the West’s economic foundations, reshaping the Western way of life, dismantling capitalism and transferring wealth to the Third World. They will pursue these aims at any cost — whether crippling inflation, energy blackouts, even the strengthening of Russia and China.
If you really believe climate change poses an “existential threat” to human life, there is no price too high to pay in order to eliminate fossil fuel-based energy. That includes empowering and enriching evil men.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.Read More
Canada is leaving the Western world.
In terms of all-encompassing government, suppression of dissent and the denial of fundamental human rights to many of its citizens, Canada is now more similar to Cuba than to any free country. Canada may eventually return to Western civilization, but as of this writing, the majority of Canadians appear to have no interest in it doing so. According to Maru Public Opinion, “two-thirds (66%) of Canadians support Prime Minister Justin Trudeau bringing in the Emergencies Act … A majority (56%) of Canadians do not support the truckers who are protesting in any way, shape, or form … This is a majority view held in every province/region across the country.”I suspect that most Americans — and certainly most people outside of America or Canada — do not know precisely what Canada’s Marxist prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is doing to his country.
So, allow me to review.
Last week, for only the second time in Canadian history other than wartime — the first time was under Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, the other Marxist to govern Canada — Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. This statute enables a Canadian prime minister to suspend fundamental human rights and rule as a dictator.
The CBC described in detail how Trudeau is using the Emergencies Act to destroy the lives of Canadian dissidents. This should be read carefully. Such policies have never been enacted by a Western country against its own citizens (with the extremely rare exceptions of those actively engaged in terrorism):
“Using powers granted under the Emergencies Act, the federal government has directed banks and other financial institutions to stop doing business with people associated with the anti-vaccine mandate convoy occupying the nation’s capital.
“The government’s new directive, called the ’emergency economic measures order,’ goes beyond asking banks to simply stop transferring funds to protest organizers. The government wants banks to stop doing business with some people altogether.
“The order says that banks and other financial entities (like credit unions, co-ops, loan companies, trusts and cryptocurrency platforms) must stop ‘providing any financial or related services’ to people associated with the protests — a move that will result in frozen accounts, stranded money and cancelled credit cards.
“The Emergencies Act gives authorities the power to freeze the finances of those connected to blockades and protests, and the consequences could last long after the demonstrations end…
“The regulation’s definition of a “designated person” also includes … anyone sending funds to support these protests…
“Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP who specializes in non-profit and charity law. In an interview, he said that while the Emergencies Act gives banks time-limited powers, these institutions ‘may just decide to shut the person’s account down’ because there could be ‘huge risks’ for banks servicing these customers in the future. Banks will be working with law enforcement to decide who should be ‘de-banked.’
“A senior government official said … police could gather the names and license plate numbers of people participating in a protest or an unlawful assembly and share that information with FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) …
“Former CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) senior strategic analyst Jessica Davis (said) ‘the people who are participating in the protest aren’t going to be able to do things like pay bills, pay their hotel bills. They will eventually run out of supplies as well…
“With access to bank accounts and credit cards and other financial instruments suspended, protesters won’t be able to pay for things like hotel and fuel bills…
“Over the longer term, Davis said, it may be hard for some of the truckers participating to ever find work again because they could lack the necessary insurance to operate a big rig. ‘Paying bills, paying rent and any kind of day-to-day financial transaction can be stopped for people who are part of the protest movement,’ she said. There may also be some ‘unintended consequences’ from frozen accounts, such as suspended alimony and child support payments, Davis said. ‘It’s going to be very difficult for them.’
“Banks have been granted immunity against legal action in the event of disputes over whether someone should have been denied financial services. ‘No proceedings under the Emergencies Act and no civil proceedings lie against an entity for complying with this Order,’ the regulations read.”
None of these life-ruining, due-process defying measures is necessary. The truckers’ demonstrations could have been ended by arresting drivers who would not move their trucks or simply just towing their trucks. The purpose of these regulations is to destroy dissenters and deter future dissent. In a word, it is to ruin the lives of those who disobey Justin Trudeau.
As one who has followed Canadian life over the decades — I have lectured in nine of Canada’s 10 provinces — the moral descent of Canada is depressing but not especially surprising. Since I was in college in the 1970s, I traveled abroad every year of my life except in 2020 — to some 130 countries. I not only took interest in the countries I visited but in the tourists who visited them. I recall well that when I was young, many young Canadians stitched a Canadian flag onto their backpacks. As almost no tourists from other nations did that, I asked Canadians why they did. Their reason was to identify themselves as Canadian rather than as American.
I am not the first observer of Canadians to note that a major part of Canadian identity — especially among Canadian elites — is being a not-American. Many Canadians were and remain first and foremost not-Americans. Other than that, not much defines Canadians. And when a nation stands essentially for nothing, bad things eventually happen — because nothingness is eventually filled or replaced by bad.
On my radio show, I once asked the late Charles Krauthammer, one of the most insightful commentators of this era, what he saw as the greatest difference between his native Canada and his adopted country, the United States. Without hesitation, he said that in America the national motto is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and in Canada it is “Peace, Order, and Good Government.”
The first inspires a nation. The second doesn’t.
Upon the death of Fidel Castro, Justin Trudeau gave the most positive assessment of the Cuban tyrant of any Western leader. It is worth quoting in full because it demonstrates Trudeau’s affection for communism and because Trudeau is transforming Canada into Cuba:
“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest-serving President. Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.
“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante.’
“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honor to meet his three sons and his brother, President Raul Castro, during my recent visit to Cuba.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”
There does remain one major difference between Canada and Cuba. Few Cubans support their Marxist leaders, but most Canadians support theirs. They don’t know what they’re in for.
