Thursday

July 18th, 2019

Insight

The GOP's Next Hill Not to Die On?

Mark Steyn

By Mark Steyn

Published March 11, 2019

"Reparations" was a fringe concept in the US five years ago. Now leading candidates of one of the two parties in America's frozen party system profess to have come around to the notion.

Among them are Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Julian Castro... Bernie is holding out, as he did last time round on guns and immigration ...for a bit. S

enator Harris seems to be doing it for canny positioning reasons: She is one of the shrewder campaigners so far, but MSNBC ran a wacky segment a few weeks back in which various black activists pointed out that she is not "African-American". Ms Harris is half-Indian, half-Jamaican - ie, like Barack Obama, she's a child of British subjects.

And one way to deflect from the fact that black Democrat presidential candidates seem to be disproportionately drawn from outside the African-American experience is to sign on to reparations big-time.

So it would seem to me this idea will snowball, so to speak: Bernie in particular is not the stiffest-spined of chaps, nor is Kirsten Gillibrand or any of the former "centrists" getting woke to the new energies in their base.

The next phase, in a two-party system, is for the moderate, reasonable chaps in the other party to sign on to the idea. Enter David Brooks, the house conservative at The New York Times:

We're a nation coming apart at the seams, a nation in which each tribe has its own narrative and the narratives are generally resentment narratives. The African-American experience is somehow at the core of this fragmentation — the original sin that hardens the heart, separates Americans from one another and serves as model and fuel for other injustices.

The need now is to consolidate all the different narratives and make them reconciliation and possibility narratives, in which all feel known. That requires direct action, a concrete gesture of respect that makes possible the beginning of a new chapter in our common life. Reparations are a drastic policy and hard to execute, but the very act of talking about and designing them heals a wound and opens a new story.



David Brooks was once a witty and incisive writer. Now his pen squirts flabby marshmallows: "Possibility narratives"? God save us from ostentatiously agonized "conservatives"...

But the point is: Isn't this beginning to feel the way it usually goes? No doubt somewhere or other the Mitch McConnell/John Boehner types are assuring everyone: Not to worry, it'll never happen... But that's what they said about Obamacare and gay marriage and all the rest.

Democrat presidential candidates, "moderate" conservatives... Sooner than you think, Republicans will be telling each other: Let it go, this isn't the hill to die on...

It never is, is it?

~Insofar as there was any coverage of something called the "American Workforce Policy Advisory Board", it was of Donald Trump "fumbling" the name of Apple honcho Tim Cook and calling him "Tim Apple". I like to think it was a subtle protest by the President at whichever White House placement henchman had stuck Mr Cook at his right hand, perhaps a sly protest at the curious idea that the chief exec of Apple has insufficient influence in the affairs of the world and thus should be endowed with more by government.

Somewhat more perplexing to me was this exchange with a gentleman of the press:

REPORTER: Mr President, how much more immigration would you like to see?

PRESIDENT: We're going to have a lot of people coming in to the country. We want a lot of people coming in. And we need it.

That's getting dangerously close to the precise opposite of the core policy he ran on. I do hope the President, like Mr Brooks at The New York Times, is not, as America's duplicitous media like to say, "growing in office".

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Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human rights activist. His latest book is "The Undocumented Mark Steyn: Don't Say You Weren't Warned". (Buy it at a 43% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 50% discount by clicking here. Sales help fund JWR)

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