President Joe Biden and leading Democrats somehow convinced themselves the 2020 election was a call to fundamentally transform America into a socialist country. They decided countries don't need borders. They decided police and other law enforcement don't deserve the backing of elected politicians. They decided the way to overcome racism is by literally dividing people by race. They have implemented policies to deter American energy production and thereby added to an energy price spike. They have implemented policies that take away incentives to work and thereby contributed to a labor shortage. They have even ignored advice from military leaders resulting in the U.S. government abandoning American citizens in a terrorist state.
Luckily for anyone who cares about the country's future, this insanity is still a hard sell to regular Americans. The president's tanking poll numbers confirm America's hesitation to buy what the administration is selling. The left is not deterred, though. As has been true throughout history, hardcore left-wing ideologues are comfortable overcoming public resistance if need be. They are positive they know the best way ahead. Anyone who gets in the way is evil and must be crushed.
We are seeing this play out today in the debate over the multitrillion-dollar "transform America" legislation the Democrats are trying to jam through Congress. The so-called Build Back Better legislation aims to cement a hard lurch left for America.
America has never been a socialist country; this legislation aims to change that. Thankfully, even with Republican ineptness nearing peak form, the legislation seems stalled for a moment. This stall has resulted in a political tantrum on the left.
The focus of the left's anger has been moderate Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. For daring to question the merits of this radical legislation, Manchin and Sinema have come under full-throated attack from the left and their allies in the so-called mainstream media. Never mind that the Senate is divided 50-50. Never mind that almost nobody voted for extreme left-wing government.
Manchin and Sinema are under extreme pressure to go along. There are almost no media articles extolling their independence and moderation. Instead, they are attacked daily as unreasonable obstructionists. Left-wing activists have even been dispatched to harass these senators in person.
Amazingly, in the midst of this media pressure campaign, the second target of the Democrats' anger is the press corps itself. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came out and publicly scolded the press for not effectively marketing the multitrillion-dollar spending monstrosity to the American people. On one level, it was refreshing for Pelosi to tacitly admit that she views the press as her marketing team. The press does usually market the left's policies to the American people. This is how left-wing policy often goes mainstream. But even the press corps can't effectively sell socialism in America. Pelosi's mad about that. The rest of us should be happy, but we're hanging by a thread.
You don't have to go deep under the hood to understand why the stalled socialist legislation is such a hard sell to moderates. In almost every area that America is currently struggling with, the Democrats spending bonanza would make things worse.
No. 1: America's labor shortage. Not enough people are working. Businesses can't find workers. The Democrats legislation will make this worse in two ways. First, increasing taxes, especially on small businesses, will reduce hiring incentives that expand and create jobs. Second, adding new social spending problems will further disincentivize people from returning to the workforce.
No. 2: Skyrocketing inflation. Prices are up. Inflation is booming under Biden. There are many causes for the runaway inflation. COVID-19 has played a role, but the Federal Reserve's loose monetary policy and the government's record spending have contributed greatly to the price increases. Adding yet another gusher of federal spending in this environment is beyond crazy.
No. 3: Energy price spikes. The worst part of the inflation increase for most Americans has been the spike in energy prices. People see this every week at the gas station and every month in their home heating bill. The Democrats' legislation will make energy costs much worse. In fact, the legislation is designed to do just that: Rising prices for fossil fuels are an integral part of the left's strategy to fundamentally transform America's energy sector in the name of climate change. Current protestations aside, the left wants energy prices to go up. The legislation will achieve that. The problem is that the bill will disincentivize investment in fossil fuels and subsidize investment in renewable energy. This has been the left's strategy for a while now, and it's leading to price spikes. Renewable energy is not filling the gap left by reduced fossil fuel production.
No. 4: Empty shelves. Americans don't do empty shelves. We aren't the Soviet Union or Cuba. The Biden administration's attempts to mock these concerns are going to bite them hard politically if Christmas shelves are empty. COVID-19 may have played a part, but the labor market policies Democrats are introducing will further the supply chain disruptions.
A majority of Americans now think the government is trying to do too much, according to the latest Gallup polling. The spending bonanza Democrats are foisting on America would ask government to do a lot more — more than any American government has ever attempted.
The press has worked hard to make this radical policy seem normal. Even that hasn't been enough. Let's hope it stays that way.