For two years, Americans have been partially or entirely deprived of fundamental freedoms — of assembly, speech, religious liberty, making a living, a child’s right to an education, access to early treatment for a potentially deadly virus, and more — for the first time in American history. That half of America, especially its elites, has either made peace with or supported these deprivations of freedom is why many of us worry about America’s future as a free society.
Even more concerning has been the reactions of America’s great religions — specifically, Catholics, Protestants, Mormons (Latter-day Saints) and Jews. The government issued irrational (as well as anti-religious and unethical) edicts and nearly every church and synagogue obeyed.
These churches and synagogues closed their schools to in-classroom instruction despite the fact that COVID-19 presented virtually no threat to young people. Exponentially more children have been hurt by closing religious and secular schools and, later, by making children wear masks — even outdoors — than by COVID-19. This has been made clear not only by relevant data in America but by Sweden, which never closed its schools for children under 16 — and not a single student or teacher died from COVID-19.
As Swedish physicians wrote in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February 2021:
“Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Among the 1.95 million children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000… No child with Covid-19 died.”
Recently, some churches and synagogues told their congregants that children as young as 5 had to be vaccinated in order to attend services. It is immoral to give young children a COVID-19 vaccine for which we have no long-term safety data, and especially when children are not at risk from the virus. Yet most churches and synagogues, pastors, priests and rabbis have insisted on it.
Given the sheeplike behavior of so many of America’s religious leaders and institutions, the question is: Why?
There are both similar and different answers for each religion. The similar reasons are that most religious institutions and leaders have become largely indistinguishable from their secular counterparts. With the exception of attending church or synagogue, most Christians and Jews think and act like most secular Americans.
Regarding COVID-19, most religious leaders have been as scared as most secular leaders. And regarding fear, the only major difference between Americans has not been between religious and secular, but between Right and Left. Conservative clergy have been less scared than liberal clergy, just as conservative nonreligious Americans have been less scared than liberal nonreligious Americans. Which, of course, prompts the question: Does religion make people wiser, better and more courageous? Or has religion largely become something that serves only to make adherents feel good?
With regard to Christians there is the issue of the New Testament admonition to obey secular authority. To cite the most famous example: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Romans 13:1-3).
Mormons have an additional issue. They are not only expected to obey the Bible, but LDS leaders as well. The head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the First Presidency, which consists of three men who are regarded as prophets — God speaks through them. Faithful Mormons therefore regard some First Presidency pronouncements as the word of God.
On Aug. 12, 2021, the First Presidency (whose President is, not surprisingly, a physician) released a statement saying, “we urge individuals to be vaccinated,” and “we can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders.”
As Mormons are generally the most socially and politically conservative of America’s religious groups, many of them have not regarded the “recommendations of medical experts and government leaders” as “wise and thoughtful.” Just as most non-Mormon conservatives do, most Mormon conservatives regard most of our medical experts and government leaders as non-thoughtful, non-wise and too often corrupt.
So, what are these Mormons to do?
A Brigham Young University publication, the Daily Universe, quoted a Mormon woman named Hannah Colby: “I am kind of like at odds with the First Presidency, but I know President Nelson is a prophet of God,” she said.
The paper did not reveal how Colby resolved that tension.
Christians need to grapple with the New Testament admonitions to obey secular authorities. That’s what the great majority of German Christian pastors and churches did in the 1930s. In light of Romans 13, were they right or wrong? If the irrational and freedom-destroying mandates of the secular authorities in America (and the rest of the West) force serious Christians to confront the question of whether a Christian must always obey the government, that will be one of the few good things to come out of the COVID-19 era.
And what has animated most Jews — and nearly all non-Orthodox (and more than a few modern Orthodox) synagogues — to obey irrational and immoral rules of secular authorities?
One obvious answer is that most non-Orthodox Jews are on the Left. And the Left lives in fear (of COVID-19, of global warming, of secondhand smoke, of diving boards, and much else) and is prepared to subvert any freedom to assuage their fears. In any event, freedom is not a left-wing value; it is a liberal value. But most liberals, Jewish and non-Jewish, support the Left.
There are two other, less obvious, reasons for the unquestioning obedience of most synagogues and other Jewish institutions. One is that Jews tend to idolize doctors and the other is that Jews tend to unquestioningly obey “experts.” “Experts say” is to most non-Orthodox Jews what “Thus says the Lord” is to most Orthodox Jews. Of course, non-questioning obedience to “experts” also characterizes many non-Jews; in fact, it characterizes most well-educated people. But Jews happen to be the most well-educated ethnic/religious group in America.
All this notwithstanding, the fact is that a disproportionate percentage of those who defied irrational and unconstitutional governmental mandates have been religious Americans. The tragedy of American religious life is that religious people who lack courage are concentrated in leadership positions.
In September 2021, for the 15th consecutive year (except for 2020), I led Jewish High Holiday Services for about 400 people — no masks required, and no vaccination necessary. Other synagogues could have done the same thing — but nearly all rabbis and synagogue boards were too scared and too obedient to do so. And of course, the same holds true for most churches, whether Catholic, Protestant or Mormon. Too scared. And too obedient to irrational dictates.
They will pay a price as people will gradually come to understand how weak their religious leaders were. And they will pay another price: by keeping their churches and synagogues closed for so long (for no good reason), many of their congregants may just not return. If my clergy didn’t think it was important that I attend for nearly two years, maybe it just isn’t that important.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.Read More