Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Democrats’ strategy for 2020: Free stuff, fear, and gun control

The process of nominating a candidate for president is always a spirited affair. And with 24 people (so far) seeking the Democrat nomination – including a former Vice President, current senators, current and former representatives, some governors and mayors, and a billionaire – who range from well-known to unknown, the stage is set for a lively campaign.

It can get rough, as candidates tear down their rivals and at the same time try build up their own image in the eyes of voters. This year’s nomination process is even wilder than the Republican effort in 2016 when 17 candidates vied for the nomination.

Front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden has been harshly attacked by several opponents in the first rounds of debates, as they work to claw their way to a respectable level in the polls.

No one is safe in this environment, not even the Democrats’ much-loved former President Barack Obama. As Obama’s VP, Biden opened the door to criticism of Obama’s immigration and health care policies.

Liberal MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said the "trashing Barack Obama's legacy” was “insanity.” "We were sort of in a Never-never land last night in that debate. It was bizarre," he said. 

Free stuff is a favored ploy among the candidates, along with dire predictions. In a recent opinion column John Stossel presented the shopping lists and total costs of free stuff offered by several of the candidates.

The list of free stuff contains many items, including:
·         More money for Title I schools
·         Universal pre-K
·         More psychologists and social workers in schools
·         Free college and free community college
·         More money for teachers
·         Forgiving all or some student debt
·         Universal child care
·         “Medicare for All”
·         The “Green New Deal”
·         A government job for everyone
·         Increases in several government assistance areas

Stossel’s major focus was on which items each candidate proposed and how much those items will add to taxpayers total costs.

In comparing the biggest spenders to President Donald Trump’s spending plan, which Stossel said totals $267 billion, he concludes: “We can’t afford it! The federal government is already $22 trillion in debt – $150,000 per taxpayer.”

Stossel continued, “While Trump’s $267 billion is bad, the Democrats’ plans are worse.” He counted $297 billion proposed by Biden, $690 billion from Mayor Pete Buttigieg, $3.8 trillion from Senator Elizabeth Warren, $4 trillion from Senator Bernie Sanders and $4.3 trillion from Senator Kamala Harris. “That would double what the entire federal government spends now. Senator Harris ‘wins’ the free stuff contest.”

There is also a fear factor in campaign rhetoric, as candidates continue to predict global catastrophe if Americans do not make great sacrifices to save the world from climate change. The candidates predict we have only 10 years, or perhaps 12, to turn our lives upside-down in order to save humanity.

The recent hot spell gave a boost to the assumed urgency of this situation, and campaign rhetoric heated up correspondingly.

Contenders prefer various measures to bring a positive effect to the problem of carbon emissions. Biden wants a price on emission-producing materials and tariffs on foreign carbon products. Buttigieg, Gov. John Hickenlooper, Senators Kristen Gillibrand and Cory Booker prefer a tax, or carbon-price on certain products.

All candidates support the enormously expensive “Green New Deal” with all of its job-killing and severe lifestyle-changing requirements to transition to 100-percent clean energy in a decade. This despite the fact that the U.S. leads the world in carbon emission reduction, while other nations lag behind, are not reducing emissions at all, or are actually increasing emissions.

Democrats’ support for more and stricter gun control laws has been long and loud. Last weekend’s two horrible mass murder incidents in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio have added more urgency to the situation among gun control advocates.

Like the climate change issue, the gun control issue uses fear to attract support. Everyone abhors these senseless killings, and every candidate seeking the Democrat nomination preaches gun control as the solution.

Saturday’s El Paso shooting resulted in 20 deaths and injuries to nearly two-dozen others. The alleged shooter is also believed to have written a 4-page manifesto that provides insight into his motives.

Reason magazine described the manifesto: “The El Paso shooter’s alleged manifesto is racist, anti-corporate, anti-automation, and especially anti-immigrant, and it reflects a general hatred for many aspects of American society.”

It also urges any future mass murders to pick lightly guarded or unguarded target areas: “Remember: it is not cowardly to pick low hanging fruit. AKA Don’t attack heavily guarded areas to fulfill your super soldier COD (Call of Duty) fantasy.”

Any successful response to these horrific events must address soft targets where no defense against someone with evil intentions exists, and especially the mental condition and motivation of the people who carry out these acts.

Guns are inanimate objects. They are not evil; the people who misuse them are evil. Disarming or restricting law-abiding citizens’ gun purchases misses the point.

The most important word in the gun control discussion is “control,” a trait it shares with the climate change discussion. Control is a major aspect of socialism, which is openly advocated by several Democrat candidates.

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